I had every intention of hitting the gym today to do a much delayed arm workout. We were expecting rain, so it seemed like it would be a bad day for doing exercise out of doors, buuutt…we had a quickie downpour about an hour before work was out, and the hourly forecast was calling for sun and clouds. At 65 degrees and cloudy-ish, it seemed like it could still be a nice day for an after work hike, as long as I wore a hoodie. Since my boss was being extra-grouchy today (I don’t even joke when I say the nicest thought I had about her all day was ‘if you could just be a little bit less you, for once, that would be great.’), that little uplift of wandering around outside seemed much called for, so I decided to chance it.  The plan was a quickie walk around the hilltop area, which I haven’t really explored yet, but which didn’t really run through the forest, and the walkways that I can see from the parking lot looked like they were as much stone as dirt, so I figured wouldn’t be as likely to be full of slippery mud.

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I thought it would be a relatively quick and easy walk without any serious inclines, and then I’d go to the gym to do an arm workout after getting my cardio on. As much as I like my leg workouts at the gym, I know with all this hiking I’m doing, I don’t really need them, but I’ve been slacking on arms in favor of, you know, trees.

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Within about 30 seconds of me starting my walk, it started to drizzle. I decided to just own it. I pulled my hood up and stuffed my hands in the hoodie pocket. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen. I could see hints of sun, so it didn’t seem like the sky was going to rip open.

The benefit of having chanced the spring rain was that I was in the perfect place, when it slowed to a drizzle not long after to get a really fantastic view of a rainbow!

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After taking a whole bunch of pics so I could guarantee at least one decent one, I continued on my way up along the top of the hill.

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Only to find that it there was a branch off up here for yet another hiking trail! (The Marsh Trail. In case you guys haven’t caught on yet from my pics, not all the old NJ rumors are true. We’re not all beaches and traffic jams. We earned that “Garden State” title, and I live in an area very near several marshlands that -at least for now-are protected from corporate greed. Actually, as a kid, there was a marsh area just a few blocks behind our house. One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting on a bridge watching the egrets. (Ah, simpler times.)

Anyway, I looked at where the hilltop path looped around, and it looked like it would be quite a long walk before I got back around (and, you know, I found a new trail and wanted to explore), so I entered the forest trail and started taking it to head back toward the parking area.

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Once again, I found myself walking uphill toward the end of my exercise, instead of down. This was a surprisingly steep hike, seeing as I parked on top of the hill, but my opinion likely has to do with the fact I’d already done a mile before I wandered into the woods. Oh well, no gym today. That was pretty clear.

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When I emerged from the woods, it was all sunshine and puddles. And a tennis court. Well, look at that. The park has a tennis court. So, I walked along the side of the last Holmdel trail I posted until I got back to the car, disengaged my slightly damp hoodie, and headed home.

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There’s still quite a lot of the park to explore. The hilltop forest trail, I only took the barest glimpse of, aiming more at getting back to the parking lot than at really exploring the full extent of it, and the non-forest trail, I’ll eventually want to follow all the way around and see where it ends up.

Still, it was a nice walk today. The April showers actually were more of a blessing than a curse, in the end. I got a few shots I never would have gotten on a sunshiney day.

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