This weekend’s adventure was another backpacking trip! There’s one important part of this adventure that also occurred with the last backpacking trip that I forgot to mention last time. Usually when Jared and I go hiking with one vehicle, we take his car and pull the trailer and moped. I have a hitch on my car for my bike rack and Jared wanted to try pulling the trailer, so the last trip we went on and this one we pulled the trailer with my Prius! It worked really well and Penny is more comfortable in the back of my car. Typically when I’m driving somehwere I get 45-50 miles per gallon. With the trailer, I get 35-40, so it’s less but still better than what most people are getting when they pull a trailer.
On Saturday we started in the Harrison Hills at the same people we started at in June on our previous trip. The mosquitoes weren’t as bad as last time, but that may be because I had the thermacell running. We had lunch before starting our hike. The day was hot and humid.
Right away we came across some water and muddy areas. Penny had to go through every water spot and she was really energetic. The Harrison Hills Segment is obviously hilly, and there were some large ones. After one rather large hill we stopped at the top for a break and got a little breeze. We really didn’t get much of a breeze all day.
During or hike we went past an old fire lookout tower. Jared asked if I took a picture, and I said no because it wasn’t special or out of the ordinary. There’s a similar tower near Mountain that you can still climb, and I’ve been up that one numerous times. The first set of stairs has been removed from the tower along the trail, so you can no longer climb it. It would be a neat place of interest if you could climb the tower.
As we approached the warming shelter for snowmobilers, we met Colin and Justin who were also hiking the Ice Age Trail. Colin said he had completed about 300 miles of the trail and he was also a member of the Thousand Miler WannaBes Facebook page. It was nice to meet other hikers along the trail since you don’t really see too many people!
We stopped after 8.5 miles for the night at a campsite along the trail. There were two sites along Chain Lake. The first site had a group from Camp Nan A Bo Sho. It was neat that the camp kids were out there and they were pretty talkative. A couple of the kids thought they might try to hike the entire Ice Age Trail some day.
As we were setting up camp, we saw some dark clouds and heard some thunder, but we got lucky and never had any rain. It took awhile for it to cool off. Penny was so tired she went into the tent right away after it was set up to take a nap. That night I used a new sleeping pad I just bought, the REI Flash sleeping pad. . I had previously used Jared’s Therm-a-Rest Z Lite sleep pad. We used these pads in Georgia, and they’re light to carry and pretty cheap, but not very comfortable. The new sleeping pad was much better. It was narrower than the other sleeping pad, which took some adjustment, but overall it worked well. I could lay on my side without feeling the ground.
It was a nice morning, we got packed up and headed out by 9:30. This morning’s hike was only 5 miles. We were all out of ibeuprophen though so our feet were hurting by the end. We completed the Harrison Hills and did a small part of the Parrish Hills Segment. Some parts of the trail had tall brush, probably about 3 feet or more. There were lots of berry bushes and we got scratched legs. I didn’t want to stop to put my pant legs on. Penny did well, but appeared to be pretty tired by the end. We had talked about doing six miles of the Plover River Segment, but decided to be done.