NCT Mile 167.5 to 177.5

🎵 Happy trails to you, until, we meet, again🎵 

Suddenly, I was awake.  Brianna had searched the Happy Trails song on YouTube from her phone and thought it might be a fun way to wake me up.  She was right.  The quiet campground was an easy night for a hard sleep.  If she hadn’t woken me, I might have slept til noon.

Only 10 miles to reach Paul and Shelly at the finish line today.  Were we eager to see them and finish?  Yes.  Does that mean we didn’t have second coffee and dink around for a good long while?  No.  

After everything was all packed up, we made a point to bring Terry the unused wood, but most importantly, to see him again and let him know how appreciative we were and are for everything he did for us.  Trail rule #243 – Treat everyone with respect.  Trail rule #244 – treat trail angels like angels.

The last morning chore we had for the day was to refill our water bottles from the campground’s hand pump ground well before hitting the road.  Well, one full water liter bottle each plus another half liter each for mixing a flavored caffeine drink.  Because that’s what we need after two cups of coffee, more caffeine.  As we filled the water bottles, we were chatted up by a couple that had camped on the other side of the grounds.  

The youngish couple, about my age, actually stopped by our campsite last night when we were hiding from the wind and rain, didn’t get much time to talk though.  They are from Marquette and on a two week Western UP mountain biking trip, using all the dirt two track roads we hike across to get from point A to point B.  Methods of transport are different, the madness is basically the same. We all love the outdoors enough to be out here pushing our limits.  It was great sharing stories and the common bond with a new set of strangers.  The lady biker even gave us four RX bars because she couldn’t eat them anymore, she had switched to Snickers.  We tried one and it was ok, reminded us why we never pack food bars for hiking.

Departure time ended up being around 0930, the trail crosses right in front of the campground so there were no problems getting back on and churning out some miles.  It was another day of little elevation gain or loss, hiking through valleys of ferns and pine forests.  Blue skies lead the way as we pushed for a 1-2pm arrival at the Canyon Falls parking lot.  Brianna and I basically sprinted until reaching the Canyon, which is impossible to sprint, because of broken rocks and beauty.  Of the dozens of waterfalls we have seen on this trip, Canyon Falls & Manabezno Falls are the most impressive and must sees.

Canyon Falls is what you would expect it to be, Sturgeon River water cascading down through a rock layered canyon.  The hike down isn’t more than half a mile with a perfect view of the raging river the entire time.  The parking lot was full, but the trails are mostly wide enough and have enough splits that keeping a distance is pretty easy.

Shelly and Paul greeted us at the parking lot with cold beers and big smiles!  Dirty hippie hugs were exchanged.  They say we didn’t smell as bad as we said we would, which makes me feel like we’ve let them down.  I did put on my cleaner shirt and wipe myself down the day before, oops.

So ends our 14 day hiking trip!  We are staying at a little AirBnB right on the Keweenaw Bay for the rest of the weekend.  There is a fire pit next to the water and we are surrounded by people we love in a time that we aren’t able to be with all the other people we love.  

Thank you reading along with us.  I’m going to post a questions and answers write-up soon.  Not that anyone has asked us questions, it’ll be more of a hypothetical set of questions that I assume people might ask if given the chance to.