Day 42, 19 miles, Lodi
I get up around 5 and just pack up. The earlier I get going the more I hope to enjoy the cooler hours of the day. I only stay along the cliff side for a short time and then I turn off to a gravel track. A lot of these tracks are labeled Emergency and then a number. I guess accidents happen frequently here?
The gravel track lacks the breeze and I’m soon bothered by gnats. Hot and bothered at 6 am! I didn’t sleep very well last night. Probably because of the strong breeze flapping my tent. The lack of sleep makes me a grumpy lady. I hate the heat, I hate the humidity, I hate the gnats. I am GRUMPY! Hear me whine!!
I do get cheered up a bit when I find a nice stream to fill up my water bottles with. It’s a little shallow but I use a smaller bottle to fill the bigger one.
At the bottom of the valley there are some grassy tracks til the next section. That section has a trail closure I have to walk around and then the trail enters the woods again. It’s pretty and I enjoy it but I’m still a little grumpy about bugs. There may have been some screaming. And perhaps a meltdown. They like to land on my sweat covered arms and I’m just miserable.
They finally leave me alone as I’m approaching the ferry. Yes! A ferry!
The trail has me cross the Wisconsin river here and I can take the free ferry across. How neat is that? It operates 24 hours a day every day. Except from 9 to 10 on Wednesdays when it’s on break for refueling. Guess when I get there? 9:15 am on a Wednesday. Hilarious! I’m actually not grumpy about this since I knew this could happen. I still preferred getting the early start and just taking a good break at the ferry landing. I can fill up my water bottles, wash up at the restrooms and just relax.
It actually starts service a bit before 10 but I don’t have my shit together so wait for it to come back. The trip is only 7 minutes one way so it’s back soon enough.
The ride across is fun and there are more restrooms with running water on the other side. Neither of the Ice cream places are open before 11 am but that’s okay. I stick my head in the sink and let the water run over my head. Aaaaahhh…. heaven!
Onward and upward I go now. There are some nice views over the hills as I go up and a great bench to put your feet up or use as a table. As luck would have it on my grumpy day, a group of about 30 school kids walks up as I’m relaxing in my sports bra. I quickly put my shirt back on and am grumpy Pie talking to guy in the front of the group. Him: “How many days have you been hiking?” Me: “ I don’t know” (and I don’t care about looking it up). “How much does your pack weigh?” -“ I don’t know” ( I mean I really don’t know, but could you give the guy some conversation?). The kids don’t fare any better. Luckily they don’t ask too many questions. By the time the lady in the back walks up I’ve regained more social manners and we have a pleasant conversation.
Next up is the Gibraltar rock formation and the cliffs are sweet! The woods are shady and cool and the views nice.
The rest of the day has some brutal hot and humid road walks with another shady trail section. So grateful for the trail sections today. It’s around 90 degrees again and the humidity is just killing me. No swim breaks today either.
I decide I need a motel to cool off and get some good sleep tonight. I don’t like this grumpy Pie lady.
There are also severe storms in the forecast so it’s safer to stay inside. And I’m reading that there’s no water at the tent site I originally was heading for. I can’t carry enough to hydrate tonight and have enough left for 20 miles tomorrow.
It’s a done deal! Motel here I come!
In the end the storms aren’t as severe as was feared but I do get 4 tornado warnings on my phone and it’s blowing hard with a downpour. I’m just happy to be inside.
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