Friday, August 07, 2020

More Hiking on the Appalachian Trail

The weather was hot again this past weekend!  We however, did not let that stop us!  We went out hiking.  We knew it was going to be hot, so we made a decision to not go long or hard.  We wanted to get out just enough to stretch our legs and get a bit of exercise and to enjoy nature a bit!

We decided to go to Gathland State park.  We had gone hiking here in January and  walked one way on the Appalachian trail and it was so cold!  We were mostly ok while we hiked that day, but it was cold!   It was time for a return visit, in nicer weather.  Well, nicer if you consider hot and humid nice!  What is it about Gathland that invokes us to visit during miserable weather?

This time we opted to hike in the other direction on the AT trail.  We started on the blue side trail that led us to the Crampton Gap Shelter for AT hikers and then from there we went upward to the Appalachian trail.  
Crampton Gap Shelter

We left the shelter and headed the rest of the way up the hill to the Appalachian trail.   Without thinking, we headed left.  For a bit it was great because we were walking on a relatively flat section of the trail, but very soon it began to wind us down....steeply!   Undaunted, we continued on!  But then, we came to the ruins of a barn.  It was a barn I recognized.
Barn at Gathland

The ruins of this barn stands right next to the parking lot at Gathland.  The same parking lot that we were parked at!  NO!!  We went the wrong way!  I looked at my watch.  If we gave up then, it would be a very short hike of only 45 minutes.  Oh well......we turned around and headed back up the hill.  TWICE I climbed up that hill!

We eventually made it to the top and things leveled out a bit...but only a slight bit!  They were still steadily uphill, or so it seemed!  But it was an enjoyable hike!  We saw lots of fun things like a red mushroom and a neat AT mark on a step/log placed for erosion.

AT mark on wood
Mushroom on the AT

This was a second opportunity to use my new Trekking poles. (Amazon Affiliate Link)  I can't tell you how much I am enjoying them.  Maybe it is all in my head.  Maybe the do not do anything for me.  But I feel more stable and confident.  I don't believe my knees hurt as much after a walk and after climbing up and down big rock steps.  I totally am loving them!  So far, I think that they are the best and wisest decision I've ever made!

We had a great time.  It may have been hot.  It may have been humid.  It may have been a lot of uphill climbing.   But we had a fantastic time out in nature!  Ohhh, and even better?  We got in 2.25 hours of exercise and I slept like a baby that night!
MaryFran on the Appalachian Trail