FishinFinn picked me up at the airport 6/10 just after 9pm. We headed up to Wisconsin’s north woods and the North Country Trail. He had many stories to tell of the area since he was conceived up there. We were beat from traveling and went to campsite3 and strung up. There was someone playing a radio but I was asleep in 10 minutes having worked the night before and then flying to WI plus a 2+ hour drive. In the morning the radio was still playing and some geese made their honk with some freakish northern accent. We had a busy day planned so we packed up and headed out early. Little did we know Shug and SaraGirl were in the campsite right across from us. We ran a bunch of errands getting breakfast, water and muffins.
We finally got to the location of the hang. It took us a couple tries until we found the exact location. There was a family there packing up from a 4 day outing. They have a lot of gear with tables, big tent, chairs and a boat. Since we were just scouting around looking trying to decide which is the best site to have the hang, while we waited we offered to help carry some of his gear to his van. They gave me a fishing pole and some bait. They also gave some fish they caught and cleaned. Very nice people these northerners.
We were tired so we strung up our hammocks and took a nap. The first to show up was Curt and he did some exploring while we napped and helped the camper carry out his boat. Curt found an excellent hanging spot for the group. Soon Shug and SaraGirl showed up and we all headed to the campsite. Over the course of the afternoon everyone showed up that was expected. There was Walking Bear, Stormcrow, Oms, Animal Control, and Dennis (a soon reformed ground dweller).
I fell in the pond while fishing skinning my knee. We started to make a 9 coarse meal. There was fish and slaw and pasties, there was stew and venison hotdogs and some southern BBQ with slaw. We ate real good and showed off our gear. Mr. Green came in at 10 pm with brownies just as I went to hammock. I woke up one time and the woods were alive with sound, the sound of 10 people snoring. Some of the scariest snores I ever heard. When morning came I ran to the car and got the Muffins for breakfast. It was fun checking out everyone’s stoves as they cooked breakfast and made coffee. It took a long time until every one packed up. Curt did a good job of organizing us or we would still be there wondering how we are getting the cars to the end. Curt had noticed a neat plaque on the tree that I stole and made into my bling. It said "Nice people don't steal", so I took it. SaraGirl lost her keys and was frantically looking for them. Soon everyone got shuttled and around 11am we headed off on our hike. This is different from any other hang I did b/c it was a hiking adventure. The landscape was beautiful with many places where the trail goes over a beaver dam. After about an hour we all stopped at a scenic beaver pond for some lunch. It turns out people from the Midwest need to eat every hour. We stopped ot a fire tower and ate some more. We hiked for 11 miles until we got to the shelter. Shug let me tell plenty of AT stories. There wasn’t very much good water and we were all thirsty at the end of the day. We decided that since the shelter didn’t have any good hang sites we would return to the stream crossing. Hanging sites were still few and far in between but that help to spread out the snorers. Supper was fun and it was great to check out others meals and cooking methods. Soon Shug started telling circus stories and we were all engrossed.
HanginYankee came in over night. In the morning we were all attacked by slugs. Eating breakfast Stormcrow took a slug off of OMS’s shoe and added it to his oatmeal. Soon he was eating the slugs straight. Sara found her keys in her water bladder pocket, but lost her pack cover somewhere. One by one everyone packed up and headed out. I was with the last group, Sara, Shug, Storm, and Animalcontrol, Mr Green and myself. I was hiding from FishinFinn or he will just give you stuff. We stopped at an old Swedish settlement and got water. We barely made it a mile from where we camped the night before and stopped at a scenic overlook. I think Storm revealed that he is Jewish. The rest of the hike was a blur. It is extremely flat and I was able to do some jogging. There was a lake that I was able to get a quick bath in and a very unhappy Boy Scout troop on a forced march. Soon enough we ended our hike at our final destination, back at lake3 where Finn and I camped the first night. We picked out some sites and set up a couple tarps before a quick thunder shower came through. Soon Finn, Sara, HanginYankee and I went to town for some pizza. Ok it was 3 towns over and I’m not sure you can call it pizza if it isn’t cut in wedges, but it was very good. We returned to the site with some milk and beer. The final night went way too fast. I tried to get around to talk to everyone but the evening slipped away so fast. Stormcrow found Sara's packcover in her Clark. We kept the other campers up until 11pm or later with chatting.
The morning we had to pack up and say our goodbyes. I will probably see some of these guys again but I am sure it was a final goodbye for many. I feel I made 11 new friends this week and who could ask for more.
My trip home was not without problems. United airlines overbooked my flight and I got bumped off. This meant I had to stay the night in Chicago and miss work Sunday night. Opps I was suppose to open the plant. Well good practice for my second in charge. United had to pay for my hotel, dinner and gave me $400. My entire flight only cost $300 and that was paid with frequent flyer miles. When I got back to PA I realized I lost my car key. That was a big problem, and I had to rent a car to get home. Last night I split from work and returned the rental car and picked up my car with my spare key. Wisconsin Central Airport just returned my email letting me know they found my key. Things just naturally go my way.