I’d have a whole lot of pack horses by now. This time last year (2015) we thought we were getting back into our hiking / backpacking stride, and we lost it. After about three hikes we stopped. Lots of work came in and we both spent most of the year tied to our desks and computers.
The past couple of months I’ve been watching hiking videos on YouTube, and that has whetted my appetite to get out on the trail again. The thought of exercise and fresh air was motivation enough for Ginger. With the prospect of a 60°F day in January, we headed down to Busiek for a short hike to see how bad our hiking muscles are. We decided that the Yellow / Silver trail hike with its 1:2 and 1:3 grades was more than we wanted to try, so we opted for the 4.5 mile White trail on the western side of Busiek.
I was pleasantly surprised. We took the trail in a clockwise direction and managed the trail’s only big climb without any trouble. Though I will admit I am so out of shape that just bowling along on the level got my heart pounding. The ground was still cold on the shady sides of the hollows, I even found some left-over ice (cue photo opportunity for my hiking huaraches). There were also a few very muddy spots on the trail, though Camp Creek was dry in most places except near the shooting range.
One priceless event during our hike was to meet a group of folks using one of our trail maps to get around. It’s good to know that they are proving useful for someone.
We got round in two hours, forty minutes, that’s an average speed of 1.6 miles per hour, which is (relatively) fast for us. We stop and look at things, take pictures, and chat too much to go a lot faster. 1.1 miles per hour is the speed we use for trip planning.
The trail, as expected, was quite busy. I was surprised at the the more ‘mature’ profile of the people we met – however as Ginger pointed out, I’m no spring chicken either – I hit the big six-oh this year. As we were getting near the end of the hike the age profile of the people we met started to drop – obviously either these people, like our teenager, need more time in bed in the morning, or they needed time to get the kids organized before hitting the trail.
After effects. Ginger is still looking for that Holy Grail of items – the trail shoe that fits and works for her. A year’s break hasn’t changed anything and after three miles her feet started playing up. Trying out trail shoes can (and no doubt will) be an expensive business. If you are lucky, you’ll be like me and find just the right shoe early on – but there are few people prepared to hike in huaraches. The only problems I’ve had since my hike, has been some slight muscle aches and a sudden addiction to hiking websites, hiking gear sites, and Amazon.