Well, I said I wasn't going to start until June 1st, but I lied!!! Thursday I dropped the kids off to band practice & B to a friend and met DH at Green Lakes State Park. It's a beautiful State Park just 15 minutes from the house and 7 min from band practice. They have over 10 miles of trails of all kinds of difficulty levels.
Now, originally I figured that I'd better start off with easy to moderate but the 2 "easy" trails are the ones around the lakes and the most popular (I'm not too fond of hiking in traffic). The "moderate" trail really just hooks up with "difficult" ones or is way longer than I had time for (and I didn't want to do the double back thing).
SO.... we headed up to the campground (where we'd camped Mother's Day weekend actually!) and hooked up with the Orange & Yellow trails (yellow is moderate, orange is difficult). When the yellow split off we opted to do Orange because it was a full loop that looked to be the right distance for the time we had. It was a good thing that I had DH with me because I had NO sense of direction once we left the campsite!!! I will have to remember to bring a compass if I hike without him! Course, that means that I'll also have to learn to use one!!!! I'd have to say that over-all the trail wasn't all that difficult. There were 2 steep inclines that gave me a run for my money & one steep decline that was tricky, but nothing I couldn't handle. We kept a pretty good pace (except when the trails merged & we had to try to figure out where we were going).
One of the best parts of the hike was the wildlife. We saw 3 deer, lots of squirrels & chipmunks ("mini-bears" as the boys say they are called at Philmont) and a snake. MOST of them really startled the begeezes out of me! I wasn't scared OF them, just BY them. The first 2 deer were younger does that were just chowing on greenery and watched us walk by like we'd watch a weirdo walk down our own street. It was amazing!!! The third deer was still a little fawn and not as calm. She had bounded across our path, stopped 50 feet away looked at us and then went bounding back across the trail the direction she'd come from. The snake was just a little garden type thing that was no more than 1/4" around and 18" long. He was just headed across the trail into a log. Like I said, I wasn't scared of him, he just caught me off guard!!! DH was highly amused....by ME, not the snake. He says I need to desensitize. Too many of the noises spooked me. Course.... it wasn't ME that made us stop to listen/watch for what he thought was "something bigger" that ended up being a Robin jumping through some leaves.
Now, Green Lakes is having high instances of ticks so we were very diligent on that. We both had high socks on & bug spray with 40% Deet. We checked carefully and found nothing. DH also pointed out that we stuck to the trails which have no grass for the buggers to live in, so that lowers our chances. But, still no excuse not to be diligent!
Today at the office I took the black & white trail map (this is a BAD copy):
and colored in all the trails. Part of my thought is that it will be easier to follow next time. I also did some research and found a topo map with the trails on it (Thanks www.cnyhiking.com). From what I can tell it looks like we did just over half of the Orange or Old Growth Trail which is 2.66 miles. Not bad!!!
In searching for the maps I also found a map of "Proposed" trail changes dated 2010 (the black & white one is dated 2005). There is a note on the Green Lakes website saying that there will be trail maintenance resulting in some closures between April and November 2012 so hopefully that will be a positive thing! (its a PDF map if you want to peek! nysparks.com/insi
But anyway..... I'll say I did approximately 2 miles of moderate trail hiking. I didn't have to stop....except when I tried to drown myself with my water bottle.....DUH! And I'm not sore the next day. These are good signs to me!!
It is looking like I'm gonna get some hiking/walking in on Sunday (maybe) and then walking the 2 parades on Monday so I'm off to a good start. There's no band practice next week but hopefully I'll stick to the plan and still do a hike.... that would be May 31st and a GREAT way to kick off the "official" training!