Saturday, May 23, 2015

Conestoga Trail Out & Back from Pinnacle Overlook

A gorgeous day for hiking on a challenging and very beautiful trail. I had such a good time today.

I arrived at the overlook at 8:30 a.m. took a few pictures found the trail and went off. The trail is very rocky, steep in some places and almost constant up and down. The one 'flat' path along the creek was so full of boulders that you have to climb your way along. The poles were perfect for this. I kept them fully extended the whole time. On the way out I didn't know what was around the next bend and on the way back with tired knees from all the uneven terrain I found the poles to be helpful.

The sound of rushing water made it all worthwhile. For the entire hike today I either had a view of the Susquehanna River through the trees or heard the water rushing over rocks in the creeks. And there were a lot of butterflies. Some got in my face to say hello but none would sit still long enough to try a photo.

I had to blaze my own trail twice today. You can see them on the map from Garmin. Once around a big group of boulders/rock slabs. They were huge and I went one way around on the way out and a different way around on the way back. But the biggest off trail adventure is at the end. You'll see that my out and back looks like a lollipop.

On the way back I missed a blaze. I wasn't uncomfortable with the lack of blazes at first because I remembered on the way out there were few on this section. Then I started getting the feeling it didn't look quite right. I was probably about halfway up to the overlook by now. I wasn't completely convinced that I was wrong though and didn't want to go back down only to discover that I was on the right path after all. I decided to pull out the phone but of course there was no signal. I knew I was more or less heading in the right direction so I kept going. A little more up the hill and I  got a signal. I could see now that I was not where I needed to be but that if I kept going I'd pop out on Pinnacle Road not far from my car.

I decided to continue on. There were two things that might happen  and neither was horrible. I wasn't sure if I would end up in someone's field before I got to the road. I decided  if I did I'd just have to beg forgiveness - perhaps show them my watch which indicated I'd been out for 4.5 hours already. I did not end up in anyone's backyard. The second thing that might happen was that the path I was on - which I think was created by water run off down the hill - would end. It did. I could hear people though and knew the road had to be just ahead. I plowed through grateful for long sleeves and pants. Gotta love an unplanned adventure.

I set out on this hike to test myself for the super hike. The miles I did today are on the first section of the hike. I started out in the opposite direction of the hike. After one mile I was on a 2 mile per hour pace. Not good enough to the 50k super hike. I LOVE the trail but to try to travel it for time just wasn't worth it. There's a saying among the runners half marathons are half the distance and twice the fun. I think maybe I should look toward doing the 25k distance at the SSH instead.

Keep smiling and Keep Moving
-Paula


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