Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hike #5

 We set up a goal to try to hike at least once a week to try and prepare ourselves for the final trip.  But this weekend wasn't looking so great weather wise.  Saturday was supposed to be the better of the two days.  Sunday was forecasted to be high of only 11 degrees with windchills below 0- not ideal hiking weather.  So Saturday found me at my mom's house contemplating what to do.  I had been out taking care of my chickens and nearly getting frostbite, so I wasn't sure a hike was the best idea.  The original plan was to just go for an extended walk my from my parents house.  There was a snow storm moving in along with high winds and sub zero temperatures, so we wanted to make sure we didn't get caught outside in nasty weather.  But because the sun was out and the temperature was hovering in the low 30's, we changed our plans at the last minute and decided to check out the trails at the local Nature Center.
We set out on their 1.5 mile trail.  If the weather started to change, we were close enough to bail and head for home.  The Vista trail took us up a decent incline and through a grove of pines and eventually brought us to an aviary with some owls and raptors.  It was a pleasant surprise and gave us a little rest.  We ventured on to the 3 mile yellow trail.  It was a little icy in areas, but we managed.  Well, except for my little spill where I ended up sprawled on the ice.  My loving husband told me if I did that on the trip, he and the rest of the group would use their poop shovels to bury me there.
There were many things to discover along our travels.  Someone had constructed emergency shelters in the pine trees, and we climbed in to check it out.   My 8 year old became nervous when he spied a sign telling horseback riders there was a dangerous bridge ahead.  It turned out to be only dangerous to horses.   It was a pretty good hike, except for the whining- and not just the whining from the 8 year old.  There were a few steep inclines that had my husband and I muttering under our breath.  And I also realized, as I looked to the top of the hill from somewhere near the bottom, that my 60 year old mother was kicking my butt (as she looked down at me from up near the top).  In total we hiked about 3 miles and for about 2 hours before the snow and wind moved in. I learned a few things on the hike: there's a reason why in all the research I've done on how to physically prepare for a back packing trip they all say the best thing is to get out and hike.  This hike had terrain closer to the type of terrain I'll encounter on the AT and I had muscles hurting that don't hurt after an hour at the gym.  I also learned that my boots need to be replaced.  I had pretty much already come to that decision, but this hike drove the point home.  My feet were sliding and hitting the front of the boot, now I really can't wait to get to REI.  And finally, I think I'm pretty confident that I won't have a heart attack from hiking (though I haven't done anything with a pack yet).  Ever since my physical showed diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, I've been worried about my heart.  My dad was only 6 years older than I am now when he had quintuple bypass surgery, so I worry about every twinge.  I'm happy to say that yesterday I paid attention and I was twinge free on every hill.    

Taking a break (5 minutes into the hike

Dangerous bridge!
The not so dangerous bridge

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