Thursday, April 18, 2013

FLT Day 37: Sixtown creek campsite, 20 miles

Well, today was a rollercoaster of a day, at least emotionally. I had originally planned a shorter day, to the Sam Wood shelter, roughly 10 miles into the day. Given that, I didn't rush in the morning, and had a leisurely start.

The morning was incredibly windy, and a couple of times I got sandblasted by loose gravel and grit spinning in dust devils. It was made worse by the fact that there was some road walk between large open fields, so no wind block. When I ducked back into the woods right before the shelter I was thinking it would be a great break from the wind. The wind was definitely blocked, but there wasn't any actual trail. Seemed like very little maintenance was done in the mile or so before the shelter. There was no tread, and the blazes were several years old. Pretty annoying and depressing, especially when the guidebook lists it as a really nice section of trail through lovely woods.
When I got to the shelter I was relieved to be done for the day. There was a nice view of a pond in front of the shelter, but the wind was blowing directly across the pond into the shelter. After taking a break for a while I began to look at my maps, and consider possibly pushing on. When I finally felt like that would be a good idea I packed up and left, feeling pretty good about pushing onward.

The next section of trail just ruined that feeling. about a mile after the shelter the trail disappeared again. There was some flagging tape in some areas, possibly indicating a temporary re-route, but based on the age of the tape it was several years of 'temporary'. Combined with poor and misleading blazes, this section again really depressed the good feelings I had built up about pushing onward.


It started getting dark just as I was reaching the campsite, which was on donated property directly on a dead end road. The campsite wasn't much, and was in the direct path of the strong wind blowing across  fields, but it was a welcomed stop at the end of the day.

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