Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Nice Walk in the Park on an Autumn Day

Today Tom and I hiked 12 miles in Shenandoah National Park. We decided to finally buy an annual park pass hoping to get a lot of use out of it preparing for our trip (it takes two visits to break even). And we are fortunate to be living close to a wonderful national park.

We hit the trail at 9am when it was still 45 degrees out, but quickly warmed up. From the Brown Gap parking area we headed along the Austin Mountain trail along a very rocky ridge. The walking was slow and treacherous but fun because of the uniqueness. Then we headed down to Madison Run and up Furnace Mountain for a long and steady 2000' climb. Lunch was very nice from a rocky ledge overlooking the ridge we just crossed.
From Austin Mt-Furnace Mt Hike SNP

The final 1000' climb to Black Rock was a little difficult for me because my legs and back were getting sore, but Tom encouraged me along. In all we finished in 6 hours 45 minutes.
From Austin Mt-Furnace Mt Hike SNP

Other than some normal soreness from hiking 12 miles, my feet felt fine with the new insoles. I was not carrying as much as I usually do, only about 8 pounds. My boots did ok, I am still torn if I really need a new pair. My ankles twist a lot in these and I am not sure a new pair would help that much.

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