We had to bail at Cairne Creek Rec Site after I injured my ankle. So I am reflecting on the part we did finish. We plan on tagging the rest of Section D when we finish the GDT.
The Ameswki valley is brushy as hell and not a lot of fun until you ford the river. It is, however, one of those things that prepares you for the rest of the trail and makes you appreciate the good stuff. And as bad as it is, it’s not that hard, just frustrating and annoying to do after or during a rainfall.
I did like our approach of cutting down into the River to avoid a lot of the thickest brush. I’m curious how far south on the River you can start – maybe a good chunk of the brush can be avoided by hiking in or alongside the river.
The Ameswki Ridge is amazing and fairly straightforward navigation. For the distance achieved it has a lot of value. It’s both Type 1 and 2 fun. The cutblock at the end takes me out of the hike and is just frustrating. It’s a good reminder of the devistation that clearcutting does but that’s not what I want in a hike.
The Collie Creek Alt is very nice. The trail could be improved a bit still but it is miles better than the road and can be pretty fun. The walk along the creek is like a mini Howse Floodplain – I like it!
The GDT Guthook track currently uses the old FSR to Cairne Creek Rec Site, which is decomissioned. So double check this if you use it in the future.
Hiking with an injury sucks, and I’m glad I sought medical attention. That being said, its awesome to hike with a partner and being able to swap gear and packs to effectively bail is really valuable. Despite the additional challenges with communication on this thru, we still work great as a team and made a good decision this day.
Toothless is getting by in the rain, but because our gear is designed for “sometimes rain” we aren’t equipped for him to crawl around in the mud or get too wet. This means less wiggle breaks or more restrictions on his crawling or walking. Which makes him less happy. Which is not our goal on this trip. So we should pay attention to this moving ahead.
It’s actually pretty doable to hike through thick brush with an infant on your front. By just being effective at parting / swimming through the branches you also keep the brush off of the baby. Natasha is super awesome and can also climb over all sorts of deadfall and obstacles while carrying Toothless.
I do not know if I have mentioned this earlier but my shoes were toast at Field (which sucks because the similar model I wore in 2018 kicked ass and lasted almost the e entire GDT before showing significant wear). I bought new ones (same style/ model) and preemptively added shoe goo to them in Field before we started Section D. Given how quickly the last pair failed at the start of the GDT, I’m pretty confident these will last much longer than my previous pair. They look great still.