Segment #3: 12.2 miles – 1,975′ elevation gain, 1,549′ elevation loss
6/5/18 – The birds were up before the sun, chirping away by about 4:30 am. We stayed in our tents until around 6:30, got up and had coffee and oat meal for breakfast. We’re learning as we go on these hikes. One thing I need to bring next time is a pillow. The sun was bright in the sky as we headed out on the trail at around 8 am after packing up camp.
Tramway Creek and Blisters
We continued on through the logging area for several miles. There were some amazing granite rock formations all along the way. We also saw some excellent views of the area from the top of some of these rock formations. We met a trail runner and his dog early in the day, and stopped at Tramway Creek to fill our water bottles and check our feet. The water was cold and tasted great!! My feet were fine during the first day, but I wore much thicker socks today, which I think caused me some problems. I was feeling the beginning of some blisters and the tailor’s bunion on my right foot was bothering me the second half of the day. I applied some moleskin and made it through the rest of the day in decent shape. We were both surprised that we felt pretty fresh on this second day of hiking. We were pooped at the end of the first day (12 miles) and expected to be dragging a bit today. One difference is that today’s hike didn’t have as many climbs as the first day. But our muscles seemed to be used to the idea of carrying 35 pounds up and down the trail.
Trail Hikers from Michigan and Illinois
As we approached our lunch spot at Buffalo Creek, we met 2 guys and a girl from Michigan. They were in their late 20’s or early 30’s, I suspect. There was also a young guy from Illinois with them. He said he’d spent 3 days and 2 nights on the trail by himself and was ready to quit, when these Michiganders convinced him to continue on with them. We visited with them for a few minutes and then found a spot to fill our water bottles and eat lunch. We had some summer sausage and cheese as well as some granola bars. After lunch, we “saddled up” and began the final climb of the hike…about 900′ over a 4 mile stretch. This was a well forested area with granite rock formations. My imagination saw figures and faces in some of the rock formations as we passed by. We soon met up with 3 people coming the other way. One was the girl from MI who we’d seen with the 3 guys earlier in the day. The others were a man and woman we hadn’t seen before. The girl from MI asked us to tell “her people” that she’d decided to leave the trail and go home. Not sure what had happened, but she decided the CT wasn’t for her. The couple was apparently going to give her a ride somewhere so she could get home. Later on, as we approached a small stream near the end of segment #3, we came across her former hiking companions. They had put a sign on a hiking pole near the trail that said “Theresa, we’re camping here” with an arrow pointing toward their camp.
One of the guys came over to greet us and asked if we’d seen Theresa. We told him that she’d decided to go home. It was a strange situation. Not sure how they got separated, or how they didn’t know she was leaving. They were glad to know the story….said they thought they’d be looking for her for “days”. We hiked the last of the segment #3 trail and my sister, Janie, met us at the Rolling Creek Trailhead, which is about 8 miles south of Bailey. It took a couple hours to retrieve the car we’d left at the beginning of the hike and to get home. That shower felt great!!!