Archive for the ‘Hiking’ Category

I figured I should warn y’all that this post will have a picture of a foot. So, if you’re foot-averse, be warned.

So, it’s Monday. That usually means the weekend is done and it’s time to get back to work. Sadly, it’s the beginning of November, and for the big cheeses at the soulless corporation I work for, this means a chance to compel us lowly worker bees to work overtime.

I have a love/hate relationship with overtime.

The paychecks are nice. VERY nice. But you wonder if the headaches are worth it. Being ordered around by people who like to THINK they are supervisors is always a drag, as is actually starting at paperwork for extra hours. The seem to think it’s life or death, but the fact of the matter is that what we do doesn’t really have a huge impact on the safety and well-being of the majority of people in the US.

Enough about that, though.

The Boo to Cancer 5K medal

The Boo to Cancer 5K medal

I signed up for and completed another virtual 5K this past week. A friend and teammate had put together the Boo to Cancer Virtual 5K to benefit the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. I did things a little differently, opting to cover the distance on the elliptical, since it was my second day out of the boot and I didn’t know how the foot would behave with full-length toes for the first time in years. I managed to get the 3.1 miles done in 21:16, which was pretty cool for me.

Chickie's Rock anticline

Chickie’s Rock anticline

I also managed to get up to the Chickie’s Rock Overlook again last week. I was hoping for more of a foliage change, but I think I beat that by a few days. I did manage to get a slightly different view, as it was pretty deserted and a lot of the leaves had fallen. One of the highlights was looking at the exposed rock face. I’m not sure what the exact geological composition of the rock is, but it’s enough to make you contemplate just how insignificant humanity’s time on the Earth has been. Knowing that this anticline has been eroded through over millennia by flowing water, and that erosion will continue for millennia after we’re gone. Really puts things in perspective.

The freshly straightened toes (with Stubby to the left)

The freshly straightened toes (with Stubby to the left)

Speaking of the foot, I’m attaching a picture where the toes are not all bandaged up. The toes are nice and straight and it was really weird, actually feeling the texture of a sock with the bottom of my toes. They had been curled for so long, I didn’t really remember the sensation.

So, that’s pretty much what’s happening here in cow country. I would like to give a shoutout to my friend Brad who not only completed the NYC marathon on Sunday, but did it while enjoying himself AND followed up by getting interviewed on GMA. Way to go, Brad!

One other note. I’ve been talking about my Team AllEars fundraising. I’m pleased to announce that due to an unusually generous corporate match, my fundraising total has eclipsed $1,000. This is more than double my original goal. I have to give thanks to everyone who has contributed, and if you haven’t, there’s still time. Feel free to donate here… any amount $5.00 or greater is most appreciated.

I’d also like to take a moment to offer belated birthday wishes to the lovely and gracious Supportive Partner Woman. She had a birthday on Halloween and we’ve now entered the four months of the year when I can get away with busting on her for being older than me. I should also mention that the day prior to her birthday we celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary, which, I think, is the Styrofoam anniversary. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve made it this long and the good days far outnumber the bad days. Some days that’s all you can ask for. I will note that I love her more today than I did on our wedding day.

That’s really saying something.

So, Supportive Partner Woman and I tried something new the other day. I’ll get to that in a bit. First off, I set a new record for distance in a day. Well, not totally, but since I started this little project, After going to the gym and doing 4.3 miles on the elliptical, I went home and decided to go back out with SPW to the Lancaster Junction Rail Trail and did another 4.993 miles. All told, over nine miles (intentionally) in one day. Woot!

So, Wednesday, we decided to try something different. Most of the rail trails are, by necessity, flat or have a very minimal grade. There might be a few spots where the trail has a slope to cross a road, but that’s about it. The slopes are only in there because an underpass was opened up when the railroad abandoned the right of way. So, in search of a challenge, and a good view, we headed to Chickies Rock Overlook Trail.

We were slightly underprepared, not knowing what kind of terrain we would be looking at. For future reference, any future return to the site will involve hiking boots, as running shoes and rocks don’t necessarily make for good bedfellows. The climb is not a long one (only about 1/2 mile from the trailhead to the overlook) but for the two of us, it was challenging enough. The view proved to be worth it.

Panorama from the top of the rock

Panorama from the top of the rock

From one of the secondary viewing areas

From one of the secondary viewing areas

The actual overlook itself is on a couple of levels. The easier ones to approach are set back from the edge of the rock itself. They still provide some views, but with the trees still in bloom, you are limited to seeing what’s right in front of you. This makes me want to go back, both when the leaves start to turn and when the trees are bare. It should make for some good photographs.

There’s apparently another trail at the base of the cliff that runs about 1.5 miles. We did not try that, as it doesn’t quite meet our distance needs. Might try it in the future.

Mr. Tortoise

Mr. Tortoise

Thursday, we went back to the Enola Low Grade Trail. Sadly, we were unable to get the full distance in, due to a forgotten appointment. We did, however, come across a very cute little turtle (tortoise?) just kind of on the trail. I’m not sure if (s)he was alive or not, but was very tiny. If I would’ve had something to put in the picture to establish size, I would’ve. Given a chance to search Google images, I think it’s a baby snapping turtle.

One thing I have yet to mention about our visits to these trails are the sheer number of raptors seen. There are hawks aplenty and I’m pretty sure I saw a bald eagle. It makes me want to return to Hawk Mountain just to see the birds. It would be worth the trek up the hill and yes, I would wear hiking boots.

Hope you have a great weekend, folks!