22 December 2010

Snowy Hike

Saturday after doing CrossFit with my older brother and eating a power breakfast, we met up with one of our younger brothers and went for a hike. My older brother lives in a gorgeous area with a trail not far from his house which leads to Gambrill State Park in the Catoctin Mountain Range. As if the CrossFit workout was not tough enough, my dogs and I ended up hiking over 4 hours.

My brothers and two of their dogs

Cyprus and Dakota took the lead

Monkey cooling down in a creek

With that last photo, my older brother turned back with his two dogs. The trail from there started to increase in elevation as we approached the Gambrill trails. We could see a few foot and paw prints and at least one mountain bike tire track along the trail. Cyprus generally stuck with us, but often sprinted off-trail, following one scent after another. Shaman did well in the Palisades Pack, and with it being his first time wearing it I did not load it. Periodically I would come across rocks that seemed even in size and weight, so I would place them in each side of his pack. And other than periodically nearly taking out our knees as he ran by, he showed no signs of dislike of this burden. I decided to wear my KSO Treks with Injinji Socks and although my feet were cold, I did my best to keep them dry and that made a world of difference.

Shaman Sporting the Palisades Pack

Cold Toes
Shaman hanging by me
On the way back we took different trails and I have to admit we were lost for some time. However using the setting of the sun as a guide and eventually finding the distinct footprint of my Five Fingers, we made it back as the sun was setting. At some point my younger brother remembered he had GPS tracking on his phone. Once we used that I felt like we were cheating the system. Had we not had the GPS helping us, I was still glad my brother was there. Who else were the pups and I to eat later to survive?

Group Shot
Cyprus taking in the view
Once we got back to my brother’s house and I had given each dog a quick post-adventure inspection for injuries I focused on bringing warmth and color back to my toes. Oh the burn! I think next time I will hesitate about wearing the KSO Treks in the snow for long time periods like that. In my pack I had picked up some additional rocks that I can use to slowly transition the weight capacity each dog can carry. Looking back I probably should have bought a Palisades pack for Cyprus, as I am not quite satisfied with the storage and water capacity of the Singletrak pack. The hike itself definitely finished off what CrossFit hadn't already beat out of my legs. We all slept well that night.