Hiking blaze on a trail near a lake.
A lovely day on the trail today, heading to the  Audubon National  Wildlife Refuge. I woke up early and packed up the car. It was so wonderful to escape the insane winds and sleep in the Turtle Lake Baptist Church these last two nights. I had my choice of couches to sleep on, a huge kitchen, bathroom and even classroom space to write these journal entries!

Once again, Steve provided the shuttle. Since this new trail segment just opened, he showed me how to access it and asked me for feedback. I’m the first non-local person to hike it, he thinks.

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Heading to Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

The first 2 miles (3  km) were on a canal path. Unlike the last two days, there were no insane winds. In fact, there was no wind at all. The sun shone brightly and it warmed pretty quickly. I felt myself wishing for a few puffs of air …

Crossing to the new trail made me realize even more how much work it takes to maintain a trail. Steve had mowed this section just two weeks ago, but the grass was between ankle- and waist-high in spots, thanks to a plethora of both rain and Trail through hills.sunshine. Crazy!

But the landscape was gorgeous. Lots of beautiful lake vistas, to which my photos don’t do justice. I did get confused in a few spots and contacted Steve, who both told me where to go and thanked me for the feedback, which he’ll use to add more markers. After some 7 miles (11.3 km) in the grasses, I just had one tick on me. Phew. Could it be from this new tick spray/permethrin I tried this time?

Today’s Hike Part II

The second half of this new trail was mowed one week ago, and here it was much easier to navigate. The trail leaves the lakes, passes through a park and goes up and down steep, green hills. Again, the views were incredible.

Once off this new section, the trail followed more canal paths until my ending spot at the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge. Hiking trail near a lake.I can see the trail hasn’t been mowed recently, so I’ll do another road walk around the area tomorrow. 

I’d  checked the forecast a million times, and no rain was predicted. But, of course, as soon as I pulled into Lake Sakakawea State Park, it began to rain. Suddenly rain was forecast for a half-hour, then two hours. Sigh. So I showered and did work in my car until it stopped raining, then I set up camp. From what I’ve seen of the place, it’s a very pretty park.



ND NCT miles today: 21.3 (34.3 km)
ND NCT miles to date: 424.5 (683.2 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 3,326.5 (5,353.5 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 1,273.5 (2,049.5 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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