Having said all that, I did not stick to the plan today. I left from area #9 for a counterclockwise hike of the White Trail Loop. Just below the trail head is a spur that goes to a lookout over the creek. It's one of my (many) favorite spots in the park. I went to take a look and noticed a 'Pete-Trail' off to the left. Since I was alone and therefore not responsible for anyone but myself - I took it. It had obviously been blazed by people before me but not by many. I came out on to the equestrian trial that comes off Area #8. For a brief moment I thought I'd follow that trail instead. It loops back to Area #8 and then it would be just a short trip up the road to my car. But there were two reason not to do this:
1) This trail crosses under Gradyville Road and into a section of the park that allows archery hunting during deer hunting season. I don't think it's deer season quite yet but I did not have any blaze orange on and did not want to run into someone who was out there anyway. Not that one can't get hurt wearing proper colors but I'd rather it be the other person's fault.
2) I did not have trail map with me. The equestrian trail is on the map but the trail markers are non-existent. Last time I tried to hike it I came to a section that was so overgrown and appeared to be part of someone's backyard. I do want to conquer that trail and finish the loop someday but today was not going to be it. Even with the map it's hard to follow.
So I took that trail to Area #8 and then followed the road down up and around to pick up the White Trail across the multi use trail from the Mansion and continued clockwise on the White Trail back to my car.
It was cool and damp today. I expected the trail to be much muddier than it was after all the rain Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning. I guess that's a sign we really needed the rain here. There was a lot of debris and downed branches from the wind. The winds blew through still and I was glad I remembered ear covering. I wore long sleeves and a shell. If it had been a longer or more strenuous hike I probably could have made it with short sleeves. We are in that in between time and temperature now.
The plan is to hike RCSP on Sundays for the foreseeable future. Next Sunday's we'll start from the Mansion and follow the Yellow and White Trails. If you'd like to join the hike click here or send me a message.