Thursday, March 19, 2015

Travel Thursday (March 19, 2015) -- Northville-Placid Trail Part 10


Day 8, Sunday, August 16

Up at 6:00 AM on a grey but mild morning. None of the six others in camp are up yet so we are being as quiet as possible. We'll have a trail breakfast of pop tarts, granola bars & lemonade. On the trail to Long Lake at 7:38 AM.

Leaving Tirrell Pond in the early morning on our way to Long Lake Village 

JPT on a trail bridge from Tirrell Pond to Rte 28N

John on a trail bridge from Tirrell Pond to Rte. 28N

Arrived at NY Route 28 at 12:06 after climbing horrendous uphill section & crossing an amazing 1/2 mile long plank boardwalk.  We decided to try to hitch a ride into the village of Long Lake on some friendly truck rather than hike 1.5 miles each way out of way. We'll try our luck for a bit & then continue the trail if no one takes pity on us!

A section of the 1/2 mile long plank boardwalk

JPT as we emerge from the trail at Rte. 28N just outside Long Lake Village

Within 10 minutes a kind couple in a pick-up truck stopped & drove us and our packs into Long Lake and dropped us at the Laundromat attached to a closed auto shop. We put our towels, the shirts and socks we had on & some other dirty clothes into a washer ($1.25 plus 50 cents for a small box of All), then we shouldered our packs and hiked down a few hundred yards to a Stewart's Shop where we each bought a coke and then called Grandma on the pay phone to report our progress ("no service" again on the cell phone). We sat at one of Stewart' shaded picnic tables to have lunch of salami & provolone on wraps with our cokes. We placed our boots in the sun in the parking lot and gave our feet a chance to air dry.

Jonathan happy at our lunch stop at Stewart's in Long Lake Village (notice boots in the sun)

We need to get a few supplies -- camera battery, more bug repellent, some foot repair items -- and then our main worry is finding a kind soul to transport us the 1.5 miles uphill on Route 28 back to the trail. Of course we have to go dry our laundry and repack first. It's now 1:28 so we have been off the trail for just over an hour and 20 minutes.

very kind man going into Long Lake saw us standing by Stewart's and slowed to offer to turn around & take us back to the trailhead in his truck. Once back at the trail, we thanked him very much for his good deed. We signed the trail register at 3:15 PM & made Kelly Point lean-to at 4:43.

Getting back on the trail after our stop in Long Lake Village.  36.4 miles to go!

Our lean-to at Kelly Point on Long Lake.

Two days to go now and I'm really beginning to believe we will finish. Time will tell!

We did have some delay this morning at Tirrell Pond when we untied our bear bag early in the morning & it just stayed there in the air! The rope was wedged tightly into the "V" in the hanging branch & we couldn't get it to budge. Finally I unwrapped my walking staff and used the emergency reaching hook that's been wrapped under the emergency line/handgrip for almost 6 years. The hook screwed into the top of the staff & we hooked the carabiner & dragged down the bear bag. 

When we went to the beach to get water to iodine for our trek, we met one of the 4 Ohio folks (Eric) from last night. He was paddling in one of the aluminum canoes using two pieces of wood the size of large books -- one in each hand -- and moved slowly toward us. We all watched a group of about 10 - 12 mergansers make all kinds of commotion in the shallows fishing for small fry, completely oblivious or unconcerned with our presence. Eric told us they tried to use our bear bag but couldn't get everything up -- so he thought they got it jammed for us. He told us they ended up putting their food into a canoe out in the lake! We explained how we got the bear bag down, said goodbye & were on our way. 

We again set a very quick but steady pace that got us into a rhythm that was easier than our earlier stop & go.  The upgrade was quite strenuous & we agreed it was best that M & C had not attempted this part of the trail. The muddy bogs are still with us, but much less frequent and large. 

An old screened-in spring house off in the woods along the trail up Long Lake

Supper tonight was those rice dinners I purchased at Giant & JPT really liked the rice and chicken, but not the rice with broccoli & cheddar cheese -- though we each ate half of both!

We were very thirsty today after our exertion & each consumed 5 cups of lemonade with supper along with our usual hot chocolate and tea. Had a very small fire to try to keep deer flies away (the insect varmint of choice tonight) and also used the fire to burn our oven bags that we cooked supper in.

Once again we hung our packs as well as the bear bag since the guidebook warns again that the site is a favorite for raccoons & porcupines. We have yet to have any nocturnal visitors & we want to keep it that way.

Hanging our packs at Kelly lean-to

We enjoyed two swims tonight -- one immediately upon arrival and setting up in the lean-to in order to wash off the trail sweat & grime & cool our aching feet. The other swim was just before going to bed at 7:00. I read JPT yesterday's journal entry & we listened to the family in the shelter 60 feet from ours for a few minutes -- no noteworthy items of conversation -- but we hope they are clean campers & don't attract animals into our common sites. We're a little dubious as it seems they canoed in & carried lots of gear up in what appears to be open, empty white drywall joint compound buckets! We've done what we can to secure our site, so we hope the critters visit the neighbors & not us. 

JPT is asleep now. We have a wonderful breeze coming off the lake and look forward to a deep, restful night before we attempt somewhere between 14 and 18 miles tomorrow! It is 8:50 PM as I put down the pen and listen to the wind come over the water & up onto our point overlooking Long Lake.

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All images from originals in the family collection.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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