Walking sideways on the mountain

Posted by & filed under the hiking diaries.

Yet another trail in the hiking diaries

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It’s getting later in the fall. And I’m trying to beat the snow and frigid cold with hiking every trail on the mountain. This hike, because I didn’t wake up early enough, I picked a relatively short trail. The rest of Bicentennial Trail. But it was a little more challenging than I expected.

sideways-map

See that little trail that goes from the highlighted yellow part down to Mountain Road just to the left of the Parking and house symbols? I looked for that trail. The best I can figure is that it is a shortcut up to Bicentennial Trail from behind the administration building. But everything is covered in leaves. So I couldn’t really find that trail, and I don’t want missing that one little piece of trail to count against me hiking all of the trails on the mountain. Okay? Deal? Because if anybody is going to hold it against me, I’ll go back and find that dang trail or walk through the leaves and trees and pretend I found it.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…

I hadn’t remembered that Bicentennial was so rocky on one part of it. Luckily (or maybe not?) Koda was my dog of choice for hiking it.

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I say “maybe not?” because at one point, on the rocks, she jumped too far ahead, pulled me off balance and I smashed my shin into the rock she had jumped to.

After that, we worked on “follow.” Koda doesn’t like to follow. So while distracted by making sure she followed, I also slipped on a leaf-covered rock – didn’t go down, phew! – and lost balance another time and smashed my finger into the rock I went to steady myself on.

Yeah, so that all was fun, and totally worth the hike. Always. Minor injuries are a small price to pay for this:

  • The golden color of the oaks leaves all turning.
  • The earthy smell of fallen leaves this time of year.
  • That “like a kid again” adventure of climbing over rocks.
  • The surprises that reveal themselves as you follow a trail.
  • The workout your body gets, even on a sideways trail.

I was actually surprised at how much of a sweat and heart-raising hike it was. Although it was sideways, there were ups and downs and all those rocks to navigate. Great for the joints, too, not just repetitively stepping along. Which is a big way where hiking differs from plain ol’ walking.

Here are some pictures from the hike. I forgot to get a picture of the trail head, which starts at the mountain’s administration building.

This is at the junction with Pine Hill Trail, although I took it from a different angle, so you can’t read the Pine Hill sign. We came from the left of this sign and we are headed to the right.

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And here is where we meet loop trail.

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We head down to the left.

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Eventually we get past the rocky part.

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A grove of some kind of mountain laurel-ish bushes.

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When we hit Mountain House Trail, we turned around. I would have loved to have gone on to the meadow, but didn’t have enough time.

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Those stone walls. Love em.

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It was a great hike. I really am enjoying hiking in the fall. What a great time of year.

Blessed. I am blessed. I say it all the time.

 

 

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