Seeing a Moose Calf Right on Trail

ECT Day 180&181

IAT Day 11&12 

Day 180: 30 miles

This morning I woke up around 6:30am and was walking by 7am. My foot felt a lot better right off the bat which was good. It was definitely tender starting the day off but nothing in comparison to yesterday. And to my surprise it felt better and better as the morning went on. Thank the lord!

Smiling in my tent knowing that I’m going to be zeroing tomorrow! And for days to come.

The morning was incredibly cold, so I wore my rain jacket for practically the first 10 miles of the day. I wish I had had my gloves handy too because I would have worn those as well. There was a frost warning last night and it definitely got pretty cold. Starting out this morning it warmed up a bit but not much. It felt like a fall day! I sure hope this is out of the norm. Otherwise, it’s going to be damn cold hiking through Canada in September and early October. Typically it’s a lot warmer this time of year.

This morning it was cold but the sky was beautiful.

At one point while I was walking along the ATV road, I saw a moose calf maybe 10 yards in front of me right on the trail. While I had been expecting to see them out here it still caught me off guard. I hollered over to it, but it didn’t mind me. It actually seemed more curious than anything. My biggest concern was that I didn’t see the mom anywhere. The calf crossed over the trail and into the woods. I waited to see if the mom would cross behind it, but it never did. So I slowly walked down the road, hoping that the mom had crossed over before the calf. Lucky for me it must have. Because I never saw it. But I was nervous the whole time walking the road until I knew I was well past where I had seen the calf.

Lovely views of the ATV trail and river alongside it.

I walked for a few hours and then took my first break of the day at a snowmobile hut. It was really nice inside and would have been a great place to camp. But I’m also glad that I didn’t go that far yesterday. I’m sure that I would have hurt myself if I had. Rather than hanging out inside the hut I just sat on the ground outside. It was turning into a lovely day and the sun had come out. I finally took off my rain jacket and was perfectly comfortable.

The snowmobile hut that I took my first break at.

I headed out from there and continued along on the ATV road. At one point a guy drove by me and stopped to talk to me. He was curious about what I was doing all the way out here. Then he offered me a ride a few kilometers down the road to where the road went right by his house. But I declined, per usual. It’s always tempting for sure. I’ve been offered more rides than I can even begin to count since starting the IAT. It’s hard to say no to an easy ride but I’ve stayed strong.

A closed bridge that I had to cross along the trail.

I kept walking after that. A few miles later I passed that guys house and he waved to me. It took me so much longer to walk there than it took him to drive on his ATV. A couple miles after that I took a quick break on the side of the trail. I needed to eat something and stretch a bit before continuing along. My foot felt really good to my surprise! I’d already gone a long distance today and it hadn’t irritated it at all. I was so happy. That’s a good sign.

The trail was looking like a river this morning.

Then I continued walking and eventually made my way to Tide Head. From there the trail continued towards Quebec, but I’m not heading there right now. I’m gonna go into Campbellton where Trucker is staying in town zeroing. He’s thinking of taking about 5 more days off to wait for another hiker Sparkle to catch up to us. And I think I might just join him and indulge in some zeros! Then hike out all together next week.

Some sort of factory or farming building that I passed just before Tide Head.

Once I got to Tide Hide, I passed by a convenience store and went inside to get some soda and snacks. Then I began walking the road toward Campbellton and trying to hitch along the way. Though I had such bad luck trying to hitch! It’s clearly not as common of a thing in Canada. No one was taking me, and everyone was giving me the craziest looks. After walking for maybe a mile or two a car finally pulled over.

It was a lady inside and she was super sweet. Apparently she has hitched a lot when we she younger and traveling around. So she put a lot of effort in to make me feel comfortable in the ride. We talked about her experience hitching while she drove. She told me some pretty scary stories of experiences she’d had. Fortunately, my scariest hitching stories paled in comparison to hers. I’ve gotten very lucky over the years.

She dropped me off right at the super 8 where Trucker was staying which was lovely. Then I headed inside. Though I immediately realized once I got inside that I don’t know Truckers real name! And I don’t have service here in Canada pretty much at all. So I had to use the WiFi to message him. He didn’t answer for a while because he probably didn’t see his phone. So I messaged Sparkle and asked for his name. Then I was able to figure out what room he was in to go up. But just as I did, he got my messages and came down to get me. The whole scenario was pretty damn funny.

Once I got into the room I showered and lounged. I talked to Trucker for a while. It was so nice to be with another hiker again. I met him a couple times on the AT but hadn’t seen him since the start of New Hampshire. He’s also the first hiker that I’ve met along the IAT in the whole 11 days I’ve been walking so far. It’s certainly quiet out here.

After showering we went over to the grocery store which was right across the street. I got a bunch of goodies and then we went back to the room. It was so nice to be chilling! Plus knowing that I’m about to take a bunch of zero days was an amazing feeling. I’ve only taken a double zero twice in the last 6 months. Let alone anything more than that! It’s gonna be awesome.

The sushi roll and bowl that I got at the grocery store. The grocery stores in Canada are amazing.

Later on in the evening we walked to grab food from subway. Even the subway menu is different in Canada which is super funny. Back at the room I ate a whole foot long so damn fast. Then we wound up staying up super late watching movies. But it didn’t even matter! Because I can sleep in tomorrow as late as I want.

Day 181: zero day

This morning I slept in at the room and it felt amazing. Knowing that I can rest as much today as I want is such an incredible feeling. Once I got up Trucker and I went down to the continental breakfast. Then we decided to walk around the area a bit. Even on a day off it’s nice to move around a bit.

The Froot Loops in Canada are a different color than the US! Less food dyes.

We walked down to the water here in Campbellton which is a really beautiful area. You could see the big bridge which goes over to Quebec. We’ll be there soon enough! I’m only 10 trail miles from Quebec now. I can’t believe how quickly I did the last 300 miles in northern Maine and New Brunswick. It only took me 11 days to do 300 miles, and I took a zero day in there. That’s averaging 30 miles a day for 10 days. Not too shabby.

The interprovincial bridge to Quebec.

We walked down along the water for a while and then circled back. Once we got back, I talked to my dad on the phone for a while. I don’t have service but I’m able to use FaceTime audio when I have wifi which is nice. At least I can still make calls somehow.

Beautiful views of the water and bridge across to Quebec.

After that I lounged at the room for most of the day. I wrote a bunch of blog posts and laid in bed. My goal for all of these zero days is to rest a ton and catch up on my blog posts. I want to be fully caught up to the present day on the blogs. I’ve been about 20 days behind generally. If not more. It’s so hard to write them when you’re hiking all day every day. So this should be the perfect opportunity to get caught up and hopefully stay caught up for the remainder of the year.

Around 5pm we decided to walk down the street to a brewery for dinner. I had some tequila shots and a super good burger with sweet potato fries. It was fun sitting there for a long time rather than just lying in the room.

We wound up staying at the brewery and drinking until close to 9pm. Then headed back to the hotel to call it a night. Once we got back, we stayed up watching TV for a while. Then I finally called it a night.

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Comments 2

  • Kevin Miller : Sep 12th

    Pegleg takes the road less followed. Stay healthy and safe. How in the world are you able to walk for months? I am so jealous.

    Can’t you modify your cell plan to get coverage in Canada? Or buy a cheap phone there?

  • Chris : Sep 13th

    I’m so glad to hear that your foot isn’t bothering you. Now, you’ve got a few zeros, and we (obviously) have more blog posts in the future.


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