Day 1 Saturday Arctic Circle Trail
Today is the day we start hiking the Arctic Circle Trail! Anxiety and trepidation have been replaced with excitement, curiosity and anticipation! We are ready to go and we need to wait 45 more minutes for the store to open because I have a sore throat! Ugh.
Not a great way to start a 9 day backpacking trip….but ” it is what it is!” ( nano that’s for you !) Turns out the store has everything you need from gummy bears to shot guns. I opted for the gummy bears.
We made an excellent decision by having a taxi take us to the start of the trail rather than walking the 8 miles along the dirt road. Several factors went into this decision, me not feeling well, Lisa being jet lagged and our packs being 5 pounds too heavy. When carrying 9 days of food plus extra warm clothes and heavy duty rain gear, the weight adds up quickly….ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain..( that’s for you RIch.)
It was a spectacular weather day…short sleeves and rolled up pants…unbelievable and unexpected. The trail was littered with reindeer antlers and skulls white washed from the sun. We also saw a few fox skeletons. We spent the entire day walking by lake after lake after lake.
We arrived at the first hut which is an old caravan…..it was rusty and weather worn on the outside and moldy, filthy and stinky on the inside. It did have character though, just not the kind of character I was interested in. We are not planning to stay in any of the huts along the way, preferring to find our own magnificent campsites.
We played leap frog with 7 other hikers and most of us are camped in the same area. We, however despite arriving last have the best campsite, up on a rock knoll overlooking two lakes. AND because of the foxes and the potential to get rabies from their saliva we were advised to keep all our food and cooking gear in our tents…..this goes against every rule I know from the Sierra and yet, yet my food is on lock down inside my tent.
It is 9:12 pm and 58 degrees. The sun is still up and it will be a few more hours before it fully sets. But I cannot wait any more and must sleep!