Stile on a hiking trail.
Wow. Today’s hike from Ekre was a tough day. The forecast called for rain starting in the afternoon – not a big deal. Well, I woke up to rain, and it rained ALL DAY. Not a downpour, but still. If it rains all day, you will end up soaking wet and muddy, no matter the gear you have.

The temps had also dipped, so at times I was quite chilly. The scenery here was really pretty, but I just couldn’t enjoy it. I had my head down for much of the hike, plus was balancing holding my hiking umbrella and my trekking poles when the rain came down harder.

Leaving Ekre Far Behind

I must mention I crossed innumerable stiles, namely in the early miles. After that, there were loads of cattle gates. These Stile on hiking trail.were interesting, compared to the other cattle gates I’ve navigated on the Arizona and Continental Divide Trails. They had a spring on one side; you just needed to lift the opposite side to get the gate up. These were MUCH better than the stick-and-barbed-wire ones found in the south. The latter can be super hard to close, as they’re taut and require a lot of strength.

Oh, and I’m officially in the Sheyenne National Grassland today.

Slogging Through the Rain

About halfway through my hike, an ATV-type vehicle appeared on the trail. Four guys jumped out. They were with the U.S. Forest Service and were excited to learn about my section-hike of the NCT. They were out to discern ways to improve the trail.

The last 10 miles (16 km) or so were brutal, as I have a little scoliosis in my right lower back, and my backpack was suddenly annoying it for some reason. I had to continually stop and stretch out my back, as the rain came down harder and harder.

Hiking trail through grassy land.
I was elated to reach my car, then soak in a hot shower at the Enderlin Inn.

This hike would have been totally lovely in good weather. Rats. But, that’s long-distance hiking.

 

Snowshoe

ND NCT miles today: 19 (30.6 km)
ND NCT miles to date: 49.9 (80.3 km)
Total NCT miles to date: 2,951.9 (4,750.6 km) 
Total NCT miles to go: 1,648.1 (2,652.4 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved