When I complete new hikes (and even old ones) I try to include these two things in at least one of the pictures. My partners and tour guides, the ones that have been with me during every hike over the last 17 or so, are my day pack and hiking poles. They are true tour guides that have never complained about the length of a hike or the severity of the weather.
These three photos were taken at Ward Pound Ridge, a place where I have spent many, many hours hiking since this past summer. Located about 20 minutes from my house, it offers a multitude of hiking trails that offer a sense of peace and tranquility to either start a day or end one.
It’s a rare day in late, late November when you can actually hike for a few hours in shorts and a t-shirt and not feel chilly at some point. Today, I decided to hold off starting my hike until around 10:30 am. My original thought was that it would be much warmer than the usual 6:00 am start which would make things a little more comfortable.
The one thing that I tend to forget when I start my hikes later, especially on days like today, are the number of people who come out to hike. Because I usually get out so early, I rarely see anyone with the exception of some trail runners. On my hike today it seemed like I was running into someone ever couple of minutes. I actually started wondering where they were all coming from…
All in all it was another excellent hike. I got to meet a couple of nice people and as usual they had some incredibly friendly dogs who were eager to make my acquaintance. I really should start taking picture of all of the dogs that I meet when I am hiking.
“Mostly, two miles an hour is good going.”
As I was leaving the parking on Michigan Road the other day I saw the familiar markings of a connector trail. This is the first time that I have seen this particular trail despite the fact that I have been by the start of the trail about thirty times. So instead of making the customary left turn from my jeep to get to the trail, I went right and headed down Michigan Road. Turning right, I headed into the woods and after a short time I found myself at the site of an old mill.
After looking around for a few minutes I headed back up to the road. On the map it is shown as a loop, but for the life of me I couldn’t find any blazes on the return route. When I got back to the road, I made the left and made my way to the Red and Green Trail. I took this trail until the green trail left the red and intersected with the RT. Shortly after that the yellow trail comes in until you go back to the parking lot.
“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”
Who would have thought that on August 25th the temperature at the start of my hike at 11:45 am would be 68 degrees with very low humidity? Not me!! This summers weather has been absolutely crazy. In between all of the rain and the relatively low temperatures, hiking certainly has been interesting. Since I got a pretty late start today, I went ahead and hiked what I am now calling the Modified Red Trail. This gives me a good hike with some distance, several climbs and flat sections.
Summer 2017 Mileage:
“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.”
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.
After hiking in peace with an ever brightening sky, I climbed a short incline, rounded a corner and was rewarded with this nice shot.
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:
Summer 2017 Mileage:
“What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”
Henry David Thoreau
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!!!!!
Summer 2017 Mileage: