Today’s destination was Caribou Road. And wow – what a difference due to my new strategy of fewer miles per day. I started the day with such a great mindset, knowing I wouldn’t be out on the trail until 7 or 8 p.m.
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It was also fun to know that BlueBerry and Green Tortuga were taking a zero day today, and that they were staying at the same place as me – the AmericInn in Tofte. In fact, last night I discovered we were right next door to one another!
So while they slept in and resupplied, I headed out to hike 13-ish miles (20.9 km) of the trail. Harriet Quarles shuttled me. She turns 74 tomorrow and is quite the colorful character! She is the main shuttle operator for hikers in the northern half of the trail, while another guy handles the southern half.
Striking Out for Caribou Road
The trail started out sopping wet, due to heavy rains in the early morning. But I had all of my rain gear on, so it wasn’t too bad. Despite the gray skies all day and sodden vegetation, there were some great vistas – a hallmark of this trail.
One guy came upon me from behind and hiked past without a glance or grunt – weird. I didn’t see anyone else all day.
The best part of the hike came in the late afternoon, when I reached Agnes Lake. It was gorgeous, plus there were plenty of beavers (and beaver dams) on the lake. I got a great video of one beaver swimming around really close to where I was standing; after a bit he made a huge splash with his tail as he went underwater. It was so cool!
Day Is Done – Early!
Back at the AmericInn, BlueBerry, Green Tortuga, Brian and I went out to dinner. This was my FIRST real dinner since I started the trail. Even when Ed and I stayed in a motel, we typically made instant mashed potatoes or some such thing in our motel room because we’d be too tired to go out to eat, plus it was always late by the time we got to the motel and finished showering. And on the trail, of course, you’re eating trail food. Anyway, I pigged out on a huge hamburger and fries, plus some wine. I also ordered deep-fried cheese curds so the guys could taste them (they’re from the South and Pacific Northwest).
The guys are slowing their hiking pace, too, so it looks like we won’t cross paths again. Boo! But we will always have this experience on the SHT.
MN NCT miles today: 11.8 (19 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 239.7. (385.8 km)
SHT miles to date: 239.7 (385.8 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 526.1 (846.7 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 4,073.9 (6,556.3 km)
Book your stay at the AmericInn in Tofte here!