Trail in grasslands.
Yesterday, shuttler Michelle Olsen told me there was some major solar event that meant the Northern Lights would be AMAZING in this part of the U.S. tonight. I was so excited, as I’ve always wanted to see them and never have. Plus, some part of me felt that if I saw a super display, it meant Dad was in heaven and/or turning them on just for me.

I waited up until about 11 p.m. with nothing. Set my alarm for 2:30 a.m., but saw nothing. Apparently a huge portion of the country – even in the South – saw great Northern Lights. Michelle said she saw an interesting, flickering white sky. I didn’t even get that. 🙁

Heading Out from Red Sox Park

I broke camp at the lovely Maplewood State Park, where the showers opened for the season last night. Woman in front of North Country Trail sign.YES! Headed out from Red Sox Park in Fergus Falls in the morning.

The first several miles were lovely, winding through hilly grasslands. It was nice to be on a real trail. After that, the path led through Fergus Falls, a trail town. It was interesting to see the town, although I never did see a waterfall. Is there one?

Longing for Rothsay

After a lunch spent on a grassy patch where the trail is about to leave town, I started out for Rothsay. The mileage seemed off, and I realized I’d miscalculated and would be walking another mile farther – and the day’s milage was already quite ambitious. Rats. 

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The day got warm (70s F / 21 C), but the wind picked up again, so that helped. I also happened to switch to a different pair of shoes today (Altra Lone Peaks). Thank goodness! The shoes I wore yesterday got super tight as my feet swelled. Today, these shoes were great.

Pond reflecting clouds.
Although I had a long road walk to Rothsay, the town/county had repaved portions, so I was able to walk on pretty soft, comfy ground. That helped, too.

Great Camping

Tonight I’m camping north of Rothsay at Wagner Park Campground in Barnsville. It’s a nice, small place with a shower. Yes!

With such a long day, I got to camp late. I’ll have to start informing my future trail angels that my itinerary is being pushed back three days. Hopefully that will  be OK with most of them.

Still processing Dad’s passing. While I feel weird/guilty hiking right now, it sure is healing.


MN NCT miles today: 25.5 (41 km)
MN NCT miles to date: 859.8 (1,383.7 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,878.3 (4,632.2 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 1,721.7 (2,770.8 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved