Superior Hiking Trail winter SOBO
Days 2 and 3 on the SHT
A bright light awoke me. I barely slept so I looked at my phone to see the time. It was midnight and the bright light was the Moon. When it was morning I began my routine of preparing for the day.
I took my night clothes off while in my sleeping bag. Then I left them in my there while putting on my clothes for the day. Stretching on clothes in the bag was difficult but warmer than doing it in the cold morning.
Next I put on my wet socks from the previous day. I had them under my sleeping bag to stay warm. The cold slimy socks were uncomfortable but the worst was next.
I bagged my feet and struggled to get my frozen boots on. Luckily I unlaced my boots the night before to make it an easier operation. The laces wouldn’t tie tight so I just but on my gaiters and started packing up.
I started to heat some water for breakfast. The sun was streaming through the crystalized trees. Everything had frost on it including my gear. I believe they call it “hoar frost.” The humidity was high with temps around 20 degrees.
I mixed a hot chocolate and a cinnamon apple oatmeal packet into my hot water. Even though I didn’t feel hungry I ate up the delicious concoction. It would give me energy for a hard day. I hoped the exercise would work off some winter fat as well.
On The Trail
It was a glorious day to hike. Just the rhythmic sounds of my snowshoes and breathing. The stimulating sights of nature. Fresh smells of pine. I could feel my body work with the depths of snow and terrain. My feet were finally warm after an hour but still wet.
My speed was slow. About 1 to 2 miles an hour but I just kept hiking at the speed I could handle. Lunch consisted of nutty buddy bars and water. The bars don’t freeze like other treats and they’re tasty. My water I kept in a smart water bottle covered in reflective bubble wrap for warmth. My water filter was in my jacket pocket to keep from freezing. I miss the ease of summer hiking and won’t take it for granted on the CDT this summer.
I spotted a little insect in the snow. It looked like a mosquito without wings and walked slowly. I don’t know what it was but was astonished that insects would be out in January.
The relitavly flat terrain made way to hills and cliffs. It was hard to manage heat. I’d take off layers going up and add them going down. Eventually I just dealt with the cold on the downs. I came to the highest point of the trail. At 1829 feet it’s not mountainous but I could definitely feel the work to get there. The sign was frosted full so I scrapped it off. I must not have gotten all the frost off because it looked like 1329 in the picture.
I slept at a beaver pond. The water smelled like sewer so I went thirsty until I came to a clean stream. At the stream I drank up two liters of water at the and packed out a liter. Wow was I thirsty.
After breaking trail for a couple of days I came to some snowshoe tracks. It was twice as easy to hike. eventually I came to a sled dog trail. I could see the runner tracks and dog prints in the snow. It would have been cool so see one while on the trail but none came.
I came to a camp site and set up for the night. As I lay in my sleeping bag I could hear wolves howl in the distance. They would howl for a few seconds and then stop. Next I heard dogs bark for a few seconds then stop. The wolves and dogs did this call and response about five times. I must have been near a sled dog camp. Anyway it was neat to hear the “Call of the Wild.”
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