Oh man, I kind of got carried away with the title of this post. The weather in Western New York is so strange! First it’s several feet of snow, then it melts and causes flooding, then it freezes and more snow falls! It is wonderful to live in an area of the world that you can feel and experience all four seasons, sometimes all in the same week.
My adventures in training for my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail continues. Recently my friend Shelly (livingonthedirt.com) and I hiked in Hunter’s Creek Park. It’s a favorite park of mine and I have written about it a few times now. There is a Northern section of the park that I have never visited and on this occasion, Shelly and I decided to discover it!
It was a warmer day and there was a lot of snowmelt which made for some sloppy trails. I wore my trusty micro spikes as the some of the trail was also snow or ice covered. When the trail wasn’t icy it was muddy and the mud accumulated in my spikes and made my feet weigh 5 pounds each. We hiked some orange trail and a blue loop then back to the orange. Since we didn’t have a map, Shelly had the foresight and experience to know to take a picture of the map at the trail head. We consulted the picture a couple times, more to just ease my mind that we were going in the right direction. I’m still practicing my sense of direction.
The orange trail is also called the Conservation Trail. The Conservation Trail is a footpath which begins at the Pennsylvania border in Allegany State Park and extends northward about 177 miles to meet the Bruce Trail in Canada. I totally just ripped that last sentence off from the website. Check it out at: http://www.foothillstrailclub.org/trail.html.
Another nearby trail I visit frequently is the Joe Panza Trail in the Alden Town Park. On my most recent visit I was joined by my bff, Linda, my son – Carl and his girlfriend, Amanda. It was a beautiful, warm winter’s day and we all decided to take a walk before dusk on the trail. The warm weather caused the recent snowfall to melt and the creek along the trail was completed flooded. Places we walked in the summer were impassable. What a neat sight to see.
I visited Canton, Ohio in early February. It was Super Bowl weekend and it’s an annual tradition to meet at our friend’s house and party all weekend! There’s a bunch of us that attend and this year was a blast. The weather was unseasonably warm, so, of course I had to go outside! I found a pretty park in nearby Hartville, Ohio called Quail Hollow State Park. There were very nice nature trails here. The trail I chose on Saturday morning was only about 1 mile or so. My friends came with me, so it was a nice leisurely pace.
I ventured out again to the same park on Saturday afternoon with my husband. His back had been hurting him, so we didn’t walk long. Dave and I did go to another walking path Sunday morning. This path was paved and meandered through the woods along a subdivision. Not my ideal nature walk, but it was nice. My feet did not like walking on the paved trail and began to hurt. I also think the fact that I did A LOT of drinking the night before made me dehydrated and my feet were swollen! If you want to play, you have to pay! It was still great to be outdoors.
This weekend I have two hikes planned, one in a new park and the other is in a park I used to go to all the time to bird watch. I also have to make a big decision on whether or not to participate in a 100 mile hike on the Finger Lakes Trail. It’s broken up into 8 long hikes or 16 short hikes. I’d like to do the longer hikes, but I am so nervous about hiking 10 or MORE miles in one day! Hard to imagine when you sit on your butt all day at work! We shall see! Stay tuned!