So I set off solo from Wakely with a quick stop at the Carry lean2, and then spent a good portion of the remaining morning hours constructing a temporary bridge over halfway creek on the NPT out of materials from the collapsed bridge. The new materials had beendelivered, but construction will be in thefall. A little rain fell as I cobbled together the temporary footbridge. I cleared the blowdown which could be cut with a hand saw along the Lamphere Ridge. I then spent the next few days relaxing in the Cedar Lakes. The woods were wet with the on again off again rain, so I did not feel like exploring off-trail. I collected wood and left stashes at the lean-tos for the hikers who would becoming thru, as the kick-off for the NPT hiking seasin has just begun. A day ofvolunteer trail work and three days of Cedar Lakes relaxing.
The following weekend, Jeff and I hiked into Brooktrout Lake in the ungodly heat. We expected to spend 3 days, but it was so hot and humid we could barely sleep even in hammocks. We left the 2nd day, pausing for a long while at a spring fed cascade with moss covered rocks to cool ourselves down.
The last week of July I joined my friend Andy on his SOBO thru-hike of the NPT. Andy struggled with lack of appetite the first 3 days, so we took an extra day to relax and recharge at Catlin Bay. I caught a huge largemouth bass. After that it was just walking for another 8 days. We had rain for some days, including a torrential downpour right after we made camp. Passed by 37 NOBO hikers on our way to finish the 138 mile trail. The last 2 days were great hiking weather, overcast and in the 70s. As we completed the last few miles on the road walk into the town of N'ville a group of bikers gave us some nods of respect knowing what we had accomplished. At the arch, we recognized a pair of fellow hikers we had passed by days earlier. They had finished their NOBO journey that day and were eating celebratory ice-cream. This was #5 NPT completion for me. Although it was a first in some aspects as well. It was my first with a hiking partner the entire way. I am glad to have had the opportunity to join Andy on his journey. SOBO Rules!