Beaver Fever is aptly named because of all the beaver damns we encountered, as well as our first ever sighting of a beaver lodge. The trails were very poorly marked. We first lost the trail at 2.6 miles in. We backtracked twice before deciding to continue on where we thought the trail might be. I even started recording on my GPS to make sure we didn't get too badly turned around. Luckly we had guessed right and continued on a fairly steady and steep climb. The top had no views, and immediatly we started down and through a marshy area with boardwalks that had mostly returned to nature. We gave a big whoop when we got to the road part of the trail and decided since we were running behind we would eat lunch on the go. Less then a mile into the Hubbard Brook trail, we lost the trail, backtracked, and noticed what looked like markers to redirect the trail. We followed that for a hundred feet or so, then hit a really marshy area. Backtracking again we verified that was the way the markers seemed to indicate. Wandering further it got even more marshy, then we saw a damn, and an area that would require getting our feet wet. Draggies braved it and wandered through the 2" deep water and then saw a beaver lodge! She was able to get some pictures of it then came back to me and we backtracked. Deciding to go the way that seemed marked as a redirect we only made it a short way before we were bushwacking. We seemed to be close to the original trail according to the GPS so we pushed on for a while longer, but never found the trail, and it was starting to get late. I decided to have Draggies stay put and I would push through and see if I could find the trail or a good place to camp. While I found neither, I did see another nice beaver pond. After a short powwow we decided it was getting too late to push on, and that we were not going to do the loop. We decided to head back to the road and look for a place to camp. Draggies found a nice spot next to a river and about 100 feet off the road. For dinner we enjoyed mexican beef, rice and cheese; a how made recipe we got from a backpacking recipe book. For desert we had creme brulee.
Having had a good nights rest, Draggies told me that I apparently slept through a moose walking right by the tent! She heard it and was worried about it stepping on the tent. But it ignored it and went down to the stream. Breakfast was cream of rice pudding (cream of rice with raisons, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of vanilla pudding). Today we were going to go back the way we came, but take the Donkey Hill cutoff so we could pass the Three Ponds and check out the shelter. We don't stay in shelters, but were curious. It was an easy to follow trail, with only one section that was really wet. We took a break at a log were we saw a couple dragonflies. Then more came, and more and more. I think it got up to 15 dragonflies, but it was hard to count, since they kept flying up and switching places.
Once at the pond, we took a long break, and I saw some tadpoles swiming around. After the break I noticed the trail up to the shelter, and went up. It was so blackened by smoke I thought it had been burned. And it smelled so bad, such a strong smell of smoke!
The rest of the walk was pretty uneventful. We arrived back at the car, removed one tick off my leg, and drove home.