Sign for Audubon National Wildlife Refuge.
Today’s hike to Riverdale was a pretty good one. Woke up early with the sun and enjoyed a quiet breakfast at camp, as almost everyone was still sleeping. Zipped into town to grab some ice, then met my new trail angel, Luanna, at the park entrance.


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I wasn’t quite sure where to end today, as my planned ending spot (marked as a parking spot in the FarOut app) didn’t appear to be a real road. Luanna and I drove to the area, and it looked like it was down a farm road. No thank you. Those are sometimes fine, but more often than not they eventually become deeply rutted and overgrown and not suited for a car. So I parked closer to Riverdale, meaning a longer day.

Heading Out from Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

When I started hiking a little before 9 a.m., I opted for the roads, as nothing was mowed yet in the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge. Almost immediately, a local farmer stopped mowing his lawn to chat. He said he enjoyed seeing the hikers Gravel road by the water.pass, and noted the trail wasn’t mowed yet. He said he planted soybeans and corn for ethanol.

Around 4 miles (6.4 km) later, I hit the formal entrance to the wildlife refuge. Luckily, a narrow, gravel path for cars winds through here, so I followed that instead of the unmowed trail. The water was so pretty along the way, although I didn’t see as much wildlife as I’d hoped. But I know they’re more active at dawn and dusk.

Segueing onto Farm Roads

Once through the wildlife refuge, the path becomes a mix of gravel roads, farm roads and the edges of farm fields. It was Farm road.cloudy in the afternoon and the wind picked up. Still, it was pleasant hiking.

Back at camp, I enjoyed a warm shower and some ratatouille that I made and dehydrated myself. Yum! 

Still can’t believe I’ll reach the western terminus tomorrow!

Snowshoe

ND NCT miles today: 24.3 (39.1 km)
ND NCT miles to date: 448.8 (722.3 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 3,350.8 (5,392.6 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 1,249.2 (2,010.4 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved