Sunday, November 6, 2016

MA Appalachian Trail - Section 3 - Ashuwilliticook Rail Trail to Gore Pond

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
11/6/2016 7.2

Directions: AT southbound from Ashuwilliticook Rail Trail to Gore Pond and back.

I woke up today feeling sore and stiff all over. My body is no longer used to hiking. 7 miles used to be easy. I didn't feel the chronic hip pain I've been having though, so today was another opportunity to hike! We decided to continue to work on the Massachusetts AT. It's a long drive for a day hike, so we listen to audio books in the car. We just finished an audio book yesterday about a family who took a few months to travel and volunteer around the world. Today we listened to the podcast, Sounds of the Trail, which is interviews of thru hikers during a single season.
It took us a little while to find parking. Our trail map doesn't have street names, and our GPS wasn't finding the names of the streets we entered in. We ended up at a school, where we didn't know if we were allowed to park. But we drove around a little more and found the parking area for the rail trail just a short distance away, where we knew we could park. The hike started off with a road walk to get to the trail. The AT also heads up to a popular viewpoint called The Cobbles. We decided to skip the view on the way up, and hope we have time for it on the way down. We hiked to Gore Pond, our turnaround point from yesterday as well. There is a large beaver dam there and the water is brown. We got a late start today (typical), and reached Gore Pond a little later than the time we needed to turn around to beat sunset. I'm out of shape, so I know I don't hike as fast as I used to. My leg muscles were shaking by the end of yesterday's hike, and today they were shaking early on. There are a ton of leaves on the trail, and they aren't packed down yet, so it is also easy to misstep and lose one's balance on an unseen rock. I'm trying really hard not to tweak my hip, so I'm going back to being a cautious hiker. We did decide to stop at the Cobbles on the way down. It's just a very short side trail to a nice view of Mt. Greylock. If my hip holds up, we'll be hiking Mt. Greylock soon. We did it once before a few years ago. We hiked out, not quite beating sunset, so Glen ended up using his headlamp. I'm thinking I'd like it better if we sprung forward an hour in the fall instead of falling back an hour. Given that we aren't early risers, this would work out so much better for us! Getting out of the car at home, I was stiff. I remind myself of Moxie after she has been for a hike (she gets wicked stiff, and isn't always weight bearing on all legs when she gets out of the car). My hips ache, my quads are sore, my feet are sore, my calves are tight. But I'm happy.

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