Start: Freshwater Pond End: Blackwater Road 3k Miles: 1.8
Bailout. The rain that began at midnight was now driving against the tent. The locals who were camped above us slid down the hillside and one of them advised me to follow their lead and head back out, hit the highway south, and hitch to Petty Harbor rather than hike the trail 12 miles to get there.
This confirmed my concern to keep moving in the rain. The map guide for the section ahead counsels that if conditions are windy or slippery hike the road. Furthermore, heavy rain floods the trail at Staffordside and raises stream levels at Killickstone Cove.
So out we went. It was less than 2 miles from our campsite go to the highway. There was so much water flowing in the trail I gave up trying to avoid it and walked through whatever pools presented themselves. My tent and tent fly are completely saturated and need to be dried out. That will be impossible with wet weather all around us.
After a dozen cars splashed past us a new Mercedes pulled over and a young couple drove us to the Coffee Shop in Petty Harbor where they worked. There are no motels here and a cursory check on the internet informed me that there isn’t a room to be had here, so we called back Mary and she had room at Wild Roses B&B and was able to pick us up in 10 minutes.
Sometimes it is necessary to retreat in order to move on later, like tomorrow.
Here is footage clipped from Mark Shaw’s drone mission here.