I’m writing this in my tent alongside Clearwater Lake. I’m trying to enjoy the haunting cries of the loons, but there are so many mosquitoes buzzing outside it sounds like a massive hive full of angry bees. Boo.
Today was full of adventure as always. We broke camp around 7:30. It was sunny and Keith’s weather app showed just a 10 percent chance of rain. Excellent! The first few miles were tough, typical for this trail. There were lots of hard climbs (they don’t believe in switchbacks) and the overgrown vegetation was heavy with dew and yesterday’s rain. By 10 a.m., our pants were soaked to the mid-thigh. But we enjoyed our first great view of the lakes and border.
Injuries leaving Clearwater Lake
Then, a mishap. Keith was going under a downed tree and smacked his head on a branch. Hard. He used a diaper (hack) to soak up the blood, but I also had to bandage it. It was a pretty sizable gash.
Not five minutes later, I was ahead of him crossing another downed tree. This tree had a dry limb sticking out, so I snapped it off so Keith wouldn’t get smacked again. Except the tree had some give, so the branch nub swung back at me after I snapped off the branch. I ended up with a bloody lip. We thought Tom might have a mishap next, but thankfully he did not.
Shortly before our lunch break, we had to navigate a beaver dam, which soaked our feet and shoes. But lunch was at a lakeside campsite. It was sunny and we spread out our wet clothes in the sun. Many items dried.
All we had left for the day were eight miles (12.9 km) that the map showed offered about seven killer views. We just got started when it began to rain. Yep. Everything we’d dried got soaked again. As soon as we were all wet, it stopped.
Views make up for it
Luckily,the sun shone when we hit the vistas, which were incredible. Still, those miles were tough. Especially the last few. We were all relieved to hit camp at 6:30.
A young couple was already here, but they happily shared the space and we had a nice discussion over dinner. They’re Wisconsin natives teaching in Alaska.
The lake here is beautiful. Got some nice shots at sunset. The mosquitoes are still buzzing loudly.
BRT/MN NCT miles today: 14.2 (22.9 km)
Total BRT miles: 34.7 (55.8 km)
Total BRT miles to go: 30.3 (48.8 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 355.4 (572 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 641.8 (1,032.9 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,958.2 (6,370.1 km)