August 15, 2017
PNT mile 545.5
Camp: Some intersection in the yellowed grass of late summer
The day got started as we hit the trail (road) at 7:30 am. We seem to struggle with the early alarm, something that was pretty easy on the other trails. I’m not completely sure why, but it has a lot to do with our daily schedule. We have different ways of doing certain things and I tend to be faster at getting things done and ready to hike. I really have not had much of a problem with getting to camp with enough time to do chores until now and I feel behind a lot. I feel behind in miles and I feel behind in getting the trail hiked. It makes me more tired than I need to be as well…especially with an early alarm. I function best on 8 hours of sleep, which I don’t get very often.
We began our road walk in the cool of the morning, inspecting old deserted cars and meeting the dogs of Cougar Creek. One German Shorthair came bounding up to us, happy as could be and then ran down the road ahead of us. This dog had energy! We were unclear on where her home was but we figured she had a boundary and would turn back as she continued to follow us. Before we knew it, we couldn’t get rid of her. She was running in the road where cars were cruising by and kept behaving as if she was with us.
Miles passed and we didn’t know what to do. She wouldn’t listen and we had no cell signal. We knocked on a few doors and got no answer and a man in a truck stopped but “couldn’t help.” Finally, a woman came to her door but turned us away with a gruff, “no.”
The dog followed us all of the way to Bonaparte Lake Resort, roughly 8 miles from where she had found us. We were really hoping they could help us get her home. I fell a little in love with her, I won’t lie. When we arrived at the resort, the man working said he knew her and her owner. He used to own the dog but she had too much energy for him so he gave her to a man who lived where we had been walking.
Relieved that the dog would make it home, we found a picnic table in the shade for lunch. A young boy about 8 or 9 came to sit near us and ended up asking tons of questions. His name is Kyle and he is pretty funny. He showed us his fishing pole and how it needs glue to hold it together at one of the joints. “Do you guys have any glue?” He asked.
“Sorry, no.” We said.
“Why not? You don’t like glue or something?” He was genuinely confused. I thought it was hilarious, but refrained from laughing at him. He was a sweet kid. I liked him.
After our lunch of split pea soup with salami, we made our escape from both the dog and the child. They were both awesome and I was a little sad to say goodbye. That is when we spotted Thumbelina at one of the campsites. She has really been struggling with road walking, so sometimes she gets rides around them…and lucky for us to hang out with her more. Otherwise we would probably never see her.
We sat with her briefly, but we had to climb Bonaparte Mountain today. It was a pretty steady climb for roughly 6 miles, the last mile being the most steep. We ended up not hitting the summit due to the hour. Granted, we are out here to see it all, we got up there later than expected (between the dog, the kid and Thumbelina).
Lucky for us we didn’t take the time to hike the extra mile too because we barely found camp by dark. There were thousands of blown down trees that littered any flat area we could use, so we had to push forward until a road intersection. It is flat and grassy here, and the stars are out. It will do just fine. Tomorrow should be pretty easy though, then town the following day. We are doing well.