I finally fell asleep in our Big Bend Camp at about 5 a.m., only to be awakened around 7:15 by Ed packing up camp, specifically his squeaky sleeping pad. It was annoying, but of course we did need to get moving. It took us until 9:30 a.m. to break up camp, eat breakfast and get going. Clearly, we are novices at camping!
The day was pretty nice weather-wise, sunny and not too hot. The day’s hike was all in “the green tunnel” (Bill Bryson’s term for the AT and trails that are all in the woods) – none of the famous Lake Superior views yet for us. But that’s O.K. It builds the anticipation. The mosquitoes were bad on and off, and there were some rocky spots that hurt our feet.
Good-bye, Big Bend Camp
We ran into a nice mother-son duo. They have been section-hiking the SHT for a few years as practice for the mom, who hopes to hike the AT and PCT some day.
We also met a couple celebrating their 10-year anniversary by hiking 15 miles (24.1 km) on the SHT. We’d actually run into the guy on our second day on the trail; he was doing some trail running to practice for Voyageur, a famous ultramarathon in these parts. But they are section-hiking the SHT as a couple, which is a great goal.
The only bad part of the day came at the end. We were tired and really wanted to get to camp. Well, the sign for the camp was obscured by vegetation, so we passed it by and probably hiked an extra mile (2 km) out and back.
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Hunkering Down at Camp
Reeves Falls wasn’t the greatest camp. The access path was very rocky, rooty and muddy. Ditto with the path to the water. Our tent pad had a lot of grass, and we had to pitch our tent on a slant. There wasn’t much room for my hammock, so we tented together.
I did get to wash up in a (tiny) waterfall, which was wonderful. Another bonus: Bob Timmons and Brian Peterson from the Star Tribune newspaper were camping nearby. The two made us a wonderful dinner of rice, zucchini and Spam, plus beer! They also made a fire at night for us. All in all, a good day.
MN NCT miles today: =17 (27.4 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 102.5 (165 km)
SHT miles to date: 102.5 (165 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 389.1 (626.2 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 4,210.9 (6,776.8 km)