What a beautiful weekend in Western New York! The weather was warm and the sun was shining on all creation! I was lucky enough to have both Saturday and Sunday planned for hiking!
Saturday morning I met my best friend, Linda and we drove to Bear Creek State Forest.
It is in or near Machias, New York. We were meeting our Buffalo Day Hike Group and the Foothills Trail Club for a joint club snowshoe hike. I’ve been on snowshoes maybe three times before and always had a good experience so I was excited.
As we were putting on our snowshoes, Linda noticed that one of her shoes was completely broken. She wouldn’t be able to wear them. We checked with the leaders, Chuck and Marty and they agreed that if she wore micro spikes and walked behind the group, she could participate. Phew! It was a long drive to the trail head to not be able to hike!
Of course the hike started up a hill. Hills are a challenge for me! I have no stamina and I get out of breath quickly. Now, add in that I am wearing snowshoes! Yikes. Well, we went slowly and stopped often as the rest of the group quickly hiked out of sight. Determined to continue I pushed myself further than I thought I would. The leader of Foothills Club, Marty, hiked back to check on us. Linda made a point of telling Marty that I was training to hike the Appalachian Trail. Marty looked at me cross eyed. I can only imagine what he was thinking of my goal. While he hiked with us for a little while, I told Marty I was thinking of joining the Cross County hike this summer. He was very nice and told me to join the half-hike group. It breaks the 96 miles into shorter hikes. I agreed that it would be a good place for me to start. Our slow pace was now a crawl and we convinced Marty to go on ahead.
Linda and I pushed up the hill (it felt like a mountain) and I tried to maintain a positive attitude. About a half hour later, Marty joined us again he said it was only another half mile before the turn around point. Right then and there I said we would turn around now. Marty went ahead again and Linda and I were on our own going back down the hill. We had walked up hill a mile and a quarter, now we had to go back down! Our moods were elevated knowing that we were headed back to the car! I just couldn’t wait to get my snowshoes off! We were in the homestretch when Linda took a huge fall and twisted her ankle. When she fell I was in front, I turned around and saw her looking like a human sled.
Linda was a trooper and slowly started downhill again. Suddenly she shouted that she heard voices coming. I’d be damned if the group caught up to us!! We high-tailed it the rest of the way and finally made it to the car. On our way home, we, of course, stopped to find a geocache. It was super cute!
Linda had x-rays on her ankle and it’s a bad sprain, but nothing is broken!
Sunday was another beautiful day for a hike. It took everything I had to get out of bed. My legs were sore from using muscles snowshoeing that I don’t normally use hiking. The only thing that motivated me was knowing it would be a flat hike and there would be very little snow at Beaver Island State Park on Grand Island.
Chuck was again my leader for this hike and he razzed me a little about dropping out of yesterday’s hike. I told him I wouldn’t abandon him this time!
We walked around Beaver Island State Park for 4.5 miles and some of the trail was icy and/or flooded. My Keen boots kept my feet dry and warm!
This hike didn’t have any falls, steep hills or snowshoes. Woohoo!
I know I have to continue to challenge myself on my hikes and my endurance needs to grow to successfully hike the Appalachian Trail. I’ll get there.
Next step, register for the Finger Lakes Trail Cross County Half-hikes.