Today’s destination was the Little Carp River #6 campsite in the Porkies. It’s roughly 18.6 miles (29.9 km) from M-64, with 13 of those miles (20.9 km) in a wilderness area. I figured they’d be rough and I’d need more time. Plus, the weather forecast called for thunderstorms starting around 5 or 6 p.m. Time was of the essence.
I dropped my car at the M-64 trailhead and headed out on the trail at 7:45 a.m. It was quite warm and humid, which is not my kind of weather. At my first break two hours in, my shorts were 100 percent soaked and I was starting to get abrasions, so I switched to my hiking pants.
The trail so far had been overgrown but relatively flat. I was mostly worried about ticks.
Trudging Along Toward the Little Carp River
I was in this wilderness section for the next several hours. It got progressively worse, with a lot of blowdown detritus. But at least the path was easy to see and blazed. So it wasn’t as bad as the McCormick Wilderness. Still, the heat and humidity were terrible. I actually soaked through both my shirt and pants, which was gross.
Thank goodness I’d brought along some kind of electrolyte mixture to pour into my water. I really needed to replenish the nutrients and things I was sweating out. At one point, I was feeling sick and weak, but that mixture helped.
Into the Porkies
I was so looking forward to reaching the Porkies, because I’d only have about six more miles (9.7 km) to hike. Plus, being a state park, the trails were bound to be well-maintained.
When I first crossed in, I was horrified. The trail was barely blazed and totally overgrown. After getting lost a few times, the trail quickly popped me back onto the road, then onto a regular Porcupine Mountain trail. I think this area must be re-routed now and the Avenza map was wrong.
Anyway, once I was on the real trail, everything became magical. The trail was almost perfect – well-blazed, not too hilly, well-maintained. I flew along, although I took frequent breaks because the humidity was really getting to me. I had to filter water a few times.
Home Sweet Campsite
At one point, I arrrived at a beautiful set of campsites on the Little Carp River. But they were #3 and #4, so I pushed on. I figured I had an hour to go. The weather was getting breezier, so I had dreams of hanging out my soaking clothing, washing in the river and setting up camp.
Just as I got to camp, I heard thunder. Oh, no! A couple walked up and said I was at Little Carp River #5, not #6, the one I’d booked. But since a storm was coming, they said it was fine to camp there for the night. The site was huge; we could have fit several more tents on it.
The storm arrived just as we both got our tents up. Thankfully, it was short-lived. Afterwards, I bathed in the river and ate dinner and now am enjoying getting to know this couple, who are both from Madison, too.
Tomorrow is a long day – nearly 25 miles (40.2 km). I’d better turn in early. I’m also not sure if it will rain again tonight. My clothing is still soaked with sweat. Yuck.
MI NCT miles today: 18.6 (29.9 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 355.6 (572.3 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,118.8 (1,800.5 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,481.2 (5,602.5 km)
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