Today’s hike to Freesoil Trailhead was in peril. The storms roared in last night, and continued on and off into the morning. There was another huge downpour from 6-7:30 a.m., so that stunk. Once we could emerge from our tents, we began to strategize.
Amy and Bruce intended to hike one more day, then take their older granddaughter on a camping weekend. But with their gear, tent and some clothes wet and muddy, they decided to go home and clean everything up instead. So we pivoted – always essential with long-distance hiking! – and had them help shuttle our cars so Ed and I could continue on.
Heading for Freesoil Trailhead
The new plan was for me to hike southbound from High Bridge. Amy and Bruce would drop Ed off at the Udell Trailhead, about 6 miles (9.7 km) south, and he’d hike in to meet me. They’d also drop off my car at Freesoil Trailhead.
My first half-mile or so (1 km) was through soppy, overgrown vegetation and slick boardwalks. But then the trail went uphill to the top of a ridge and it was smooth sailing after that.
I met Ed halfway to Udell, and we had a nice hike to our cars. I resupplied and then headed southbound again. Ed and I agreed to text each other updates every hour. He was driving to Freesoil and hiking in to meet me, but first securing a camping spot at Bear Track campground and setting up our tent, so it could dry out.
A Spouse Worries
The trail from Udell to Freesoil is mostly flat and easy. The scenery was enjoyable, but nothing too noteworthy. One fun thing is that some family who has private property near the trail put up a creepy Halloween mask on a post on their entry drive with the words “This is it,” presumably to tell people they shouldn’t go any further.
Anyway, I texted Ed after one hour with my mile marker. No response. I did the same thing in another hour. No response. I tried calling him, but got no answer. So, of course, my imagination ran wild. Was he lost? In a car accident? Lost his cell phone?
We eventually met on the trail. All was well. He had snagged a site at Bear Track, which is really close to Freesoil, but had no cell service. First World problems!
Day Is Done
Despite the long miles, I made good time due to the easy terrain. So we had plenty of time at Bear Track to clean up, clean the tent from last night’s storm, etc.
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One interesting thing is that there are some tan moths everywhere. We first saw them yesterday on the trail. They’re not everywhere, but where they appear, they’re in droves. Luckily, my Thermacell anti-bug device seems to be keeping them away from our campsite. I love this thing! It works so well.
MI NCT miles today: 21.5 (34.6 km)
MI NCT miles to date: 794.1 (1,278 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 1,543.1 (2,483.4 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 3,056.9 (4,919.6 km)