What a long hard day! Got an early start up the last little bit of Umbazooksus Stream to Umbazooksus Lake and then across to Mud Pond Carry. I found the entrance to the carry easily enough, but that was where easy ended. This historically hard carry lived up to its reputation, in my humble opinion. I had to carry Sparky empty through a very winding narrow, (sometimes only a foot and a half wide) water/mud filled channel leading deep into a thick forest. You could not see through the water to the bottom which was choked with roots, logs and who knows what else. Every single step had to be taken with care. I had to go back and do it all over again 3 times in order to retrieve the gear. In the past I have been able to transport all my gear in two trips, today it took three, had to carry the wheels which just put me over the two trip top. Six hours, two miles. I passed the Outward Bound kids a few times along the carry and they passed me as well. They worked in teams, first carrying gear, then going back for the canoes. They were having a hard time too and we gave each other weak smiles of encouragement in passing as we slogged along. I waved goodbye as they paddled triumphantly off right before I went back to get the last of my gear, tucked alongside the trail about ¼ mile back.
Finally got everything to Mud Pond, which also lived up to its name. Thigh high mud at the put-in. The feeling of exuberance at completing the carry was muted considerably when I realized that loading and disembarking was going to be hard and messy. It was getting dark and I thought about camping right where I stood, should have. Crossed Mud Pond in a light rain at about 5:30 or 6pm. Located the Mud Brook entrance and a carry road close by. The Brook looked impassable, a beaver dam, low water and lots of downed trees. I got out and started to scout the portage trail. Another tough one that I would not be able to wheel. It was getting dark, raining and I thought there is no freaking way I will be taking multiple trips with gear and boat over land again. Not tonight anyway.
Back into the boat, scouting along the shore looking for a place to call home for the night. I found a tiny, barley workable spot up a steep muddy bank. Brought up the bare minimum and managed to squeeze the tent into a tiny little clearing. The ground is lumpy and uneven but I am pretty sure I could fall asleep on a rock tonight. I will tackle that portage tomorrow. I have had enough for one day for sure. Night.
I am really glad I did the Mud Pond Carry. To quote my friend Mike’s trail blog, “glad I did it, don’t need to do it again.” http://site.kayakathonman.com/KayakathonMan.html