Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hiking this past weekend

Kristin and I went hiking this weekend.  It was an adventure.  By which I mean, Irene and the following storms had left things a mess.  It started when we got to the road leading to the trail and found a sign saying Road Closed (though not actually blocking the road).  Not to be deterred, we continued until we reached the turn off for the trail head, only to find that the dirt road was impassable.  Rain had left huge ditches in the road, more than our tiny car could handle.  So we decided to hike 1.8 miles up the road until we reached the trail head.  After getting a little bit lost, we found it, and ate lunch.  Then we started on the trail, and got a mile into it before we reached a sign saying "Trail Closed" due to unsafe conditions.  After some discussion, we turned back, and returned to our car.  Overall, we hiked about as far as we had intended, but not on the trails we had planned.

Nevertheless, the hike proved a good chance for me to test out some new equipment.  Most notably, a new backpack which I had just received from my wife.  An Osprey Atmos 65.  It held up well for the hike.  It's most notable feature is the ventilation--the part that presses up against your back consists of netting, rather than solid material, in theory so that your back doesn't get overheated.  It was indeed better than normal, though my back wasn't really cool and dry, as some reviewers claimed.  Maybe I just sweat a lot.  I also wore my new hiking boots, a pair of Oboz Yellowstone II.  They also held up pretty well.  They had good traction, decent support (once I tightened the laces), and were comfortable, not raising any blisters.  The waterproofing on them seemed good as well, though I didn't tramp through any brooks.

So, overall, I thought the trip was worthwhile, even if we didn't reach any really good viewing points.

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