This day was 100% on roads, but most of it was pleasant enough. This is still the long temporary detour I explained yesterday. First, I had to walk the mile back to the trail, which included passing this covered bridge which is not old. This was built in 1995 to commemorate the hundreth anniversary of the creation of the New York State Forest Preserve. Thus was born the Adirondack Park, sometimes known as the "Forever Wild" law.
The road runs beside First through Fourth Lakes of the Fulton Chain for several miles. You don't see the water often, however. There are many, many "old money" homes and cottages here. You can't see most of them, either. But I enjoyed the classic gateways, and liked seeing dates from the early 1900s that indicated one family has owned that property for a long time. There is still a great deal of private property inside the "blue line" (the boundary of the Adirondack Park). The existence of the blue line allows the state to buy the land inside it whenever it becomes available.
I walked through the village of Inlet. If I'd realized it has a nice grocery store and deli, I might have bought a meal there. However, I had the correct number of meals with me, and I didn't want to carry extra stuff. I did take a rest on this nice bench. There were quite a few benches in town. I thought this was going to be one bench put out by the church, but there were lots, all over town.
The funniest story at Inlet was that I sat on this bench and ate the second half of my Woodchuck sandwich. It had been wrapped in stiff paper and that made quite a ball of trash. I usually carry my little bit of trash in a pocket, but this was bulky.
So I was sitting there wishing for a trash can. Just as I was doing that, I saw a man coming up the hill toward me on the sidewalk, and he was... can you believe it... dragging a brand new trash can on wheels. I figured he was going to turn into one of the driveways below me. Nope. He brought it all the way up the hill. I couldn't resist telling him that this was the first time I'd ever wished for a trash can and one was brought right to me. He laughed, but said there was no liner in it yet. I said "no problem," and he was going to walk on. Then he asked what I wanted to throw away, and I showed him the paper. It wasn't icky or anything. He said, "Oh, I can take that." He opened the can, and I tossed the paper inside. Then he turned a corner above me and dragged that can out of sight. Was this a human homeowner or a trash can angel? I'll let you decide. <wink>
Once I entered Moose River Plains Wild Forest,
I was still on road, but now it was dirt. This was Thursday before the Memorial Day holiday weekend. I had been told that this road was recently opened to traffic for this year's season. I have never seen a backcountry dirt road that was so busy in my life! There was a car or truck passing about every five minutes. I think people wanted to claim their weekend camp sites.
My plan was to camp near Fawn Lake. I was getting hot and tired. I saw a man clearing the driveway to his cottage (on the map it looks like he might own the last piece of private property for miles). There were supposed to be established campsites along this road. I asked him if there were sites on Fawn Lake. "Nope, but there's a nice one at Red River in about a mile and a half."
Hmmm. I looked at my map, and the Red River was more like three miles away. (people who are used to driving places don't have much concept of distance) I had already done a long mileage day because it was road walk. There was no way I was going three more miles.
I started looking for a place I could slip into the woods. You are supposed to camp at designated sites only, but I knew I could camp with such a low profile that I wouldn't create any problems (OK, unless I got caught- then I might have a problem). What I wasn't sure I could do was find a relatively level place. On my left was a steep wooded hillside about 200 feet high. Nor could I easily get down to Fawn Lake. It was 50 feet downhill on my right and also thickly wooded.
Finally, I saw a possibility. Where once, LONG ago, there was a road angling up the hill on the left, I ducked into the trees. There were saplings in this old track, but also some open spots. You can hardly tell this was an old road except for the profile of the land. You can just barely discern the profile of the road cut.
I climbed high enough up that to be completely out of sight from anyone on the road. I could still hear all the traffic, but no one could see me. I hung my food, crawled in the tent, killed the evening's selection of blackflies and mosquitoes, and read my book until it got dark.
I'm very good at "leave no trace." No one without a tracking dog will ever find where I camped.
Miles today that count: 15.7. Total miles so far: 2249.6 (additional miles that don't count: 1.0)