Hiking Dude Blog
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End of the Trail
I walked 30500 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 23 miles today.
We slogged our way to the western terminus!!! A few pictures and congratulations, and then into the Ice Age center to get out of the cold rain. I guess the directions for the parade got lost - no one showed up except my good friend Duncan. What a great surprise to be greeted by him at the very end!
We ran into some volunteers doing trail work and actually got to be the first hikers on a brand new piece of trail that will be completed next weekend. It will nearly complete the trail through St. Croix Falls.
No need to find a plce to camp tonight. No planning tomorrow's hike. No wondering what excitement the trail will bring. Just profound gratitude to all the folks that make this trail possible and my opportunity to enjoy it - end to end.
Few More Blazes
In the final St. Croix Falls segment which is 7.5 miles. Just a few more yellow blazes to follow to the end.
I can see. MINNESOTA across the river through the trees and beginning raindrops!
Thanks to an early start, smooth bike trail, and cool, breezy, dry weather, we've covered 10 miles by 9am and reached Centuria. From here, it's a bit over 12 miles to the terminus!
There hasn't been much to see this morning along the Gandy Dancer bike trail, but these tractor crossing signs ard fun.
The rain is supposed to start any time, but I've got my fingers crossed it will miss us.
If you have nothing better to do today, you're welcome to join the big parade at the end around 2pm! :-)
One More Day
I walked 67500 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 31 miles today.
The adventure is almost complete. Only 23 more miles to finish tomorrow - from Luck to St. Croix Falls. We covered a lot of ground today since the weather was great and tomorrow promises rain. We'd also like to reach the terminus in time to tour the Ice Age center before closing.
As you can see, the bridge over the Clam River is closed - but easily crossed so no detour is needed. It's just a little deteriorating in spots.
This morning, we passed the northernmost point of the trail - just another little milestone.
We also met another Ice Age volunteer running on the trail today. John stopped and chatted awhile and then ran on. We saw our first bowhunters also.
I walked 58300 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 26.5 miles today.
There appear to be two camps of people when it comes to 'Ticks'. One group says they are only out in spring and summer with nothing to worry about in the fall. The other group says deer ticks can also be encountered in fall. After today's hike, guess what group I'm in?
Here's the blurry pic of the little hitchhiker Papa Bear tweezed off my back where it had been warm all afternoon under my pack. I've had dozens of wood ticks but this is my first ever deer tick! I don't think he was biting in long enough to cause trouble but I'll keep an eye out for any strange symptoms next week.
Besides this pest, the hike was great today - clear blue sky above colorful trees buffeted by strong breezes. Leaves falling around us all day in the sun made a perfect fall hiking day.
The trail was pretty good. We hit one swamped over area of trail and threw down a few logs. There were a few strangely blazed spots that we figured out. We also did a short roadwalk at the end of the day. When we came out of the woods on County E there was absolutely no indication of where to go. No entry point across the road, nor arrows, blazes, or notes pointing north or south. So, we roadwalked around the section, adding a mile or so. Looking on the IATA website, we should have gone north to find the new trail.
Checking weather, looks like our final day on Saturday will be wet and windy. :-)
I walked 66000 steps on the trail today.
I traveled about 30 miles today.
We put in a long day, but it went quickly hiking and visting with the new people we met on the trail.
Nearly to Haugen, a man with a dog came down the trail towards us. He recognized us and said he's been following this blog - how cool! Greg chatted while we hiked toward his vehicle. When we got there, he had soda and snacks waiting. What a great treat on a warm afternoon - Thank You, Greg (and your dog Archie)
Once past Haugen, the trail passes through BSA Camp Phillips. I've heard of this camp but never visited. It looks like a well-run and very nice camp with waterfront, pioneering, nature trails, and lots more. It was sure great of the BSA to have the trail pass through.
Soon after the camp, there is a big logging operation underway - chopping down everything, including many blazed trees. This was our first real hardship of the trail. We lost about 45 minutes searching for blazes, backtracking, and a little guessing before we finally made it through. Pat and Kehly - watch out!
Other than that, just a glorious day on a very mellow trail most of the day.
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