Day 36: Herman Road to South Entry Road

the bayI can’t sleep without writing damn it! My brain wont let me. I have over 8 hours until my alarm goes off and I look forward to some high-value sleep given that I am in a BED. A woman named Connie from the nearest North County Trail chapter took me in. Yay! I think that I’m sleeping so many hours lately not just because I’ve been walking so much, but also because the sleep has been so unrestful. In addition to the normal issues of cold nights, teetering on my sleeping pad and bug bites, I have been scared every single night since leaving Marquette. Its amazing to have such a stretch of fear after having none at all up until now. I’m a more seasoned backpacker now, but I am not immune to the threats of coyotes, wolves, moose, questionable mushrooms, and murky grey shapes behind trees in the rainy-soaked dusk. Last night I had a new concern– drunk drivers.

I slept just off a road, which seemed to be very untraveled. I tried setting up my camp in a piece of property just off the road but the ground was a hard-packed clay. The whole tent relies on the tension between the two ends and it collapses without a good hold so I absolutely needed to stake it. I dragged my half-made camp down the road another ½ mile until the looming darkness demanded that I settle for what was available– a little turn-around near an entrance to some private property. I could see skid-marks in the clay dirt and suddenly the remoteness of the location began to feel sinister instead of secure. Just like the last time I slept in a turn-around like this, it was Friday night. I could easily imagine some bros with a pick-up and nothing better to do driving around back roads with a 6-pack, spinning out and goofing off where they thought no one else would find them. After fretting in my tent awhile, I got out and set up my pack against the road-side end of my tent, hoping to create a barrier or at least a speed bump for any potential threat. Of all the ways I have contemplated dying on this trip, getting run over by a drunk driver is the least appealing- nothing poetic about that at all. Continue reading “Day 36: Herman Road to South Entry Road”