Fundy Footpath – Day 3

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Goose Creek Campsite to Goose River – 7.4 km (4.6 miles)

*NOTE*  An additional 7.9 km (4.9 miles) is required to actually FINISH the trail and get to civilization.  This is the “mandatory approach trail”.  The hike from Goose River to find the approach trail is NOT explained well in the guide, and I recommend reading the bottom for help with navigation. 

Total Day 3 – 15.3 km (9.5 miles)

Total hiked after completion – 49.3 km (30.6 miles) TOTAL.

We made the 9.5 miles by 1 pm, crushing the day, because.. HUNGER!!!  All we could think of was, oh man – the car is right there!  9 miles away.  We can potentially get there at noon and immediately drive to eat the most food ever.  Warm showers were also on the mind.  But first, food.

We had a tough decision to make.  Low tide was scheduled for 6:51 am, we had 2 crossings to make that were 7.4 km apart, with a 4 hour window to make both.  Knowing our previous days hiking rate, and our current exhaustion level, it wasn’t looking good.  However, we had hunger on our side.  I was not about to wait until 5 pm to cross Goose River.  We were up at 5 am, and out of camp by just before 6 am.

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Crossing Goose Creek sucks.  Neither of us had water shoes, because, who has time for those.  They are too heavy for camp shoes, and I have never really needed them.  I’ve made all my river crossings to date in my boots.  THIS crossing, however, was not sandal friendly.  I immediately lost my first sandal hiking the .5 km up river to the crossing.  The mud came up to our knees.  I didn’t even bother looking for it, I was too tired.  The mosquitos were on us, the rain had started, I was barefoot, and it was only 6 am.

 

We made it to the crossing, a slow trickle of shallow water.  The rocks were cutting into my feet, I was ready to put on some shoes and get my hike on!  The crossing took about 20 minutes for the minimal distance, which was a little disappointing.

On the other side, however, we went beast mode.  I carry mio energy whenever I hike, which came in handy.  The hike from Goose Creek to Goose River is super easy, comparatively.

We hiked up and over to Azore Beach, it was raining, but it was still a pretty site.

We got a little worried that we weren’t going to be able to make the crossing, until we came upon 2 hikers that had just crossed it, and said the water was still below their knees.  We ran from there.  We found the river!   We found the 0 km!  It was 3 hours past low tide and the crossing was super easy.  Rock hopping.  Never got wet.  What was all this about in the book then?

  • NOTE – Well, that’s when things got tricky.  We had to find the approach trail.  We saw some yellow blazes, assumed we were going the right way and walked for a couple hundred yards until it just ended.  We ended up in deep ocean channel, that was just void of water.  There was water in the center, with sloping hills on either side filled with mud, and a high tide water mark well above our heads 20-30 feet on either sides of us.  We realized it was 3 hours past low tide, with the safe crossing gone 1 hour ago, and started to get worried.  With no more blazes visible, panick set in a little bit.

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This is pretty much the end of the blazes.  Up ahead, it diverges left and straight.  There are footprints and paths going both ways.  The correct sequence from here is to hike straight, try to keep out of the mud, and once you get to the divergence, go straight across, up the hill, and on top of that hill you will see a log bench and some rocks.  Look very carefully and you will find a poorly marked entrance to the beginning of the approach trail.  The ONLY reason we found this, was because we saw a person.  We had walked around for a good 10 minutes in the wrong direction, and then turned around to try to find our bearings again.  This is not good to do when high tide is looming.  Hope that helps!

This section is beautiful!!!  And only 7.9 km from our car!!!  Did I mention I was hungry?  What did hot food taste like?  Is there lobster in New Brunsick?  How fast can an injured person run 5 miles with a 40 lb pack?  These are all questions in my mind as I surveyed the awesome scenery.

After taking 30 minutes to find the actual damn trail, we started on it.  IT WAS A ROAD!  We hiked the 5 miles in a little under 2 hours.

The End.  Aaaaand ready for the next one.

