Sunday, February 5, 2017

First hike of the year! Orange Trail, Ward Pound Ridge Park, NY

Date Distance Time Elevation Gain Average Moving Time Year to Date Miles
1/28/2017 1.5 miles 1.5 miles

Map: Available where you pay for parking.
Parking: $10
Directions: Orange Trail loop

First hike of the year! I am back in physical therapy. My therapist said he'd prefer that I stick to hiking on flat trails. I got sore from 2 flat miles on the treadmill, so he told me to start out with a shorter distance when I hike. It's hard to find really short hikes. So we visited Ward Pound Ridge and did the Orange loop. It's short and easy. We decided to take Moxie along, since she rarely gets to go hiking with us anymore. This hike was easy enough for her.

I usually like to come up with hiking goals for the year, just like other people come up with New Year's resolutions. I am torn after last year though, since my hip pain kept me from hiking most of the year. However, I'd like to be positive and have a new list of goals. None of the surgeons I've seen so far recommend surgery, so I'm going to increase my hiking, and try to find a way to do it without aggravating my hip. Unlike jogging, hiking is considered a pretty good activity, and strength training is supposed to help reduce hip pain. This year is going to be incredibly busy at work, so I don't expect to take any long vacations. Here is what I've come up with for my 2017 goals:

1. Finish hiking the Massachusetts portion of the Appalachian Trail. This was a 2016 goal that was put on hold. We did do a little bit more of MA in the end of 2016, before parking areas closed for the winter stopped us. We don't have too much more of the state left, and should be able to easily complete it in 2017. Massachusetts is really the northern edge of where we can drive to on the AT for day hikes from home. Once we hit Vermont, we'll need to start taking weekend or week long trips.

2. Hike the 76.4 mile Georgia portion of the Appalachian Trail. I've only been to Georgia once, maybe 25 or so years ago. I'm excited to do a section of the AT which is far away from the portions we've done so far.

3. Hike two sections of the Pennsylvania Appalachian Trail. So far I hate the PA section. I've had 2 flying face plants in PA (onto rocks), and we've barely gotten started. But, if we complete a couple sections each year, eventually we will get it over with. 13 more sections to go!

4. Visit 4 state high points. I think most people find visiting state high points a curious hobby. We've only done 7 so far, but I've been trying to do a couple a year. I like visiting new places and I like hiking, so it's kind of a fun thing to do. We think we can squeeze 4 into our trip to Georgia. We are looking at doing Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia. All of these are easy high points.

5. Start doing one night overnight backpacking trips. I finally persuaded Glen to start doing some backpacking last year. We bought a tent, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads. We did this right when my hip pain started. At that time, I didn't realize my hip and groin pain would become chronic, so it seemed a reasonable thing to do. Well, we never ended up backpacking once last year! I'm a little concerned about carrying the extra weight of backpacking gear (more load on my hip), but I'm not going to let it stop me. We have some pretty camping areas in NY which require only short hikes to get to. And if things go well, we can do some weekend trips in the Catskills or on the AT. I think backpacking will be a great way for me to let go of work stress. I really, really want to eventually work my way up to long-distance backpacking trips (Tahoe Rim Trail, Wonderland Trail, Sweden Coast to Coast trail), but at this point I'm settling with mini trips.

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