Originally, I was hoping that I'd be walking into Timber Creek trailhead today. That is now about 641 miles ahead of me. But I do have 4177 trail miles behind me.
Last night I was really discouraged. The weather forecast was terrible. It looked like winter was going to arrive with a vengeance across the entire Upper Peninsula. I wasn't willing to keep creeping along at under 10 miles a day for more than another two months.
Today, here's the situation. The western UP got buried again. There is over a foot of snow in the specific location I need to hike yet. I'm officially declaring that orphaned for the time being. (Barring some total weather anomaly where Christmas in the UP becomes tropical.) But the predictions for where we are now turned out to be completely wrong.
Bill is going to stay for a while yet, for at least a week. The terrain is easier, the weather looks chilly but dry, and there is very little snow in the eastern UP. We are going to try to really knock out some miles. We got together this afternoon and worked out a plan that looks quite do-able. After Bill leaves, if I can get someone to spot me and the weather holds, I'll continue hiking.
However, I've decided that if the weather becomes unmanageable, I will take a break and go home for a while. I WILL have to come back in the spring to get the 95 miles I have to temporarily abandon. Am I disappointed? Yes. Can I accept this? I think so. All you home peeps... if you see me during that interval, ok, but NO celebrations until I WALK back into Timber Creek which I will save for the true end. Got it?
Sue and the pups left today. Much thanks is due her. She's helped me for more total days than anyone else in the past year. And I know it's a pretty thankless job. Now it's Bill and me for the next little while.
I also want to thank our last host, Lorana. She's become more than "just" a trail friend. We figured out that we must have first met in 2007 at the Bemidji NCTA Conference. She hates having her picture taken, but I think this one from the night the chapter took me to dinner is nice.
No miles today. I just plain goofed off all morning. Then I did a couple of small chores, and Bill and I moved our trailers to our next location and planned the next week.
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