Today’s destination was Valley Spur. Since yesterday was a tough day, we all slept in this morning until 6:30. What a luxury! But once we awoke, we quickly packed up and got into our own cars so we could each drop one car at the Rock River Falls trailhead.
Oh my goodness, the access road in (six miles/9.7 km) was SO bad. It was rocky and full of potholes and water. Luckily, we had Ed’s old car, not my newer one. Once Amy and Bruce arrived, we were off.
Heading Back East to Valley Spur
The first six or so miles (=10 km) were on that access road that we drove in on, and then along a paved one. There were some annoying mosquitoes that caused us to don bug nets, but nothing bad at all. I’m so thankful we’ve been lucky in that regard.
Soon we were in the Hiawatha National Forest. We had maybe 12 miles (19.3 km) through the forest. The terrain alternated from mildly rolling hills to a lot of tough, steep climbs. While it wasn’t hot out (temps hit the upper 60s F./20s C), it still felt hot at times. Luckily, there was a breeze on and off.
Strange Find on the Trail
The one curiosity of the day was stumbling upon this weird thing in the forest. It was a perfectly circular depression in the earth with a perfect rectangle cut into the circle’s center. There were some logs across the opening. Was it a grave? Old root cellar? WHAT?! I’m asking folks on the NCT Facebook pages.
With 3.5 miles (5.6 km) left, we all felt beat and the bottoms of our feet hurt. When we were almost at the end of the trail, there was a huge muddy/wet area to cross on logs, and then we hit a false ending – a road that we thought was the trailhead, but it was a few minutes shy of it. That was frustrating. But we made it to Valley Spur!
On the way back to our motel, the Holiday Inn Express, Ed and I stopped to see Wagner Falls (pretty).
Back at our lodging, Ed did laundry while I finished up a work story. Then we had pizza with the Eckerts. It was so good! But food always tastes extra wonderful when you’re hiking.
It’s weird to be in a motel during COVID. Everyone has face masks.
MI NCT miles today: 18.1 (29.1 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 211.7 (340.7 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 974.9 (1,569 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,625.1 (5,834 km)
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