September 3rd, 2005

bald australia sepia

Alive

The hike was awesome and I am alive.

45 hours, 20 miles, 1 bear, 3 meals, a gallon and a half of water, 40 pounds of pack weight, 2 pounds of boots, 2 pounds of other people's trash picked up and hiked out, 12 downed trees, 2 peaks (Government Peak 950' climb from M-107, Escarpment 460' climb from Big Carp River), 3 campfires, 2 campsites, no rain.

Things forgotten: soap (I cleaned my dishes with boiling water and hoped for the best), eating utensils (I used the battery cover from my cell phone as a spoon).

Things run out of: water (I thought the Big Carp River trail would have plenty of streams to refill at but sadly the part of the trail I was hiking was all high ground far above the river, I rationed what I had, skipped breakfast, and didn't run out until about 5 miles from the car), moleskin (next time break in brand new boots before hiking 20 miles, my ankles are just gigantic sores now).

Most amazing moment: reaching the campsite at the top of the Escarpment on the Big Carp River Trail (before Lake of the Clouds) last night and after the grueling switchbacks seeing the whole panorama of the entire state park open up before me with the sun just over the ridge, both lakes and the Big Carp River valley in view. I just started laughing at the awesomeness of it.

Things missed: Stars. The first night was very cloudy and the second night I was too exhausted to wait for it to get dark before going to sleep.

The whole thing was AMAZING. I saw so many different kinds of terrain/ecosystems. I really put my body and mind on the right track. I got a lot of thinking and much more importantly NOT thinking done. I learned a lot about backpacking so I'll be more prepared to have EVEN MORE fun next time. I'm recharged and ready to rock the world.

I'll write much more about this and post pictures (from this and from the fest) later. Right now it's time to get some grub. I just wanted to let everyone know that I'm alive with no incidents.

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