The woods was foggy and gloomy. The rain let up a little bit.
Now I have to tell you who my new helper is. It's Marie!!!
I called Marie to meet me at the next road, only a little over a mile away, and I would make choices there. I ate lunch in the car, and then things started to clear up.
I left my wet pack in the car and hoofed it for the afternoon walk. Today was sort of a rest day in disguise as a hiking day. I did short miles, and there were almost no hills. The afternoon was pleasant enough. My feet were soaked, but I knew that would happen before I even started and just slogged on.
This is a floating bridge across a wetland. Looks precarious, but it was fine.
There were several wildlife ponds. You can see that the day brightened up.
I passed today from Cook Forest State Park to Clear Creek State Forest, and finally, my goal for the day, Allegheny National Forest! This is where Marie and I did our first long backpacking trip, with her son, David, in 1994. It's a little like coming full circle. (But we were hiking the other way.)
We always laughed at the "no pack stock." Of course, it means things like donkeys or llamas, but we were hiking with my little dog Chips, who wore a pack. We were newbies back then... we've encountered the sign many more times, but we still think it's funny.
At the end of the day there was this nice rock stepping bridge across a small creek.
It was a short mileage day, but it was really sloggy- the rain turned everything to mud. I will be doing mostly shorter mileages through the Allegheny based on where road crossings are that I can be picked up. I could backpack and then pickup points wouldn't matter, but then I would have to carry more weight and might not be able to hike farther anyway. Tomorrow things start getting seriously hilly, so it's not clear I could do more miles anyway.
Miles today: 12.2. Total miles so far: 1593.
I am now at the end of 4 months of hiking. This is 1/3 of the year. I'm 7 miles short of 1600 miles which is a third of some theoretical 4800 miles of trail. Given that this should be the most difficult third, weather-wise, I'm feeling reasonably good about this progress.
|See Goodbye to Sue|