Map rating: (Mostly) Difficult : 6-9 hours Moderate Portion 3-5 hours
We started walking today at 10:15. it took that long for the heavy rain that fell during the night to taper off in the morning and our host Dave to drive us back to Aquaforte.
After just 10 minutes we were completely drenched. Water from the rain clung to all of the foliage in front of us as we left the highway at Route 10. I used my trekking poles to whack the overhead branches in front of in order to throw the rain off before I brushed up against them. In addition to the rain on the foliage last night’s rainstorm topped off the levels of the copious black pools of muck that we slither and slide around multiple times an hour.
Bad Influence was excited to stop to take drone footage through and around the massive stone arch at Berry Head. He had the great big sea as the backdrop for some spectacular video, complete with thunderous ocean soundtrack. Just as he was filming the last portion at the arch the tiny Mavic Pro drone hit the wall and crashed into the deep. BI was lucky enough to have already transferred data from his previous drone recordings on to two SD cards. The portion of the footage around the arch was also preserved on the iPhone that served as the drone’s control and software module.
We continued to make good mileage and decent use of our time as we slogged through the wettest and muddiest section of the East Coast Trail so far. It was also section where the views were often obscured by the thick forest that flanked the ups, downs, and twist-arounds that characterized today’s track.
The section heading South from Fermuse interested me, due to the abandoned community that we experienced I was able to locate old foundations, piles of rock established by humans, and level areas at the edge scrubby forests that were important for sanity in the sloping terrain. There were numerous steep climbs today, as well as extended periods of walking through muck. I gave up the thought of dry feet earlier, and unless the nature and depth of a nasty mud hole was ascertained, I would walk on the sides of the mud pool and lean my body away from the foliage with the support of my trekking poles. BI sunk in up to mid-calf twice today. Best to have him up front, eh?
We walked late today. I didn’t want to and neither did BI. The issue was a lack of even one tent site that was level and not sopping wet. It went on and on. It was getting darker a bit. I was ready to stop, eat, and sleep in rapid fire execution. I loaded up 2 quarts of the brownish groundwater and expected to walk all the way to the Bear Cove Point lighthouse. BI liked the looks of a couple of trees just after the stream. He’s hanging in a hammock this trip, so he cares less about what’s on the ground under his comfy bedroll. I didn’t have a decent pick. I ended up needing most of the East Coast Trail track in order to accommodate my tent’s footprint. The stars out tonight were astounding, as I was swatting away mosquitoes.