Thursday, May 10, 2012

No Recipe In This Post

I am planning a hike of the Mountain-Bay Trail (in case no one has been reading my other blog posts about it.) Today was a test walk, with my fully loaded pack, on a local trail, the Devil's River State Trail. It is a 14 mile trail. I wanted to hike three hours out and then come back, and was hoping for a total of 18 miles.

The walk back was a little slower than the walk out. The entire walk took 3:28, but I walked 18.8 miles in total. I hit the trail at about 8:45am and got back to the car (I was never happier to see my car in my life!) at 3:15pm. The hike was good and I learned a few important things.
  1. Pack weight is important. I loaded my pack with my tent, sleeping bag, supplies and enough books to equal the weight of my food, and then a little extra. (I had planned to hike with a total pack weight of 35 pounds, so I loaded today's pack to 40 pounds.) Then I added another 4 pounds in water (2 liters.)  Yeah.  I'm going to find ways to reduce that weight. I can carry it. But it get HEAVY around mile 12.
  2. I need better shoes. I need shoes with a stiff sole. Parts of today's trail were crushed rock or nicely grass covered. Those were the great walking areas. Other areas (it seemed like forever) were large (half-fist sized) rocks that were loose and moved under foot. 
  3. I need larger shoes. My right great toe rubbed against the shoe and while it didn't really hurt, it was uncomfortable. When I got home, I found that I have a large bruise under the toenail of that toe.
  4. Have my camera ready. I saw a lot of wildlife, and I would have like to get pictures of them, but by the time I got it out, they were gone.
  5. I will attempt this hike, but I need to realize that I do have the option of calling for pick up from my wife. Today was good. I wouldn't use the word "enjoyable", but it was peaceful and relaxing. Sort of. But when I get out there, I do not need to finish just to protect my fragile ego. If it gets bad, or if things start hurting too much, I can call for a pick up. And that is okay.
  6. Take my naproxen in the morning before I leave.
  7. I don't need to carry 2 liters of water. I think two half liter bottle will be enough.
So, what about the good things on the hike?

I saw a few deer crossing the trail ahead of me. A woodchuck looked at me as if he wasn't sure what I was doing in his territory (I felt the same way.) Wild turkeys are an epidemic and were all over the trail. Three gangs of turkeys (two with four, and one with three) were in the area, along with one lone tom. If you have never seen a wild turkey, this is not what you see at your Thanksgiving Feast.  These are bad ass birds, standing about three feet tall with wing spans of nearly five feet when they fly. And they fly fast. That lone tom was hiding in the brush right next to the trail and took off when I was abreast (get it? poultry pun!) of it, not more than three feet away. Loud! Explosive! And nearly made me, well, let's not get that personal, okay?

Other birds seen frequently other than the commonplace robins were orioles, cardinals and I heard (but could not find) a woodpecker.

I strongly smelled a skunk, but only a residual aroma. (I am not worried about large predators while walking, but I never thought about skunks.)

I wore my Fitbit (but that is normal, I always wear it.)  Here is what it showed when I got home:

Big numbers. I'm tired. And I lost my voice. Not sure why that happened.

I'll post a recipe or two tomorrow (maybe.) I'll be getting ready for a Mother's Day brunch on Saturday. I'll get the salmon souffle recipe on here soon.

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