The Curse of Zaleski
So I headed down to the Zaleski Backpack Trail in southeastern Ohio this afternoon, it is about a 22 mile loop and the closest backpacking to home. I've hiked this loop about a zillion times in the last 25 years. Of all of the places I've backpacked - AT, PCT, Long Trail, Colorado Trail, Alaska, Olympic NP, Rocky Mtn Np, etc - Zaleski is where the problems are for me. I'm beginning to think my luck is cursed there. Previous "adventures" : remains of a hurricane flooding the trailhead parking lot and my truck, forgotten essential equipment (fuel bottle left on the porch), tarp site getting flooded and gear soaked, the flu showing up out of nowhere, attacked by stinging caterpillars, run ins with huge groups of really loud Boy Scouts, and several others that I have blocked from my memory.
So I pull into the parking lot this evening, only planning on hiking the 1.5 miles into the first campsite. It is about 60 degrees and drizzling, 6 or 7 cars in the lot. I put my jacket and pack on and head out. About half a mile later, my left Chaco suddenly feels very loose. I think, OK its wet, the buckle must have slipped a bit. Tighten it down and keep walking. A few steps later and something obviously isn't right. The strap that runs thru the footbed under the heel has busted at the outside of my foot. Well, thats interesting. I snug it down further thinking I can make it work. Within about 100 yards it is clear this isn't going to work. My heel kept sliding off the outside of the footbed and the heel strap began pulling thru and loosening up in the inside of the sandal. Looks like my hike is done after 15 minutes. I shuffle back to the truck and drive back home. Thought about grabbing a different pair of shoes and driving back down tonight, but then I decided to give the curse a few hours to go away and I'll head back down in the morning. Someday my luck has got to change.
Here is a link to info about Zaleski, no mention's of the curse, so maybe it is just me. http://backpackohio.com/zaleski.html
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