Post by Phil Stapert on Jul 23, 2014 22:22:29 GMT -5
"Dam to Dam" refers to the section of the North Country Trail from Croton Dam near Newaygo, MI to Hodenpyl Dam near Mesick, MI. It runs from South to North through the Manistee National Forest. At the North end one has the option of staying on the North Country Trail on the West side of the Manistee River or crossing over to the Manistee River Trail on the East side of the river. The Manistee River Trail adds a little distance and has more impressive views of the river. Depending on which side of the river one takes and the exact finish point at the North end the route is roughly 130 miles.
I fastpacked Dam to Dam, using the Manistee River Trail at the North end of the route, on Labor Day weekend 2013. I did it in 3 days, camping 2 nights along the trail. I did the first two days unsupported but had some support from my parents on the third day. I didn't document my exact time, but it was roughly 61 hours from the start Saturday morning to the finish Monday evening.
My goal for Labor Day weekend 2014 is to complete the same trip in 2 days, unsupported. As my plans develop I will post more details and document the trip.
Post by Phil Stapert on Jul 31, 2014 22:53:23 GMT -5
I said I didn't document the exact time, but then I realized I had cell phone pictures of me with the two dams, at the start and at the finish, in the background. The Croton Dam picture was taken at 7:08 am on Saturday August 31, 2013, and the Hodenpyl Dam picture was taken Monday September 2 at 7:18 pm, so my time from Croton Dam to Hodenpyl Dam was 60:10.
Post by Phil Stapert on Aug 20, 2014 22:48:49 GMT -5
I'm planning to fastpack "Dam to Dam" for the second time starting Sunday August 24 at about 6:00 am. I plan to do it solo and unsupported, carrying all my food and gear, and only replenishing water along the way. I'll get water from well pumps at campgrounds and trailheads and from streams along the trail. My route will be from Croton Dam in Newaygo, MI to Hodenpyl Dam in Mesick, MI by way of the North Country Trail and the Manistee River Trail.
To record my time I'll take a cell phone picture at Croton Dam when I start and at Hodenpyl Dam when I finish.
I have Sunday through Tuesday to complete this trek, but my "very ambitious" goal is to do it in 40 hours. I have heard that "Dam to Dam" has been a popular backpacking trip, but I have not heard of anyone doing it in 3 days or less. I'd be interested to know about anyone who has done it in a relatively fast time.
Post by Phil Stapert on Aug 24, 2015 21:28:47 GMT -5
Last year (2014) I set out to do Dam to Dam again and did not finish it. I went into it tired and just didn't feel I had 130 miles in me. I did about 80 miles in 2 days and quit. This year I plan to give it another shot on Labor Day weekend, unsupported, and see if I can improve on my time. Look for my report after Labor Day.
Post by Phil Stapert on Sept 7, 2015 17:27:59 GMT -5
I went back to improve on my time on Labor Day weekend 2015, but I developed a shin injury and stopped at 70 miles. That means my time from 2013 is still my best time, 2 days, 12 hours, and 10 minutes. It is officially a supported time, because, even though I did the first two days unsupported, I had support on the third day.
I have not heard of anyone doing Dam-to-Dam in a faster time, supported or not. I'm sure there are people who could do it faster, so I would encourage ultrarunners and fastpackers to go for it!