Day 6: 5 June 2018 – Kohlberg – Großbüchlberg – 24km
I slept really well and got going at a quarter to 7 on the quest for water. Walking on gravel again today….sigh…I made it to a small gurgling stream, barely visible, after about an hour and filled up on slightly murky water that I treated with my SteriPen. I am kind of still skeptical about this UV treatment’s effectiveness for water purification, but I guess sometimes you have to take something on faith, right?
Does anyone have more experience with a SteriPen and can share some info? Please leave a comment below, I’d appreciate it 🙂 .
After walking through tall grass, soaking my shoes and feet, I took a break on a tiny footbridge over a stream, quiclky called my mom and then kept on walking for a while more.
The ‘Dreifaltigkeitskirche’ (church of the holy trinity) in Kappl is one of the landmarks of the area and it makes a rather impressive appearance when you step out of the woods and suddenly it’s there in front of you.
I took a quick peak inside, it still smelled like incence (love that smell) from the religious festivities a few days before, and then I made good use of the fountain in front of the church, dumping out the murky stream water and filling up on fresh, deliciously clean water. It was around 9:30am and I took a short break in the shade, because it was already heating up significantly.
My original plan had been to tackle a crazy 38km day to reach Fuchsmühl, but with the blister on my heel and all the annoying gravel roads I decided it was NOT going to happen.
So I kept on walking a few kilometers more to Waldsassen, where I sat down in a shaded beer garden for a nice salad and a ‘Weinschorle’ (white wine and sparkling water, so refreshing) and planned out the rest of my day. I decided to head to Großbüchlbach, where a pretty fancy campground beckoned with showers and even a swimming pool and sauna (not that I carry extra swimwear, but the idea was nice) and it was only another 12km away.
After a quick trip to the pharmacy for some cortisone cream (did I mention I have about 10 horsefly bites that blew up to the size of a fried egg?! each!) I hiked on, on more gravel…..which is even worse in the heat of the day.
But the facilities at the campground made up for it. The people there were super nice, even lending me a big towel. For 12€ I had access to showers, bathroom facilities, some level ground to set up camp, and outlets to charge my phone. I also could have used the pool and sauna, but I’m not a fan of skinny-dipping (which IS allowed after 6pm when kids are no longer allowed in the pool), so I skipped that. I did do laundry (2,50€ per load) and made a HUGE dinner of some flavoured rice.
It was supposed to be for 2-3 people, but I actually finished it and then had half a chocolate bar and some chips after. I guess hiker hunger sets in after a while…
I read some more of my book, and tried to go to sleep, which was kind of hard because of the very bright lights that were kept on all night around the whole campground.
Day 7: 6 June 2018 – Großbüchlberg to Wiesau – 18km
I woke up still tired and not rested at all. I took my time making breakfast and packing up, I really wasn’t feeling it today. I still started walking at around 7:30, planning on going towards Fuchmühl and then taking a side trail to another town with a train station.
I honestly had enough of all the gravel and pavement and was supported in my decision to quit again, because all morning the only time I DIDN’T walk on gravel or pavement was a strretch of about half a kilometer through a grassy meadow….RIGHT NEXT TO THE FRICKING AUTOBAHN!!!! Seriously, who planned this stupid trail? Is there NO better alternative than to lead you through an overgrown meadow about 30 feet away from roaring cars and trucks?
Anyway, there really isn’t much to tell about this day, because I was really just trudging along, trying to get to the train to go back home.
One episode stuck in my mind though. I was wlking downhill through the woods (still on gravel though) when suddenly about a million tiny frogs were hopping to and fro along the path. I could hear the adults croaking in the lake up ahead and tried to step gingerly, so as to not crush all these little cute froggies under my feet. Tiny frogs really are cute…
Oh, and I also came across this guy…..I guess he’s not impressed by the trail either:
All in all, the trail isn’t bad, but it’s not good enough to keep me interested in finishing it. I’d rather spend the time before I head out on the PCT (in 3 weeks, yikes) with my family and enjoying my home trails.
So what were your experiences on this trail? Does it get better? Or are the trail conditions about the same for the rest of the trail? Should I get back out there at one point and finish it? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Until next time….hopefully with some gear related post…
Keeping you posted…
3 Replies to “Fränkischer Gebirgsweg (Franconian Mountain Trail): Day 6 – 7”
Hi, I am on my second Steri-Pen. I used the 1st for 10 years and it only quit when I dropped in the lake. I used it in Canada and in the Sierras in California. Never had issues with it. Every time I use it I reverse the batteries and find they last much longer. Maybe it was just mine but I felt there was a small drain on the batteries if left in the proper sequence. I also have a small piece of mesh I place over my nalgene to filter out small particles when I get water. In the Sierras there was a tiny worm that looked like a fleck of bark. The strainer caught it.
We used a SteriPen for a few backpacking trips in Canada two years ago. Canadian Rockies are not necessarily known for doubtful water sources but we took somtimes water from less-than-perfectly clean creeks. Neither me nor my family (including two kids with quite susceptible stomachs) had any issues. Once you get used to the stirring in the Nalgene bottles it turned out to be a great water purification solution, much better than these chlorine tables we used to have in past years.
Thanks Flo 🙂 good to know