Joined: 23 Jun 2007
Location: Perryville KY
|Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 8:10 am Post subject: Day twelve: Finished but not wanting to be done?
|Day 12 Wednesday 7/11/07
I hardly slept at all because as the rain continued through the night huge trees kept falling all around me. I had picked the campsite because it had very little cover and I could see through the big timber with my flashlight but I had not surveyed the area for dead standing trees other than the ones I tied the hammock to. At one point a big tree fell so close that it shook the entire hillside. There had been a short lull in the rain and the crash knocked all the droplets from the leaves. All total only six to eight trees fell but the possibility of being crushed kept me awake most of the night. I had a great breakfast of hot granola followed by my morning tea with cider. The rain continued most of the day. I had one close encounter when I was road walking on gravel and looked up just as a turkey looked up at me from about 10 feet away. He must have been deaf not to hear me coming but I guess the rain muffled my footsteps. Anyway he fled with great haste when he did see me. The trek from Divide Road to Great Meadow follows a small creek and due to the rain, I basically waded about a mile in six to eight inches of water. My boots were already soaked through so there was no use trying to avoid the water. My knee let me know that it was still not well so I stopped to soak it in Rock Creek and take a little swim in between rain showers. I put my driest three pairs of socks back on and started the last leg of my great adventure. I had added another pair of socks when my boots soaked through on day 11. I think the boots stretched or my feet shrunk but I could not keep my boots tight until I added the third pair of socks.
I had been worried about the Rock Creek ford but when I reached the creek it was only slightly deeper than when I waded it in the spring. My boots were still wet so I just waded it boots and all. After a little sign confusion in Pickett State Park because none of the signage is for people coming from the north, I popped out at the trailhead on hwy 154 and was ecstatic to see my Silverado waiting to take me home. I retrieved my trash that I stashed at hwy 27 and then the car from I-75 before going home. What an adventure! Data for day twelve: 22.8 trail miles hiked, 0.7 extra miles hiked, moving time 8:58, stopped time 1:48, average moving speed 2.5 mph, total average speed 2.1 mph.
Data for the whole trail: 273.6 trail miles hiked, 11.1 extra miles hiked, moving time 98:10, stopped time 32:15, average moving speed 2.8 mph, total average speed 2.1 mph. Note: this data is flawed due to the GPS receiver not being able to always find a satellite due to foliage. When it does finally find a satellite, it just adds the straight-line distance from the last track. On many occasions I looked at the GPS only to see that it could not find a satellite. This error subtracted many miles from the GPS mileage. The actual trail length is something more than 273.6 and I cannot doubt that Johnny Molloy’s 281.7 is correct. If he did the trip when the leaves were gone, his mileage would be closer than mine?
The only thing that will save our trails is using them.