Saturday was too great a day to pass by without a hike in the woods. It started out a little cold (19 degrees and 20 mph winds) but warmed up into the low to mid-30s. I decided to take a hike at Twin Creek MetroPark. I really like this spot and have not been there for several weeks. It has an upper loop of about 6 miles and a lower loop of about 4 miles so combining them makes a nice 10 mile circuit. I was able to complete two circuits yesterday as I enjoyed the crisp winter air.
I didn’t have a ruler but most of the snowfall looked to be around 4 inches. There were some cool drifts that came up about mid calf, but I avoided those for the most part. A snow hike means a slow hike. My pace was rather slow. It took me 7 hours and 45 minutes to cover my 20 miles. That’s only about 2 ½ miles per hour. With the snow covering the path it is difficult to see the terrain so I ended up slipping and sliding a lot. Fortunately I did not fall at all and the lack of sure footing was great for strengthening my ankles.
I decided to carry a relatively full pack (sleeping bag/pad, tent, food for three days, 64 ounces of water, cook set, water filtration system, rain gear, and extra clothes. The pack weighed 32.5 pounds. I thought it would be good to start to carry a realistic A.T. pack. At the end of the hike my shoulders were pretty sore but I was pleased at my ability to tote the weight. My trekking poles worked great, providing balance on the downhill slides and added push on the hilly assents. This hike offered a good upper-body workout for a guy with very little upper-body.
Tomorrow: More on the wildlife and the adventure of Saturday’s hike.