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Friday, September 23, 2016

IATNL UltramaTrex Days 4 & 5:Blow Me Down Mts to Blow Me Down Brook Trailhead

August 30-31, 2016
8+4 miles

It continued to rain throughout the night.  I awoke at ~2 am with significant winds.  We feared the tent was not strong enough to stay upright and would potentially be torn apart and broken.  We slept little the rest of the night as we provided nearly constant manual support to the walls of the tent.  Eventually we managed to take shifts with one of us holding the tent and the other sleeping.

By 9 am the weather hadn't improved so we decided to pack up camp and start hiking.

It was quite chilly and wet with poor visibility.  Nearly all we could see was grass in every direction.  There were pools of water to dodge making navigation challenging.  After getting turned around once, we decided it was time to use a compass and soon reached Blow Me Down Brook Gulch as the visibility began to improve.

We had several route options in this area and decided to go explore Mad Dog Lake.

The route took us to a swift flowing stream.  It looked unsafe so we hiked upstream until we found a safe crossing.

On the way to Mad Dog Lake there was some easy hiking but also some tuckamore to manage.

We could see back to the gulch.

Mad Dog Lake

We could see all the way to Corner Brook in the distance.

There was a great view from the edge of Blow Me Down Brook Gulch.

We made our way out to a lookout of the Bay of Islands.

Mad Dog Lake in the distance

Near the edge there were some dramatic cliffs.

Bay of Islands

We attempted to follow the descent route to Blow Me Down Brook as indicated on our maps,  but ended up descending a different way. It was quite steep and the bottom looked much closer than it was.

Looking back up

There was even some bushwhacking on the way down.

We were surprised to find a couple moose trails on the way down.

It was a joy to reach the bottom.

Blow Me Down Brook

Andrew was having a tough time with his feet. The constant moisture had significantly blistered his feet.   We found a nice place to camp across the river.

Camp near Blow Me Down Brook

After the difficulty sleeping the previous night, I was asleep quickly and throughout the night.

From our campsite we had a short distance to meet up with the trail to Frenchman's Cove where our parents planned to pick us up and transport us to Cox's Cove on Middle Arm of Bay of Islands where we could get a ride from a fisherman to the North Arm Hills.

It was a pleasant hike along Blow Me Down Brook.

We neared the point where we thought the trail was going to be, but saw no signs of it.  We continued along the brook looking carefully. Eventually we decided to cross over to the other side and follow the Blow Me Down Brook Trail to its trailhead.

With our InReach we were able to communicate the trailhead changes to our parents.

Blow Me Down Brook Trail

There were many nice views along the trail.

Bay of Islands

The trail had many bridges that were in poor condition and dangerous.

Near the trailhead there was an impressive waterfall.

We made it to the trailhead and had arrived before our parents. We didn't have cell service and hoped that they had service to receive our InReach message.

Soon they arrived and we ate many doughnuts!
At this point Andrew decided his feet were hurting too much to continue. I decided to continue solo and resupplied in Corner Brook.  I contacted Paul who arranged a boat ride across the Bay of Islands for the next day.

Continue to Day 6

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About Me

I've been born and raised in the great state of Michigan. I recently graduated from physical therapy school. I enjoy being active, playing sports, and running. Backpacking has become a great interest as it is a physical challenge that provides many rewarding views and experiences. I strive to make a difference in the lives of those encounter in every day life, on the trail, or even just on this blog. May God bless each of you. Now go find an adventure! It's only a few feet away!