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Begins: Sep 27, 2012
Date: Sun, Sep 30th, 2012
Start: Woodland Caribou Pond
End: South Little Brule River
Daily Distance: 21
Trip Distance: 42.0
Hours Hiked: 9
People Met: 2
Entry Visits: 100
Journal Visits: 126
Guestbook Views: 4
Guestbook Entrys: 0
Well, one "classic" element of my backpacking routine is still in place... I am the slowest person ever to break camp. I vowed to get better over the course of the trip, but an hour for a solo trip with no tent is pathetic. I had spelt and cowboy coffee to start my day. Weather was again perfect. Probably about 50 sunny and mild wind. The leaves were still colorful and up in the trees.
I made pretty good pace and reached the Carlson pond for hydration. Met a couple of backpackers with dogs that were completing their last section/installment of the SHT heading north. Carlson Pond was a nice sight and I was glad my feet were holding up well. I had used the foot cream and my favorite blister prevention tool: duct tape.
I passed the Hazel campsite and it looked OK. Water was closer than I had though from the guide book.
A beautiful day for backpacking but this was my first 20 mile day and I was very much looking forward to reaching the Brule River. I originally planned on stopping at one of the first two (which are right near each other), but a group that looked like they were living there (heavy white canvas tent, etc) gave me some cold stares so I pushed on to the South Little Brule. I was glad I did. It was quiet and clean. The tent pad is at the edge of a 15 foot cliff over what would've been the river. However, since I knew the weather was going to be clear, I laid out my bag under the stars. It was a full moon and right when the moon rose (maybe about 30 minutes after sun down) a couple wolves howled. It was a great moment.
I used a Sawyer bag & filter for the trip. On of the drawbacks of this system is filling the squeeze bag. once it is in the water the water pressure forces the air out and it is difficult to get water in. Obviously, a running stream's current makes filling a cinch, but slow creeks and ponds make it a chore. My system was to use the Sawyer squeeze bag and filter and place the filtered product in one of my two platypus bags. I brought two b/c the threading fits the Sawyer filter is the supplied squeeze bag fails.
In summary, my first full day was OK, but I knew I'd be feeling it the next day and I slept pretty well under the stars and woke up every hour or so and noted the moon's progression.
Other Trail is located off the beaten path, somewhere between the soles of your feet and your imagination.