Saturday, June 20, 2015
Day 10: Buffalo Spring to Nicholia Creek Junction (2230)
Road walking. Some of the CDT is routed over forest service and other two track dirt roads. Although I prefer trail, I am currently hiking on a sprained ankle (injured just before we left), so the cross country sections we've hiked lately have been both painful and exhausting. A little bit of road walking on virtually untraveled dirt roads was just the thing to provide a more relaxed day and to give my ankle a chance to heal.
Most of our route traversed grassy ridges and hills, but occasionally we dipped into the forest. Nearing Deadman Lake, Sierra spotted several mushrooms such as the one pictured below.
At the beginning of the day, we noticed a four mile discrepancy between the mileage in the Data Book and our GPS app. The official CDT seemed to wander aimlessly all day, never taking a direct route when a circuitous route was available. For example, when we reached Deadman Lake, the Data Book route cut directly across the outlet and joined a road that climbed steeply and directly up to the top of a ridge. Our official route went around the lake and followed the inlet stream for a mile or so before crossing the stream and slowly climbing back above the lake to the top of the ridge, adding approximately two miles.
Or then there was the section that followed Nicholia Creek for a mile or two, only to cross the creek and follow it back downstream on the other side of the valley. But there our adherence to the official route was amply rewarded, as we watched two beavers swimming and playing in the ponds they had created by damming the creek, with a third beaver hiding in the bushes.
Equally rare as the elusive beaver, we also saw a backpacker on the trail, only the third hiker we have seen in ten days! A local, he was taking his dog for a weekend jaunt on a loop that overlapped with the CDT.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 9:30 PM