Day Three, and out…
It’s funny how a lot of the hikes start (and end) at a high point. There are no low-lying trailheads at Hercules, between Long Creek and the Tower Trailhead the height difference is only 500 ft. but the actual amount of climbing you do ends up being a fair bit more as the trail undulates over bluffs and up and down the sides of hollows.
For the route out, I decided against the most direct trails as I wanted to get nearer to my monthly 20-miles backpacking target. That decided me on taking the less direct Cedars Trail. It worked out at around five miles bringing my trip total to 18 miles. Not bad for my first hike in two months. (That’s the impact on my schedule of Lent, and the Great 50 Days of Easter for you, plus trips to Denver and Louisville). But I knew that my target was overly ambitious when I set it (just how overly ambitious we are about to find out).
The scenery and the temperatures had changed a lot since my last trip, so had the insect population. The entire trip I was constantly removing ticks. It didn’t help that I ran out of Deet on day one. Despite removing dozens, I still ended up with twenty or more attached when I did a thorough check at home. Some I knew I had and I just couldn’t reach them, others had just slipped by my radar.
All in all, it was a good trip, but I did not settle into a ‘relaxing’ groove. I’m still learning how to switch off and relax.
However spending three days out over the Memorial Weekend, and I only seeing one other person, that’s pretty hard to beat.
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