Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pinhoti Trail Day 7

I woke up this morning and double checked my maps and guidebooks before deciding that I really had missed the turnoff somewhere. So I packed up and headed about a mile back to the turnoff, and tried a different path. This one disintegrated after about a half mile, so I realized I was on the right path originally. I turned back, and after a total of 3 miles of detour got back to where I camped for the night last night. Another quarter mile later there was a blaze to turn off, so I realized I was on the right trail after all. The only strange thing is that there were signs indicating that hikers and horses should take different trails. The whole area wasn't really making a lot of sense, and the maps and guidebooks weren't agreeing with each other, or the trail, so I just followed the blazes.

I was passed by several different groups of horse riders, who were surprised I was camping out. I guess the trail doesn't get a whole lot of overnight traffic, especially since there aren't any actual designated campsites.

I ended up having lunch at a large ford on a forest service road, where the water was almost up to my knee. The nice part about the ford was it managed to wash away a bunch of pollen, which had been falling pretty thick, and had accumulated on my boots and in my socks.

Towards the end of the day I was finishing up a bit more of roadwalk and passed by some signs for a controlled burn, warning drivers about limited visibility. I figured I didn't really have much choice, so I kept going along the road. Fortunately several forest service fire fighters passed me, so I flagged them down and asked them where the fire was, and if it was safe to continue. They didn't really know much about the trail, but they were at least able to tell me the fire was on the other side of the road, and it was considered to be out, so I should be safe.

I ended up camping another mile further on, where the trail ducked back into woods away from the road. It was a nice little spot, right along a small creek that I could listen to all night. 17 miles of forward progress, plus the 3 miles of backtracking makes a decent day.

123.1 miles down

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