Daily Miles: 24
Total Miles: 135
Last night we realized that we had identified the wrong road for accessing our next trail town (Silver Bay). The schedule we had put us about 10 miles short. Unfortunately that meant that we would need to do at least one big day to get us back on track. It was just bad luck that this long day coincided with the heat wave.
Last night it never really cooled off. It was probably the warmest night of camping for us since canoeing the Mississippi River. We got up at 5am, packed up in the dark and then started hiking at 5:30am with our headlamps.
It was already so warm and muggy at that time, that we were sweating within just a few minutes. The high for today was supposed to be 85 degrees, so we knew it was only going to get warmer and sweatier.
Today’s state park was the George Crosby Manitou State Park. As we enter the Labor Day weekend, we started to see more folks out camping along the trail. Given that they were just hanging around their campsites at 10am, we figured they were staying at one place for the weekend.
We came to an empty campsite around 11:30am and decided to take an early lunch. We all took our shirts off to dry them in the sun while we ate. With the heat and high humidity our shirts were completely soaked.
After lunch the trail went through a large logged area. Not only was it ugly from logging, but the lack of trees made it incredibly hot. We still feel hot when we are under the shade of the forrest, but when we walk into a fully sunny section, it is like we are being hit with a wall of heat.
We took an afternoon break, but we were still so beat, that we ended up taking another break just a half hour later for another thirty minutes. We finally decided to face the reality of how many more miles we still had to walk today, and we got hiking again.
Shortly after starting back up, we ran into our third thru-hiker of the trail. His trail name is Don’t Panic. In fact, he is planning to yo-yo the trail, meaning…he started at the southern terminus and when he reaches the northern terminus, he will turn around and hike back to the southern terminus.
Don’t Panic talked about swimming in the Egge Lake. That sounded pretty good, so Qball and JJ went for a dip when we passed the lake. We decided to hold out for a river closer to the end of the day.
Shortly after we left Qball and JJ at the lake, we saw a woman running down the trail with a full pack. Turns out she is attempting a speed record for the trail. There was a speed record set for the trail just before we started…something like 5 1/2 days, which feels like absolute insanity after doing just a 24 mile day on this trail.
We stopped at a small river two miles before camp. SweetPea just poured cool water over her head and neck, while Beardoh found a comfortable spot to lay down for full cooling off.
We made it to to the Luskinen campsite around 6:30pm and we were all completely beat. We all agreed that today was too many miles for such a hot day.
While we really only had the energy to put up our hammocks and make dinner, we were immediately introduced to another hiker who came up and gave his commentary on most every thing we were doing…from how we were hanging our hammocks to how we were connecting our stove to the fuel cannister. As we ate, he continued to talk, even though we weren’t really interested in conversation.
Finally we were able to make our escape and head to bed. It is going to be another sweltering night, but it will feel good to lay in our hammocks.