Day 4 – Hunting Hikers

At 1mph I’m not exactly moving very far, very fast. The wilderness is as it should be, kept wild. In this instance it means the trail isn’t as prominent as maybe I’d like. Although I’m not getting lost, or turned around like yesterday, so who am I to complain?

After not long my feet seem to know the way. Almost not even paying attention to the white SIA/IAT markings on the trees, my eyes, and my brain are picking up small cues in the land allowing me to press forward. No longer am I moving so slow.

I’ve been starting my days wearing most of the clothing I have with me. Wind pants, synthetic puffy, the works. Someone asked how cold it is at night, and I couldn’t tell you, I never have service but it is on the tipping point of comfort in regards to what I have for warmth. It’s no big deal, I could always wrap myself in the plastic groundsheet I have if things get real bad.

The last two days, leaving camp in my warm clothes has meant something else. The trail is overgrown. Lush. Beautiful. Not having the experience I’d like when it comes to recognizing poison sumac, I figure I’d rather be a little hot walking, than really itchy.

The trail is sometimes the most well groomed thing you’d ever seen. Then other times it’s like you’re blazing your own path. Not to much of one or the other. Not a super highway, and not a total bushwhack nightmare.

Sometimes I’m walking on cushy beds of pineneedles, and vibrant green moss. Other times I’m trying to decide if that’s a game trail or if that’s THE trail. Ultimately it hasn’t been a big issue, and surprisingly a very fun addition to my adventure.

Today was extra exciting. Not only have I come to terms with the law of the land, but I’ve also begun a new section. The Gaspé Coast. In my mind it started with this really awesome dam and waterfall in the middle of nowhere. Followed by a very large lake, and finally exciting the forest to see I am on the coast with a small town beneath me. Judging by the amount of houses, extremely likely there are less than 1,000 people here. If not well under that.

I see no stores, nothing. Except for the ocean, and a port with a few docked boats. I wonder what everyone does here for a living? Fishing, lobster, crab, I’m sure. I also wonder how much it might cost to live in such a wonderful place. Ocean at your front door, mountains in the back. A larger town to the north, and to the south of you, and you’re just sleepy in the middle. Then again, winter here must really be terrible.

I had thought the trail would take me up into the mountains from here again, but a local tells me it’s right along the coast. He also tells me there are two females ahead of me, large backpacks and everything. Maybe 2 hours ago he saw them. He smiles, and tells me I should hussle.

So I do. Rock hopping down the Canadian Atlantic coastline. Unlike the Atlantic I am so used to as a Floridian, this one has no sand, just large rocks, medium rocks, and very small rocks that have been pumped by the waves into smooth circles. This lasts for almost 3 miles. What a joy! I remember reading something about how I should ask about the tides first, so maybe I got lucky. In the next two days, I think it get to walk the beaches twice more. What kind of thru hike is this even?

In the distance I could see a lighthouse, and after some rediculous amount of stairs, I’ve made it. Truly beside myself even…. they have chips and coffee in the gift shop! The guy doesn’t speak english, but I do some pointing, and we get the job done! 3 bags of chips and a cup o coffee. Merci!

Other tourists at the lighthouse don’t quit seem so amused by me, but what do I care?

Trashing my trash, and rejuvenated by caffeine, it’s time to hunt down some hikers. 7km to the next campsite. The only one around. I’m sure to run into them there!

I wasnt, and they werent. A note in the shelter journal indicates maybe they moved on due to mosquitoes. Bah. Day 4 and still no hikers! Me, myself, and I.

Through the dense trees off in the distance, I can actually see the shimmering of fireworks. Forgot it was 4th of July.

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