Friday, August 08, 2008

Trail Journal: Garnet Hill Loop

Trail: Garnet Hill Loop
Date: July 25, 2008
Distance: 8.2 miles
Time: 4 hours
Elevation: negligible

This was our longest hike so far, and let me tell you, I really felt it. Luckily it was mostly flat, and skirted the base of a hill rather than going up and over it. The day was quite hot - not New Mexico hot - but fairly warm and sunny. The majority of the trail went through open meadows that offered no shade at all. The views were mostly of small hills and the river down below.

Eventually we passed into an area where it was shaded, and the river roared far below (maybe 100 feet? I'm no good at estimation.) However, it was only after 5 miles that we got into a seriously wooded area. Luckily there was also a creek running nearby, and I was able to dunk my head in and soak my hat. (I didn't take too many pictures of this hike. We were hiking with another couple and I didn't want to annoy them by stopping all the time.)

We came out of the woods and continued to follow the trail through waist-high (chest-high for me) grass. After accidentally dunking my feet into a creek (the bridge was a wobbly log and I fell off), all of the sudden the trail disappeared! Luckily the guy we were with was paying attention and knew that there was a stagecoach road running nearby. We forged through the grass and eventually hit the road. Whew! I was kind of worried there for a minute.

This trail wasn't all that breathtaking, but it had the advantage of being totally isolated. It also had the advantage of getting my new hiking boots dirty, so I no longer look like a dork wearing clean boots. It was quiet and serene. I also realized that I don't want to hike any farther than 8 miles. I'm sure I have the physical ability, but at some point hiking becomes un-fun. When you are tired of walking and just want a cold drink, you stop paying attention to the scenery - and that defeats the purpose.

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