First 5 Mile Hike

Discussion in 'Front Page News' started by hikerdana, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. hikerdana

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    052907_pawtuckaway_10.jpg

    First 5 Mile Hike

    By Hikerdana


    Took my longest hike so far at Pawtuckaway State Park in New Hampshire on

    Saturday. It was a mixed bag, but I'm proud of my accomplishment. The hike up South Peak was relatively easy. The trail was very kind on the feet and on the way up there was plenty of big rocks for the kids to climb and explore.

    We took a different route on the way down. As we descended, I would often think how I would be hiking this differently in shoes and how much faster I could be going. How much easier it would be and I was missing my shoes. Not that I'm a speed hiker, I'm just a slow plodder, it still would be faster with shoes. At one point I did stub a toe, but no damage done. Eventually it leveled out to a rolling trail and thoughts of shoes faded, for a short time.

    After a little while we came to a gravel road, Round Pond Trail. This road / trail presented a major hassle and obstacle for me. So far during the hike I had not slowed down my fellow hikers, but this road certainly made me slow down and the group pulled ahead. I think if I was by myself it would have taken twice as long to hike. But when your with a others you can get pushed a bit at times. I found myself seeking out the gutters where the leaves had collected to obtain a few moments of relief. At one point I found a nice flat rock that felt cool under my feet and gave me a bit more relief.

    I had some Vibram FiveFingers in my pack, and was definitely tempted to put them on several times during this section. I was very conscious of the fact you need to take it slow and easy to start. I kept trying to listen to my feet, (well besides the constant complaining my feet were raising about the rough terrain) and ascertain if my feet were sustaining real damage. It was a tough struggle between pride, stubbornness and pushing it to get stronger. How much would be too much? That was the question that was on the front of my mind. After about 1.5 miles the gravel end and we were back on a hard packed dirt road.

    Apparently I did it right since I made it out without any lasting pain. They were a little more sensitive that evening, but no soreness or bruises. Our feet are truly amazing if we only give them a chance and spend some time toughening them up a bit, they will surprise you on how far, and how well they can carry you.

    We did pass many people during the day and I didn't hear one comment. Even my friend who joined me didn't ask any questions. He knew that I was attempting to give up shoes whenever possible, so I guess he felt that nothing needed to be said. I am very much encouraged and can't wait for my next hike on June 18th, Mt. Moosilauke
     
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  2. Ahcuah

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    Tomorrow you'll have what we call "fat feet". Your feet will swell a bit as it builds itself stronger, and they'll just feel a little bit . . . fatter. But it quickly passes as your body realizes that you really mean it, and it builds up your soul (or should that be "sole"?).

    See also Fat Feet.
     
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  3. bfsailor

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    Great progress Dana!
    You're in a great area for barefoot hiking! I've driven through that area and did some hiking not too far from you.
    Several years ago I hiked on Mt. Monadnock - some really nice trails there. Didn't make it to the summit (short on time and hiking with my wife and other family members) but did make it to Bald Rock on the Cliffside Trail. I highly recommend this as a barefoot hiking area. Some steep parts, but overall very nice and the views are spectacular.
    Another good barefoot hiking area is Pack Monadnock in Miller State Park - You can drive to the summit and hike down, or hike both ways if you want something a little more challenging. There's also a fire tower at the summit which you can climb (barefoot of course!) for an even better view.
     
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  4. Barefoot TJ

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    Nice write-up. Added to the home page. Thanks for sharing! :barefoot:
     
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  5. hikerdana

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    I've had fat feet before I started barefooting, back when I did my first through hike, but not this time. Though one hand did swell up a lot, but I think that was due to the biting bugs. I was actually surprised my feet were normal the next day, except for the black dots I couldn't get off.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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  6. hikerdana

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    Both those peaks are on our short list for the summer with the young kids ages 8 and 11, so it is good to know they are barefoot friendly. Takes a bit of the anxiety away. Also, good to know there is a fire tower on Pack Monadnock, they loved the last one and it will give them a good incentive to hike all the way to the summit. Thanks for the encouragement. This weekend we stay home and maybe have a yard sale. The following week I'm heading to a 4,0000 footer with the Royal Rangers (church boys mentoring program). I'll bring my shoes, but am interested to see the kids reaction when I start hiking barefoot and can I make it the whole way without killing my feet in the process.
     
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  7. bfsailor

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    Cool! I look forward to more great trip reports!

    Another nice hike with a fire tower not TOO far from you is Mt. Olga in Molly Stark State Park - just west of Brattleboro in Vermont. There's a short (about 2 miles) loop trail up to the summit and back, but at the summit it also connects to some other longer trails towards Hogback Mountain.
     
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  8. Tristan

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    Congrats! For backup when the going gets rough I like my Unshoes PahTempe (sandals without the in-between-the-toe strap). I hate putting dirty or wet/muddy feet into VFF or other shoes. And I hear you about the pace, I've only done a few barefoot hikes but it does slow me down. A few times I slipped on the sandals after I reached the peak and heading back down, and was able to double my speed. But usually I am stubborn and want to tough it out. I don't mind being slow, but if I am trying to get off the mountain before daylight runs out sometimes picking up the pace has advantages.
     
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  9. hikerdana

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    So far going slow hasn't been a problem time wise. I was sort of thinking hiking barefoot might be a good handicap. I didn't get frustrated once at the slow pace on my last hike.

    I hear you about putting dirty feet into VFF or other shoes, I seem to trip more often with sandals walking on level ground, so they might not be a good option, but I'll be watching my step a bit more on a rough trail, so you never know, it might be something I should try before VFF.
     
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