Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Day 19: A boring, lovely day....

June 18: It never rained during the night and Blueberry and I woke up to a beautiful, clear day! I did find two worms who had crawled up onto my groundsheet during the night to cuddle up with me. That surprised me given the lack of rain, but I guess the ground was still very saturated with water and they preferred staying above ground for the time being.

Look at the size of that print! That's totally a moose print! But I had yet to see moose... =(
(Also, note how muddy my shoes are. It might not have rained
during the night or today, but the trail was still wet from the floods earlier!)

The day's hike was wonderfully uneventful. Blueberry and I planned to cover a mere 11.2 miles, and the weather forecast was favorable for the entire day. I could definitely take my time--no rush at all. In fact, I needed to take my time if I didn't want to get into camp at noon and be bored to death the rest of the day.

So I decided to break the day's hike into four segments, stopping for an entire hour at a convenient or scenic location between each segment to read my Kindle or take a nap. That would give me at least three hours worth of breaks during the day and I'd still probably get into camp by 5:00. Maybe 6:00 if I took longer breaks or went especially slow down the trail, but still with plenty of daylight before dark.

And that's what I did. Even though I was in no rush, I left camp when Blueberry was still in his sleeping bag. That man can sleep in! But I was getting stir-crazy and needed to stretch my legs. But Blueberry caught up with me a few hours later during one of my hour-long rests and passed me by.

Near the end of the day, at a scenic overlook, I could see a harbor on the Lake Superior shore and figured it must be Grand Marais--our next and last resupply point on the trail. The end of the trail was nearing.

What a beautiful day!

When I arrived at the campsite, I found four other thru-hikers, all heading southbound, in addition to Blueberry. We wouldn't be alone again! New stories, and new adventures! And these were all people with extensive backpacking experience--they had a lot of their own stories to tell. Actually, one of them I didn't learn anything about. She hung out at her tent all evening and never joined us by the fire. She passed by the fire once on her way to the water source, saying hi but never stopping, then passed by it again on the way back to her tent. She seemed to prefer being alone.

All three of the other hikers had previously done the PCT, and two of them had previously done the AT, and one of them had thru-hiked the AT a whopping three times! It's not often I meet someone who's thru-hiked the AT more than I have! The two AT hikers had even thru-hiked the AT the same year Blueberry and I did and although we never met, they remembered my stamp in the registers and seemed excited to meet me.

The guy who had thru-hiked the AT 3 times had a lot of great stories to tell, but he talked an awful lot and he started getting on my nerves. Would you just shut up and give other people a chance to tell some of their own stories?! I wanted to hear more from the other hikers too. He also had a bad habit of talking where every sentence had to have at least two bad words in it which grated on my nerves. "Then the f***ing squirrel tried to steal my f***ing s***! That f***ing ass*** drank all my s***! You know what I'm f***ing saying? " He seemed to be under the mistaken impression that it's not a complete sentence unless there was a cuss word in it.

But all-in-all, it was a wonderful day and an enjoyable evening.

I stopped for an hour here, enjoying the views over Agnes Lake

Agnes Lake

The lupine were really starting to come into full bloom now! In some places, I'd never seen so many thick groves of lupine!

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