Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Red Trail (Repeat) (24)

“After a day’s walk, everything has twice its usual value.”

– G.M. Trevelyan

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.”

-Frank Herbert

Today (Monday 8/21/17) was much cooler than on Saturday went I ventured out into the woods. Barely 60 degrees, the humidity was much lower which made hiking more than enjoyable. Since Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is around 20 minutes from where I live, it seems to be my new “go to” place to get a hike in. I can get a good six miles done in about 2 hours, maybe a little longer (or shorter) depending on how fast I am hiking.

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The sky just before sunrise with some mist.

After hiking in peace with an ever brightening sky, I climbed a short incline, rounded a corner and was rewarded with this nice shot.

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Since I was hiking my new favorite loop in WPRR, I decided to head off on a connector trail that would leave the Red Trail on to a connector trail to the Orange Trail back on another connector where I would meet up again with the Red Trail. Here are some of the things that I saw:

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A small bridge coming down from a shelter on the Orange Trail.

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A Connector Trail leading from the Orange Trail back to the Red Trail.

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/21/17-6.1125.12

It’s Finally August!!! (23)

“What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?” 

Henry David Thoreau

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Compare this picture to the one taken a few days ago. You can feel the humidity sitting on you just looking at it!

Since I didn’t get out yesterday, I knew that I had to do a hike today. Since the forecast today is for a high of 84 degrees with a real feel of 93, it was important to get out early since I tend to sweat profusely on days when it is in the mid 20’s! Starting out at 5:50 am, the temperature was already 72 degrees with the humidity hovering at 94 percent. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the water to start running off of me.

I don’t think that I need to state the obvious but I will anyway. It’s days like these that remind me of the importance of making sure that you stay hydrated when you are out in the woods. Before I even left my house I made sure that I drank 48 ounces water. I then brought another 96 ounces for the hike.  Since I knew that I was going to be hiking between 6 and 6 1/2 miles, I knew that making periodic water stops would be crucial.

With heat index already in the 80’s  (remember, the sun hasn’t even risen yet!) making sure that you drink enough water and not running out of water can be a delicate balancing act. This is why when I plan a hike I try my best to factor everything (weather, terrain, difficulty) into how much water I will need to bring.

Today I ended up doing the Red Trail again at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation as well as a little extra. Since I have already done this hike, I won’t bother to write it up again except to say, IT WAS HUMID!!!!!

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/19/17-6.4-119.12

Leatherman’s Loop (22)

“Alright, alright, alright.”

-Wooderson

“You know how your dog reacts when he knows he is going for a ride? That’s the feeling I have when I am going for a hike. I just don’t pee on the floor in excitement.”

-MPD

Today I wanted to head to the Leatherman’s Loop in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation. The story of the Leatherman is a fascinating one and I strongly encourage you to check out the link below.

leathermansloop.org/2009/02/the-legend-of-the-leatherman/

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This excellent hike starts and ends at the same point where Monday’s hike began. The Red and the Green trail run together until you meet the Leatherman Loop (LL) off to the right. Take the LL trail as it moves uphill for a very short time. The trail levels out and then turns to the left. I decided to go clockwise and I headed downhill. Once again, the trail levels off and then makes a right turn.

To get to Leatherman’s Cave, you will see a sign on a tree that points you in the right direction. The short climb to the cave is a short one but very steep.

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Leatherman’s Cave

Once you have rested for a bit and taken photos, head back the way you came and right before you get back to the woods road, turn left to continue on the LL. Be prepared, this section of the hike up to the Overlook is very challenging. Once you get to the top, you get a real nice view of the Cross River Reservoir as well as the dam in the distance.

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A cool bench where you can just chill after a strenuous climb. 

If you look to the center right of the picture below, you can see the outline of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Reservoir

A close up of the Cross River Dam.

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The Cross River Dam

After completing the LL, I decided to knock out the rest of the Green Trail. Most of it continued to be aligned with the Red Trail until it makes a sharp left turn to head back to the start of the hike.

Without a doubt, another excellent hike in Ward Pound Ridge!!! I’ll be back in a couple of days.

Happy Hiking!!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/16/17-5.4-112.72

100 Mile Review

“Life is better in hiking boots.”

-Anonymous

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Now that I have hiked just over 100 miles in my Vasque St. Elias GTX Boots and awesome Meriwool Merino Wool socks, it’s time to write a review. Let’s start off with the socks. Since I have three pairs of the socks, I can pretty much rotate them every time I go hiking. I am sure that this has saved on the wear and tear on each of the pairs. As I mentioned when I first got them, they are much better than any cotton sock. To this day they remain comfortable and well worth the extra money that they cost. Still no hot spots (I used to get them all the time with cotton socks!) or blisters!

I did have to do some research as to what would be the best way to wash them. What I do is I fill my kitchen sink with warm water and add some soft liquid soap.  After 15-20 minutes I rinse them in pretty cold water and squeeze out any excess water. The one things that many sites I looked at were very specific in saying that Merino Wool socks should not be wrung out as the wool could be compromised. Lay them on a flat surface to then let them dry.

Overall these socks have been a blessing. They have performed above my expectations and I fully expect that they will continue to do so.

Wearig an 12 W, the Vasque St. Elias GTX has also performed even better than I thought they would. With an exact fit, they provide the amount of ankle support that I need to be able to hike a short distance, or a hilly 10 miler that leave my legs rubbery! The best thing about these boots is you would think that a boot that offers so much support would be pretty heavy.  At 3 lbs. 1 ounce, the St. Elias has enough support to keep your feet and ankles protected, but light enough that you really don’t feel them.

Happy Hiking!