marcicat: (agh a monster)

Two wonderful retirees that I met last summer invited me to join them on a two-day hiking trip this September. ‘Great!’ I said. ‘Sign me up!’

Last Friday I got a copy of their planned itinerary, and I nearly called the whole thing off. I suspect these two may actually be superhuman, because I need to up my training game if I’m going to keep up on this thing.

I mean, on the one hand, it’s going to be embarrassing for me if I’m slowing us down. On the other hand, that is some serious Life Goals right there. I hope that’s me in 40 years!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (dreamsheep rainbow)

*Good weather for being outside!

*Finally got a nice picture of the geological marker at the summit.

*Every access road to the park has some serious challenges. I’m just not sure if it’s A) to prevent over-use by making it a pain to get there; B) to increase revenue by having the main entrance be *slightly* less of a pain than the others; C) general lack of funding; or D) all of the above.

*Lots of cute doggos at the park yesterday. Special shoutout to Stella, since she was the only one who was introduced to me.

*Always a good reality check — going up and down is way harder than just regular flat-ish walking.

*Sometimes I want to do a walk, but I’m not sure I’m actually having fun while I’m doing it. Things I’ve found to help tilt the balance: listening to music, taking more pictures, special snacks, narrating in my head as I go.

*I’m not sure exactly what’s in my current bug spray (I had some leftover odds and ends of essential oil blends that got mixed together at some point last year), but it smells really good.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger stream)

When I take pictures it’s basically the same stuff over and over again. A tree! A neat rock! A dozen virtually identical pictures of a pond!

But it’s fun, and we don’t have to pay for rolls of film anymore, which is amazing, and I saw FOUR cute doggos while I was out walking today, so I’m calling it a win.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger travel)

The backstory: the local state park has three mountains in it, or at least there are three things that are called mountains.

[Note: this led me to a fascinating look at the difference between hills and mountains, which is far more vague than I expected. None of these three land-forms are higher than 2000 feet, but they are sort of steep, and apparently you can pretty much call something a mountain if you want, so why not?]

Anyway, so there’s three mountains. One of them is the popular one — it’s got an interesting summit with nice views, and plenty of space for people to spread out at the top and have a snack. Plus, there’s a fire tower — what’s not to love?

Then there’s the tallest one — no real summit to speak of, but it gets the glow of being the tallest. And the trail is cool.

And then there’s the one in the middle. The shortest one. No loop trail, just up and back. But I’d never been up it, so out I went on Sunday, headed for the middle mountain.

AND IT WAS AMAZING. I was both surprised and delighted. The selfie I took at the top did not manage to capture my ‘I was not expecting this, can you believe it’ sensation. The trail sort of meandered around before suddenly dropping me off at a beautiful grassy summit with a super-nice view of the surrounding park. (I mean, only in one direction, but that direction was excellent!)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (badger travel)

I am happy to report that my Saturday adventure walk was a success — while I was driving there, I actually thought I had forgotten my map, but once I arrived I realized I had cleverly stored it in my backpack after the last adventure, so I was all set.

The least scenic but surely the most exciting part of the walk was trekking down what the map optimistically called an “unmaintained road.” It wasn’t technically part of the conservation area trails, but it was a public road that would get me back to where I wanted to be, and I did not foresee any real problems with this plan.

Water, it turned out, was the problem. Enormous, road-devouring pools of water. These were no mere puddles. Things were moving in them. Maybe just frogs? But they were opaque with mud, and way deeper than my hiking boots, so I carefully picked my way around them on the sides. (At one point there was a spider, and I will admit I almost turned back. But I made it!)

Avoiding the enormous water hazards was not even the most exciting part. No, that was when I was one water hazard away from the more maintained part of the road, and I spotted a truck coming towards me. The driver paused on the opposite side of the water, possibly contemplating whether he was really going to drive through it despite his (totally legit) misgivings. I stepped off to the side and pulled out my water bottle, signaling that I was just gonna wait right there until he decided.

Well, he went for it. And succeeded, so kudos on that. Optimistically, I like to think he knew what he was getting into with the rest of the road. Because there definitely wasn’t anywhere to turn around, which means he was either going to make it all the way through or wind up backing out. Hopefully all went well!

Anyway, that was the big excitement of the adventure. Also I saw some deer!

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (duckling)

Or rather, I’m driving a short distance to a forested area with well-marked trails to tromp around getting sunburned for a while. I can’t wait!

(Really, I’m looking forward to it. It turns out that my ‘regular voice’ and my ‘sarcastic voice’ are pretty identical, which probably says something uncomplimentary about my personality, but I am entirely genuine about this. Trees and sunshine! ::hearts::)

PS: I especially love trail bridges.

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

marcicat: (sky circles)

Explored some nearby walking trails this weekend! SO MANY MOSQUITOES. SO MANY. I used two kinds of bug repellent and wore long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, which helped a lot. (As in, still tons of bugs, but it didn’t feel like I was constantly under siege.)

And every so often I’d hit a part of the trail where there was a breeze, and birds singing, and sun on the trees, and it was just — amazing.

The boulder was a bit disappointing, but I did get to walk on a trail called “The Driftway” to see it. And I did not get lost! (Well. I did not get lost more than once. Which is good for me!)

Mirrored from The Marci Rating System.

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