 

Lost Coast Trail – Day 2

Spanish Flats Campsite  to Buck Creek – 12.8 miles

Total Trip thus far – 21.8 miles

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Wow.  Falling asleep on the beach is just like you imagined it would be like.  Or just like you have done before.  Just like that time you spent in Mexico with your windows wide open, listening to the waves crash, softer and softer until…

6:30 am, and here I am!  It wasn’t a dream!  I am hiking the lost coast trail with some of my best friends from the Appalachian Trail northbound group from 2014.  I woke up early from habit, or the fact that I am doing something awesome and don’t want to sleep through it.  We lounged for about 3 hours, breaking down camp, having breakfast, just being on the beach.  It wasn’t windy today, the sun rose, the air had a slight breeze, it was beautiful.  We hiked for about 3 hours on the beach, real easy hiking, until we hit Millers Flat.  We decided that since the next mile was impassible at high tide, which was in a couple hours, that we would take a lunch nap.

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Morning hike!

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Stopping for some much needed water

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Stopping for some water

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Lunch nap

As you notice, I am in the shade.  There is really no escaping the sun on the first part of the Lost Coast Trail.  While that’s not a bad thing, I was getting pretty red, and needed a nap in the shade.  We hung out here for about 2-3 hours, swimming in the small pond, combing the beach.  It was chill.

When we moved on, we came upon a bunch of hikers that were waiting for the high tide to roll out.  The waves were just crushing the cliffs and we would not be able to walk for another hour.  So we hung out some more on the beach…

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Once the tide rolled out, we meandered on.  We left a little too early, and had to run between wave sets, sometimes having to climb up the cliff to get out of the way.  I could see how this could become hazardous (especially at night).

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Pretty soon I stumbled upon this group of birds, and the smell was.. well, ominous.  I feared something dead.

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Yarrr, t’was a beached whale!  We found out from talking to people later in shelter cove, that it had been a floater for a couple months and then had been beached on the Lost Coast.

We arrived at another one of the BEST CAMPSITES EVER, seriously.  Camping on the beach is awesome.  I set up my tent, took pictures of my tent set up to prove that I had indeed set up my tent, and then murdered my dinner.  The whale far from my mind, my mind soaking in the view.  We all hung out til around 9 (sun sets at 8:40pm up there) and it got a little chilly.  Another perfect sunset.  More beautiful stars to look up at.  Who’s idea was this?!  Mine.

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Sunset!

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My favorite picture

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I eventually fell asleep just staring out at that sky, feeling so blessed to be able to do something this amazing.

Lost Coast Trail – Day 1

Matthole Beach to Spanish Flats Campsite – 8.4 miles

After a good night of having a couple drinks, reuniting with long lost trail friends, etc. we were a little achy.  We had arranged a shuttle to pick us up and drive us to the northern terminus of the Lost Coast Trail, as we had parked at the southern terminus, and would hike back.  The shuttle was Lost Coast Adventures.  The drive is 3 hours to matthole beach, there is no easy way to get back and forth, so we chose to shuttle.  For around $300 for the 6 of us, we had a solo hiker join us and hop on in.  The shuttle driver was awesome, drove us through the redwoods, told us the history of the land and eventually we arrived at Matthole beach.

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We were at Matthole beach around 1pm.  The wind was wicked, and it stung.  A lot.  Luckily I had bought some cheap sunglasses at a gas station just outside of SF.  I was fully lubed with SPF and had my stunner shades on, I was ready.  We ate lunch, however and hung out hiding from the vicious winds for an hour.  And then… we started.

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Sick.  Like, so sick.  Call out of work sick.  So beautiful, I don’t need to write words about it.  Just show some pictures.  This blog is easy.  In fact, this trail was easy.  Sand in your shoes and in your eyes and in just about everything you can imagine.  That is a good problem to have, in my point of view.  We breezed through the first section, against the stinging winds that hit us like an angry hail storm.  I took way too many pictures.  Eventually we hit Punta Gorda Lighthouse.  I thought I saw some dead sea lions, and then DSCN1035 DSCN1036 DSCN1041

They’re ALIVE!  We just stared at them and then had an epiphany…. Nap time!

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After this, the hiking was so easy we just breezed passed the first campsite, as we passed almost 20 hikers heading the same way.  Ever since the Appalachian Trail, crowded campsites give me the heebeejeebies.  No thanks!  So we left a message for our slower hikers that we crept on, and wrote them a big beautiful trail sign in the sand.  Because – we’re on the beach and we HAVE TO play in the sand.

