Sunday, May 4, 2014

We May Be Lost but At Least There's a Bathroom

Today I completed my fourth section on the Horse Shoe Trail.My trail mates were Candy and Kristi Y. We met at St. Peter's Village and drove together to French Creek Elementary School where Russ and Maggi and I left off on the last section.

The guide book describes a detour for the first part of this section to avoid having to 'ford' (the guidebook's word) the creek at that juncture. Since the creek at St. Peter's Village looked like this -

French Creek rushing by St. Peter's Village
We voted to take the detour. Despite the initial scare of the pack of dogs that came running at us, it was quite nice. The dogs were behind an invisible fence thank goodness. The detour took us across route 23 and along old route 23 where we passed some interesting looking houses and a church.

Once back on the trail we were mostly in woods. We climbed and descended some very muddy trails. After the monsoon rains on Wednesday of this week there was water everywhere.

Sample of the trail conditions
Candy took the lead and guided us to whatever relative dry spots there were. We could only hope that the growth on either side of the trail was not poison ivy or similar stuff. The mud made it very difficult to get one's footing. It was almost impossible to predict which way your ankle would turn or whether your shoe would sink. At one point, Candy said "One of us is going to land on their butt pretty soon". It couldn't have been a minute later when my foot went out from under me. I was determined not to put my butt in the mud though knowing that that would make for a very uncomfortable hike the rest of the way. I managed to land on my left arm and left leg keeping my hip out of the mud. I'm grateful to the other two for not taking a photo. You'll have to take my word for it, but it was an amazing save if I do say so myself!

We entered Warwick Park and discovered that there are a variety of trails within the park. It might be worth a trip back there just to explore those sometime. There were several people out on them. It was here that we missed a turn in the horse shoe trail. All's well that end's well though since the missed turn meant an indoor bathroom stop at the main picnic area of the park. If it wasn't for the volunteer work I did for the Misery Loves Company 50 Shades of Sore Race we might still be wandering around. I recognized where we were and I knew the trail went up and over the hill here.

Once out of the park we crossed over County Park Road and up a very deceptive looking hill.

It's more of a climb than it appears to be
At the top of this hill there was a trail register box. We all signed it and continued on our way. It was about now that the rain started to fall. Not heavy, just sprinkles here and there.

We avoided the large creek crossing but still there were several water crossings along the way. (Aside from the rivers that ran down the trail itself). Here is one of the last ones. The tree branch wobbled so you can guess what happened here. Let's just say that the water is VERY cold right now.

With the detour and a little back track at Warwick County Park we covered 5 miles in 2 hours and 8 minutes.

I had toyed with the idea at the beginning of the day of hiking back to my car but the rain which was more than a sprinkle at this point and the trail conditions helped me decided against it.

Trail conditions notwithstanding it was an enjoyable hike with friends. Not sure when the next section will be. I'm thinking about heading to White Clay Creek next and checking the Mason Dixon Trail a little. Stay tuned. :)

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