The Walking Posts

The posts labeled with the little “Truckin’ ” man are from my Walking Journal, which I've been keeping since January 1, 2012. What began as a simple New Year's Resolution to exercise more quickly morphed into a hiking addiction. Below are some running totals.

  MILES TIME CALORIES
March 2015 10.5 4h 39m 246
Year-to-Date 85.71 43h 0m 9736
March Avg. 61.62 26h 27m 6616

Barn Island

Posted By on March 29, 2015

Barn Island

3.06 miles; stonington, ct

if you know me at all, you’d know that since my knee was very sore after my hike on march 24th, i would SO be hiking again on march 25th. which i did. another BIG MISTAKE.

it was cold, overcast, gloomy, depressing… and my knee hurt. so i went to barn island, determined to hike at least the 3-mile loop.

i did, and my knee was so bad i was basically hobbling and whimpering, hobbling and whimpering, for 3 miles. guess i should take some time off?

gloomy day at barn island—or was it my mood?

gloomy day at barn island—or was it my mood?

i have deduced that sitting is what has been killing my knee, so i went out and bought an ikea bekant sit/stand desk, and i have mostly been standing at it. believe it or not, it seems to help. i’ve also been taking naprosin, so that might also be helping. whatever it is, it just has to stop it now. i have hiking to do, and i refuse to be deterred any longer. unless, of course, it snows again. it wouldn’t snow again, would it?

you can find barn island in the hikefindertrailheadtrail map (courtesy of the the new london day).

Ninigret NWR

Posted By on March 29, 2015

Ninigret NWR

3.55 miles; charlestown, ri

this was hiked on march 24th. again with the long break between hikes! this time i actually have 2 good excuses.

excuse #1: remember the last post? yeah, the one just below this one, where i said i’d gotten some bad blisters? well, they were so bad that my dh freaked when he saw them and said i should go to the emergency room. but some judicious googling informed me that there was basically nothing an actual medical doctor could do unless they became infected. so i just bandaged them up and decided to take a few weeks off.

excuse #2: the annual trip to florida with my mom to see the red sox at spring training. this was TOTALLY worth it.

me and mom at jetblue park

me and mom at jetblue park

as a result, it was 2 weeks ago that i did the damage to my heels, so i decided to test them out on a short-ish hike on ninigret.

weird thing… when you’re my age, and you sit your ass down in front of the computer and do nothing else for a few weeks, know what happens? something, as in, something bad happened to my right knee. while i was sitting.

a short, 3-plus mile hike had me in so much pain that i doubted i could finish. but finish i did, otherwise, you’d be reading news reports about the elderly hiker found dead on ninigret.

runway sign; foster cove loop

runway sign; foster cove loop

i just love these old runway signs. i started on the foster cove loop, which was about 50% snow-covered. i was discouraged, but i soldiered on.

cross-refuge trail

cross-refuge trail

the cross-refuge trail, on the other hand, was actually mostly snow-free. such a relief!

owl pellet

owl pellet

whilst shambling along, came across this owl pellet (no, it’s not poop!). owl pellets are, okay, let me just save some time and quote from wikipedia:

pellet, in ornithology, is the mass of undigested parts of a bird’s food that some bird species occasionally regurgitate. The contents of a bird’s pellet depend on its diet, but can include the exoskeletons of insects, indigestible plant matter, bones, fur, feathers, bills, claws, and teeth. In falconry, the pellet is called a casting.

i checked. this was just a mass of bones and fur. but it was huge! at least 8″ worth of pellet. that was some big old owl!

grassy point

grassy point

i took a stroll along the grassy point trail today, which is something i don’t usually do. it’s really lovely, and worth the detour.

you can find ninigret in the hikefindertrailheadtrail map (courtesy of the national wildlife service).

Bluff Point

Posted By on March 29, 2015

Bluff Point

3.89 miles; groton, ct

wow. over a month since my last post. why do i suddenly feel like i’m back in the confessional? (“bless me, father, for i have sinned. it’s been 1 month since my last blog post…”)

technically, i did this hike on march 10, so it’s only my posting that has fallen from grace. my hiking, well, my hiking has fallen from grace too. my penance shall be to do three blog posts at once.

ho-kay, back to bluff point. i had hoped, naively, as it turned out, that bluff point would be fairly snow-free, since it is right on the water. but nooooooo….. it was heavily snow-c0vered. i wore the boots i usually wear with my snow shoes, but since they gave me blisters on my heels the last time i wore them, i tried putting insoles into them so my heels wouldn’t slide around so much. BIG MISTAKE. this actually made the blistering worse. i was almost crying with every step by the time i got back to my car.

poor dead mousie

poor dead mousie

i took time out from my own suffering to snap a photo of this poor dead mousie. i have no idea why it died. perhaps it was so depressed by the excessive snow and cold it just couldn’t go on living? i could see that. i could TOTALLY see that.

you can find bluff point in the hikefinder. trailheadtrail map

Snowshoeing the Grills

Posted By on February 22, 2015

Snowshoeing the Grills

3.5 miles; westerly, ri

so i dragged myself out today…

dragging-dog

yeah, it’s just like that. i can’t say i enjoyed this hike. it rained last night, and the snow cover was wet and heavy and not particularly stable, so snowshoeing was a LOT of work. and i got blisters on both heels today, too, not sure why. i might try putting “superfeet” insoles in my boots next time so my heels don’t move up and down so much. then again, if it were up to me, i wouldn’t go back out in snowshoes and boots again EVER.

unbroken blue trail

unbroken blue trail

long sections of the blue trail were unbroken and pristine. which made it even harder work. i know, and yes, i would like some cheese with my whine.

kedinker island in the snow

kedinker island in the snow

you can find the grills in the hikefindertrailheadtrail map

Snowshoeing Canonchet Preserve

Posted By on February 13, 2015

Snowshoeing Canonchet Preserve

2.2 miles; hopkinton, ri

if you had told january 2012 me that february 2015 me would be strapping on snowshoes in single-digit temperatures and traipsing through the woods, jan 2012 me would have laughed myself sick. herself sick. pronouns are kind of tricky in this situation.

and i didn’t have to break trail today, either. someone else strapped on snowshoes and headed out before me. thanks, unknown snowshoer!

self-portrait with snow

self-portrait with snow

the ruins that make this hopkinton land trust preserve one of my favorite properties are pretty much snow-covered but no less impressive for it.

beech leaf shadows

beech leaf shadows

and while winter is still my fourth favorite season in the woods, i can at least say i found something beautiful to admire.

unwary mourning dove

unwary mourning dove

i also came across the remains of a meal. of course, depending on your perspective, this was either a terrible end or a lovely dinner.

you can find the canonchet preserve in the hikefindertrailheadtrail map

Wilcox Park

Posted By on February 12, 2015

Wilcox Park

1.6 miles; westerly, ri

i had some errands in westerly today, so i thought i’d check out wilcox park. after one circuit it was obvious i should have used my yak trax. it was an adventure, in that there were quite a few icy patches where snow melted and refroze. also there was an entire section that the city never cleared, so it was hard-packed snow. really, westerly???

wilcox park in the snow

wilcox park in the snow

you can find out more about wilcox park at the westerly library’s website.