Sunday, March 24, 2013

New boots!

The Danner Talus hiking boots I bought last year just aren't working for me. They keep giving me blisters. So I finally decided it was time to replace them. I bought a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilator shoes and tried them out on the trail this weekend.

Before I talk about my hike: I really like the shoes. They aren't waterproof like the Danners, but I can always wear my Danners if I know I'm going to be on a really wet trail. They don't have as much ankle support, but they're much lighter and I think will do well this summer.

We had cool and rainy weather this weekend. Saturday I hiked the River Bluff trail above the dam, which I posted about last spring; today I hiked about three miles in the watershed. Both days it was around 45-50 degrees. I decided to not bother with a jacket and instead just hiked faster. I stayed reasonably warm, even today when it was drizzling the whole time (I did wear my awesome rain hat).

The undergrowth is getting green, and wildflowers are blooming. The bloodroot is still blooming (one of my favorite flowers, and one of the earliest to bloom), and I saw Dutchman's breeches, a few early trout lilies, and lots more. The trilliums are coming up and some are starting to develop buds, and I even saw the first mayapples coming up. They remind me of newly hatched butterflies at this stage, their pair of umbrella leaves crumpled and wet-looking.

Since it was raining today, I didn't bring my camera. Well, I did, but after attempting to take one picture through the plastic bag I'd put it in, I decided to leave it in the car after all. I wished I had it before I'd gone very far, since the rain slacked to a drizzle and I could have taken the camera out of the bag long enough to take pix safely. I almost went back to get it but didn't, and I kicked myself for not doing so the entire hike. The rainy light brought out all the warm browns and golds of the woods, and the mosses and ferns and underbrush and weeds and wildflowers all practically glowed green. Mist hung between the trees.

The boots did great for me on Saturday. I wore wool hiking socks with them, but today in the spirit of inquiry I wore regular cotton socks instead. The boots still did well, but I did end up with two sore spots on the insides of my heels where a blister might have developed if I'd gone much farther. So from now on I'll wear hiking socks, which are more comfortable anyway.

Here's the picture I took today that convinced me I should leave my camera behind. It looks like I used some kind of Photoshop filter on it, but that was just the camera focusing on the plastic instead of the view.

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