I started off my day on the last bit of the Ringle segment heading toward New Hope. A lush, green carpet of soft moss unrolled before me in the forest. It was pretty cool to see, and definitely nice on the feet.
The woods dump you out onto the Mountain-Bay State Trail, a flat, crushed limestone path. Again, really nice! I loved my experience in Marathon County. The trails were pretty and well-maintained, and chapter chair David Mix was very helpful.
After that nice start, I faced a roughly 30-mile (48.3 km) connecting route. I planned to do about 25 miles (40.2 km) of it. Connecting routes can be hard on your feet. I was lucky because I was able to walk on relatively soft, gravel shoulders for much of the way, which isn’t always possible.
Highway I was newly paved, so both the shoulder and the road felt cushy. Got a lot of running in in both Ringle and the connecting route. Unfortunately, the last six or so miles (9.7 km) on County A were awful. It was one of those roads where they spread blacktop or tar and dump stones on top. Those last few miles beat up my feet terribly. 🙁 Oh well, that’s part of doing a thru-hike.
Since I was on relatively main roads all day, I had no dog issues; people keep their dogs constrained so they don’t get hit by cars, I imagine. Near day’s end, though, the one dog that didn’t like me passing his property was, of all breeds, a Bassett hound. He waddled as quickly as he could on his stubby little legs right into the busy road and kept baying at me. I wasn’t worried, though. Even after a 30-mile (48.3-km) day, I figured I could outrun him.
Losing My Sunglasses En Route to New Hope
So I have a favorite pair of running sunglasses that I brought along. I was wearing them this morning, then couldn’t find them after a few hours. I frantically searched my Camelbak, pockets, etc., to no avail. So I figured they must have slipped off the top of my head, where I prop them sometimes, when I was checking out this sign in Hatley and futzing around with my pack, my vest, etc. That makes the third thing I’ve lost so far: a pack of my energy jellies, a map and now my sunglasses.
A few hours later, I was trying to read an interesting sign across the road, but it was a bit blurry. So I … took my sunglasses off my face to see it better. And that, folks, is how I amuse myself on the trail. (That is not old age, by the way, it’s trail fatigue.)
And … Again
If that wasn’t funny enough, near the end of the day I tried to call Patricia to arrange my pick-up. No cell service. Horrors! Would I have to walk all night? I took off my sunglasses (it was cloudy now anyway) and hooked them on my Camelbak strap, even though I know that’s not wise. I wanted to try and find someone and ask to use their cell phone, and I wanted people to see the sweet face of a middle-aged lady. Lucky me, another older woman was out walking (on that horrible road), and had a cell phone on her. She let me call Patricia and we arranged the pick-up.
So Patricia opens the car door. I’m pooped, so I quickly whip off my Camelbak and climb in. We’ve driven a few miles when I remember my sunglasses were on my Camelbak strap. If I just take off my pack without grabbing the glasses, they slide off. I start pawing through everything in the van to see if I’d thought to place them inside, but no luck. So we turn around and go back to where I ended. But there are no sunglasses on the ground. I check the car once again, and they’d slid under my car seat. Oops. Those naughty sunglasses!
I didn’t quite make it to New Hope, but I got close!
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