We made it to Spanish Flats with enough time to set up camp, eat, and watch the ever so slooooowwww sun set.  This might have been the most beautiful place I have ever camped at.  Don’t believe me, just watch.

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6500 mile Road Trip – Part 1 – Maine to Grandforks, North Dakota.

I found myself in heaven after a while.  3-4 weeks had passed since I had finished my hike, and I was bouncing between Cushing Maine (and that big beautiful comfortable vacation house that I wish was mine) and New Hampshire with the girl I was hanging out with, and Swazey was ALWAYS at a beach.  IMG_4018

But it came down to the point where summer was winding down, and I knew I was running low on funds.  I still had to drive back to Phoenix (gas money, places to stay, food) and I also had only rented out my house until September 1st.  For me, there were 2 ways to go home.  Straight to Phoenix, which would be a no fun 3 day road trip.  OR a spur of the moment whatever I felt like road trip, where I could camp everywhere and go see places like the Redwoods!  OH and I have never been north of Santa Barbara California!  Whaaaaaat.  I knew I wanted to go to the Northwest.  Guy on a Buffalo (a fellow thru-hiker) offered me a place to stay in Olympia Washington, so I vaguely knew where I was going.

I put the dog in the car, said bye to my super amazing parents, my friends, and the East Coast.  I stopped down in Hartford Connecticut for lunch to see my friend Monika who I NEVER get to see because she just moved back from Italy, and set my sights on Ohio.  I didn’t know where I was going, I just knew how long I wanted to drive.  I picked a town not far away and googled campgrounds near it.  I found an AWESOME one, no idea of the name.  I instantly met a guy fishing with loud music drinking beers and made him my best friend for the day.  He let me fish with him, we caught 3 bass, he taught me how to filet the fish and then we cooked them over a camp fire.  I found out he was living at the campground for the last 6 months, because he likes being outside.  He works as a metal welder but just liked camping.  I love his style.

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The next morning, I awoke to the most BEAUTIFUL sunrise over the fishing pond.

IMG_4039  Friggin surreal right?!  Damn I love camping.  So I did a little digging with my phone.  I found a GREAT website for car camping.  Did you know you can car camp the entire US for FREE?  I didn’t.  I paid $15 for that campsite the night before.  But that was literally the last one for a while.  www.freecampsites.net allows you to input a destination, and find FREE campsites within 50 miles of your destination.  They also post paid campsites if you want to be a snob.  Some paid sites are really dope of course.  This was the greatest information ever!  I wish someone had told me about this long ago.  I found some of the most remote and beautiful campsites because of this website.

Anyways, I b-lined it to Cedar Rapids Iowa next, because why not?  Also I have a lot of friends there.  I ended up staying there for about 3-4 days for free on someones couch and it was just a giant binge drinking week.  Swazey loved it too,

IMG_4040 IMG_4041 My favorite B’s in Iowa.

For my next trick, I decided to take a guy (another thru hiker I met on the trail, named Uffda) up on his offer for me to come crash at his place in Grand Forks, North Dakota.  Shit, I had never been to North Dakota, so why not?!?  PLUS, it takes me right through Minnesota, and there is another place I’ve never been to…  I found the dopest dog park outside of Minneapolis using yelp or something like that, it was 25 acres with huge lakes and all that.  Swazey went nuts and got very very dirty.

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Now that I had mud in my car, I moved on.  The sky was beautiful on and off, rainstorms in the distance, or sometimes on top of me.  BUT I WAS IN A CAR!  HA!  Take that mother nature!  (Hiking the Appalachian Trail had mother nature making me its bitch).  IMG_4050 IMG_4056

Well, I made it to Grandforks, and Uffda showed me the hockey stadium that city is apparently famous for.  It’s called the Taj Mahal of hockey, and cost $104 million dollars to build.  Former NHL hockey player Wayne Gretzky has called the structure “one of the most beautiful buildings we have in North America”.  So what the fuck, I went and saw it.

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Cash Money!  This road trip is a blast, and is a lot to share… SOOOOOO I will write more about it soon!

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