Because the Alpine area is still socked in with snow, TOG and I elected to hike in the low country yesterday. I wanted to break my new pack in and the trail we picked had a very mild grade, so I wouldn't be trying to gain a lot of elevation on my first time with a lot of weight. I'm accustomed to carrying my Camelback in the summer, but it doesn't weigh more than a few pounds. It also doesn't hold more than an inhaler and a dog biscuit either! So I threw my tripod and camera and some food and and my camel back and hat in there and off we went (I'm betting it weighed at least 20 pounds).
Unfortunately, we got some bad information about what we were looking for and could not find it... so we kept hiking... and hiking... and hiking. By the time we saw the next trail information, we were 5 miles out... which means a 10 mile round trip, with packs... because TOG tried carrying our new tent to test the weight. We took turns on the way out carrying Maddie every now and then because 10 miles may be her limit anyway, but for her first hike of the season, it was a bit much for her. So we gave her a lift every now and then!
All of this is the long way of saying that I'm exhausted and my back hurts. TOG wants to hike again today but he's still sleeping so I don't know how he'll feel when he wakes up.
I downloaded some shots, and here's a few of them I resized...
TOG and Maddie on the way up. It was about 78 degrees and muggy. In spite of the weather, the lungs did pretty well. Low altitude and no major climb made it a good lung day in spite of the "muggy" factor!
There was this wall of rock with water dripping down, and at the base, this huge grouping of maiden hair ferns!
Maddie, getting a lift on the way out. She weighs around 7 pounds, so in a way, it kind of counterbalanced the weight on the back. But because TOG and I had carried so much so far that day... even toting Maddie for a while wears you out faster!
When we got close to the trail head, we met a guy walking his two dogs. He reached out to pet Maddie in my arms and one of his dogs bit me in the leg. No break in the skin, just a little pinch bruise. The guy was great about it, but it was a lousy ending to a great day!