I must be feeling better because I didn't let the forecast for 20+ mph winds keep me off the trails today. The winds did present a 'what to wear' debate. The temps were going to be in the 50s most of the time I'd be out but the high winds presented a challenge. I hesitate to call it wind chill challenge since it is Spring but I don't know another name for it. On the water I knew the wind would make me feel colder. So I dressed one way and packed alternatives and before taking off on the trail out of the parking lot I opted for long sleeves and a knit hat on to cover my ears. I even wore gloves for the first mile. Toward the end of the hike I felt warm in the long sleeves but once I stopped moving at my car I was chilly so I'm glad I didn't change.
The wind made me concerned about falling trees too. There's been a lot of rain in recent weeks including yesterday and just before arriving at the parking lot I heard a news story about some downed trees. I was hyper aware at first of any creaking noises from the wind in the trees. Then I realized that when the wind gusts came all I could hear was the wind so I decided there was no point worrying. I tried to be alert but there wasn't much I could do to stop a tree or branch from falling anyway and why ruin an otherwise enjoyable hike worrying.
I wanted to get to 12 today and I did. Garmin stats here. I followed the blue and red trails with a few side trails in between to make a loop of the reservoir. For the first 10 miles the trail meandered up and down the banks of the water. Only one climb in those first miles 10 was significant and it was a short one. During the last two miles that changed. I felt like all I did was climb in the last two miles. I wondered if I was just tired or if the trail really was steeper here. When I got home, I was glad to see the elevation profile supported the steeper climb. I WAS tried but it was not all in my head. :) I saw a lot of hikers with their dogs. In fact, two groups I saw twice. They were obviously doing the loop in the opposite direction. I was surprised that I didn't see more runners. It's a nice loop for that. I only saw two.
I'd like to do this hike again in a different season. It would be quite different with trees in bloom I think. The trails for the most part are well marked. The only trail that wasn't was a side - allegedly yellow - trail. There were no yellow blazes to speak of but the trail did do what the map and it's description said it would do so all's well that ends well.
I finished today feeling no worse than last weekend. I feel good about that. I still think the Super Hike is still an IF at this point. I need to test myself on the SSH course to move the needle toward LIKELY. Here are some more photos from today.
If you want to see more photos from today or any of my hikes they are saved here I set the album as public so you do not need a Facebook account to view them.
Keep smiling and keep moving