I've been really pushing the leg a little more than I would push other people. But I feel like it is paying off. For the past few days I have been in Maine visiting a friend and taking some "day hikes." Mt. Battie is a small (approximately 1000 foot) mountain along the coast of Maine. I thought that would be a good trial run.
What made this hike more eventful than the other day hikes I've been taking closer to home... is that this is the first time I put the pack back on. So I made it up and back down without incident and the leg still feels pretty good. I was hoping to do two days in a row but that did not happen.
My plan was to go to my old stomping grounds to hike Mt Monadnock (which would be more of a challenge at 3000 feet.) Unfortunately, the campground was closed due to the ice storms that hit NH this past December. So I am off to find another spot. I'll do two days in a row... with the pack. Then I will be ready to hit the Trail for real.
As a side note, I have been following along on the Trail websites and found this update at www.appalachiantrail.org :
Neals Gap to Tesnatee Gap -- Due to recent bear activity, the U.S. Forest Service has closed this 5.5 mile section to camping. Camping ban will remain in effect until the end of April. (Posted on 4/08/09.)
This stretch is in the Georgia section of the Trail... so I could potentially have been hiking through at the time of the ban.
Also at that same website is a pretty good interactive map of the Appalachian Trail. It may be powered by Google Maps. It has similar satellite and hybrid capabilities.
When I finish the next two hikes, I'll post some photos. On the upside, I have been spending a lot more time outside than I have in the past. It really feels good to be a part of "nature." I think everybody should spend more time outside.
OK, I'm headed back "into the woods..." (a little pun for all my theater buddies!)
Peace and Love,