Today’s hike to FR 2117 was good and bad. I’d had a good two nights at the Remer Motel, where I was able to do laundry and catch up on things. This morning I drove to FR 2117, where I again met trail angels Sue and Pat. They drove me back to my starting point on Hwy. 6.
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Sue and Pat told me the trail passed by their home, and that there was some standing water I’d have to cross shortly before I got there. Apparently it’s been knee-deep in the past, but this year it isn’t as deep. Good intel! I brought along my water shoes for the crossing.
I took off shortly before 9 a.m. and had some lovely trail. The one unfortunate thing was that the mosquitoes and deer flies were annoying. Soon, I donned my bug hat.
Heading to FR 2117
The bugs were bad for the first few hours, so I didn’t take too many photos. They moderated for a while around noon, when I reached the water. Good call to bring my water shoes!
This is a spot on the trail next to a lake where the water easily spills onto the road (it’s a road here, not a forest trail). It was maybe 100 feet long (30.5 m), so not too bad. But I’m glad I took off my shoes and socks.
After that, the trail wound uphill and progressively got worse. Meaning, I don’t think this stretch of trail has been maintained in a year or two or three. The vegetation was up to my shoulders at one point; at another, it was so dense it took quite a while to cover a very short distance. It was disheartening, although I totally understand the difficulties in maintaining a long-distance trail with volunteers.
Nearing the End
Thankfully, after several brutal, overgrown miles that included lots of bloody scratches on my knees, I came to the final few miles of trail that were mowed. PHEW!
I will wear pants from now on, no matter the heat. I also have to note that I came across a few spider webs that were almost as bad as the banana spiders and their webs that I encountered on the Florida Trail.
The webs here, like the ones in Florida, were rectangular and stretched across the path. They were also very gross and sticky. But I only saw a spider in one once. In Florida, there were large banana spiders in every web.
I also have to mention that I’ve fallen asleep many nights to the haunting, beautiful calls of loons. I think the loon may be Minnesota’s state bird.. It’s just lovely.
Tonight I’m camping at the Little Boy Campground and Resort in Longville. It’s a nice spot. Ed joined me tonight, and our neighboring campers are Cross-Fit people and trail runners who lent me some recovery device they have that moves the stagnant fluid in your legs up and out. I’ll see if I notice a difference tomorrow!
MN NCT miles today: 16 (25.8 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 627.1 (1,009.2 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,645.6 (4,257.7 km)
Total NCT miles to go: 1,954.4 (3,145.3 km)