Saturday, July 25, 2015

Dinosaur Hike

Today's hike was beautiful 

and spidery. 

 The spider webs were everywhere. I was covered in webbing from head to toe by the time I was finished. There were web lines across my sun glasses and spider food hanging off my hat and my poles.

Despite all that I had a good hike. I decided to start at Warwick County Park and head east toward Green Lane on the Horseshoe Trail. The trail runners call this section Stegosaurus because of the elevation map it creates.

I figured this section would come close to mimicking the elevation of the 25k section of the SSH. Here is the Garmin stats for the 11+ section I did on the SSH course about a month ago and today's 11+ on Stegosaurus. Close but SSH will be steeper still.

I had planned to head east from Warwick Park 6 miles or Green Lane whichever came first. 6 miles probably would have brought me just to Green Lane but I turned around early. At about 5.8, I came across invisible dog fence flags. They extended out onto the trail more than halfway across. I could also hear the dog. :( Since I've begun using the poles I am less afraid of the dogs but it seemed foolish to head deliberately into one's path since I was so close to turning around anyway.

Note to my dog loving friends about the poles. I would never hurt an animal on purpose. Having the poles in hand makes me feel a bit less at a disadvantage. I figure at least I have something to put between me and the dog. If an animal really wanted to get me nothing would help and I know most do not want to get me; that my fear is irrational. The poles help calm the fear. Whatever works.

Of course, I did not get trekking poles for the dog factor. Today I got to test them crossing French Creek. They did help with balance while rock hopping across. They also helped on the steeper downhills. I was able to move faster with the added stability.

It's tough to have a bad day on the trail on a day as beautiful as today. Still, I think it was a good outing. I'm pleased with my pace, hydration and fueling.

I've hiked this section several times in one direction or the other and a couple out and backs. I've had different people with me at different times. I enjoyed the memories of those hikes as I went today. So thank you to Maggi & Russ, Rajeev, Arti & Ken as well as the memorable strangers I've passed on previous hikes on this section. The young couple with a baby in the backpack carrier and the woman on horseback and her dog. Today I saw only one other person - a trail runner dude who was desperately trying to shake off the spider webs as we waited for the traffic to part on Route 100.

- Keep smiling and keep moving.