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Colter - Desert Trail Journal - 2012

Entry 79 of 102
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City: Fairbanks
State: Alaska
Begins: Mar 1, 2012
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Jun 14th, 2012
Start: Looney Spring
End: Vincent Creek
Trip Distance: 1,649.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 905
Journal Visits: 81,150
Guestbook Views: 6,829
Guestbook Entrys: 83

Gear list

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Big Timber

Beyond Highway 26

Trivia: pairs of shoes worn out, 2 1/2

It was cool and damp last night but I slept well and was walking by 5am. I walked the 12 miles to Hwy 26 in my down jacket and balaclava in about 4 hours total, a long gentle downhill in the trees. Unlike yesterday I wasn't stampeded by animals although a coyote appeared around a corner and ran, followed by another and yet another!

I made it to the Austin House Cafe where Christy greeted me by name. Once again I ordered the huge Country Skillet which I highly recommend. Christy gave me a little radio that I'd had shipped there. They even made a special post office run to pick up my other package, a mini tripod and a clamp adaptor for my iPhone.

Many motorcyclists and bicyclists came in, all on big adventures of their own. I used wifi to catch up on email and spent well over an hour working on a single Google Maps/iPhone issue which Christy solved for me by just letting me use her laptop!

Between talking to the other customers and a newspaper and internet stuff I successfully passed enough time to order a buffalo burger and fries for lunch.

At last I was back on the road. It had been a good break. For a few miles the route followed a paved road. A huge sandhill crane stood up next to the road in the tall grass. She was a beautiful brown with brilliant red on her head and likely had a nest there.

It was a long steady climb up the road and in the trees above Vincent Creek. A rancher came by and asked if I wanted a ride, three cattle dogs looking at me curiously.

Rarely has there been good radio coverage on the trip and since the packrat stole me mp3 player/radio, none. I got a kick out of hearing some news on the new radio. Although I send posts OUT I don't hear much of what's going on in the outside world.

I camped a little early. After getting set in a nice spot in the pine needles with no shelter I noticed a few big ants crawling around, the kind that would sometimes plague us firefighters when sleeping out. Hard to ignore when they get in your clothes or walk on your face. So I set up in a different spot with enough room for my shelter. I was down to the last stake when I noticed sunken earth next to it. This was an old latrine site. People: don't dig your latrines in perfect camp spots, OK? Like perfectly flat spots in deep pine needles. So I set up camp a THIRD TIME. It is good spot where I'll sleep ant and skeeter free. Despite all the non-walking time today I still covered about 22 miles.

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Entry 79 of 102
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