Well, maybe “walk” is a better term. A fast walk, I suppose.
Regardless of what it is called, it was an unusually beautiful February day. 55F, sunny, with just the occasional brisk gust in an otherwise lightly breezy day. I don’t like feeling “cooped up” inside, and the trails around me can be challenging to hike with snow on them (not that it’s stopped me before). But I have made other decisions regarding how to spend my time this year so far.
Today presented me with a lovely opportunity to change that calculus.
I took it.
I knew I needed to take it easy, given what adverse things my knee can do when it is still cool outside and I hike for more than 2-3 miles. But the warmth was invigorating, and so I set off on pretty good pace.
I should point out that my usual go-to hiking app – MyTracks – will be discontinued in April of this year. So I tried a new one that some other backpackers recommended to me, Endomondo. It’s okay, but I preferred MyTracks. Still, this new one gave me sufficient information to know what I was doing and had done when finished.
My max speed was 4.16 mph, not shabby considering I wasn’t using hiking sticks today. I did have on a lightweight daypack, with only 7 pounds of food and water in it (all things I didn’t end up needing anyway). And average speed was 2.53 mph. I only hiked for a little over an hour, and total distance was not quite 3 miles. I figured it was a good chance to hike “long enough” without overdoing it, and just sort of get back into a bit of a groove.
I think I’ll have to hike a bit farther next time.
I was also able to try a new lens I got for Christmas – a Canon 55-250mm zoom. The photo below is somewhat cropped, but I’m pretty happy with how that turned out. I probably should have used the image stabilization, but even without it, I don’t think that’s too bad. The sun was bright, so the lighting was harsh. Thank goodness for Photoshop to tweak contrast and brightness somewhat.
Overall, the hike felt really good. I liked my pacing, stopping only really to take photos or re-tie my boots, and slowing down a bit towards the end because I felt my back starting to sweat from the pack. I had already unzipped my fleece jacket and inner, thin fleece top, so I pulled up the sleeves on both, and slowed slightly. Back near the trailhead, I did stop for a while to take photos of the geese there. Two were walking next to each other as I approached, and they reminded me of my wife and I as we hike.
When I showed the photo to my wife later and told her what I’d thought, she gave me that endearing “Awwww…”.
I won’t let the cold stop me from now on. I have the right gear. I just need to get myself out there and hike… or walk.