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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Getting Out There

Leki hiking pole
Finally, yesterday I went into Mountain Air Sports and bought me the only hiking pole they had, which is pictured on this page. They had several trekking poles, the pairs, but I just wanted a hiking stick. With this I can go to the next level.

And so I did. Yesterday afternoon I ventured out with my new pole to do the Stoneridge trail. This is a shortish trail that I used to do frequently. It is close to my house and not very long but is a bit of a hike up. According to my fitbit I climbed 23 "floors" or approximately 230 feet on this hike.

It was late afternoon. The hike is rocky, almost all rock. I used the pole to help me both going up and going down. On the way I stopped a few times to take pictures, but because of the way the hill is positioned it was mostly in shade. Shady rocky trail, late afternoon, not much chance for dramatic photos.

It had been about three years, maybe more, since I'd done this hike. I remember having to stop to catch my breath and to find my way through the rocks. I did not have to catch my breath so much this time and my knees, while a bit stiff, did not hurt.

California Poppy
Few flowers were out. I grabbed a quick photo of some poppies.

And climbed. In the picture below you can just see a person at the top. She came down with her two dogs, which I greeted. She was the only person I met on the way. While well-traveled, this trail does not get the hoards some other trails in the area do.

Going up went easily with the pole. I usually choose the "back way" down, and this was more challenging. I would have found it more so without the pole. At times, when faced with craggy steps down, where I don't feel stable, I have actually slid down on my butt. I am happy to say I did not feel the need this time.

But it was a bit slower going than I'd like and a few times I had to work my way down very carefully. I was glad there weren't others on the trail, impatiently wanting to get past me.

At the very beginning, which is the remains of an asphalt road, and at the end, on that same road, my hip bothered me. But in between it hardly made a peep. My body prefers the "softer" dirt, even when layered with rock, to asphalt or concrete. According to Chuck, getting my knees straight will make all surfaces friendly to me. I so look forward to that time.

I also look forward to trying a few more challenging trails but I will stick with the shorter ones for now. And by "challenging" I mean trails that some others run on. I don't have anything to prove, except to myself.

Lichen-encrusted rocks testify to the clean air.

1 comment:

James Trovato said...

Thanks for sharing your adventure, I really loved the hiking pole.....