When my friend, who shall henceforth be referred to as “D”, suggested a hike at 6 mile run, he said we would not do the entire thing, ‘just the prettiest part’, and that that should be approximately 3-4 miles, so, as a group we all decided to go. 3-4 miles is a lot for most of us, but doable. Most of our friends would have said no to 6 miles. I’m currently grossly out of shape, and my comfort zone atm is around 2-3 miles but potentially up to 4 or so, depending on trail difficulty and how my one inexplicably messed up hip feels on a particular day. Some days, the hip can handle 4 miles. Other days, it has a hard time with two. Percentage of dirt vs gravel also makes a difference. For reasons I don’t understand and can’t explain, gravel is harder on me, so paved trails tend to be harder even though the opposite should be true because they’re usually more level. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t and don’t try to explain it other than to say things can get hit or miss.

What none of us knew is how little our hike leader actually knew about 6 mile run. For example: he knew one side of the loop he was planning to have us do was longer than the other, but he thought it was a “little” longer, but flatter. It was flatter, but it was also MUCH longer. What he also apparently didn’t know was that 6 mile run branches off to 9 mile run. NINE, guys, NINE. By the time we got back to the car, my handy dandy pedometer said I had gone 11 miles and well over 25000 steps. Now, my pedometer probably overestimated a bit, so we’ve rounded down – we’re assuming overall it was around 20k steps/10 miles. I had blisters the size of fingers on the sides of my heels. I couldn’t wear shoes for a days and I couldn’t wear shoes with backs for three days. I hobbled around in my slip-on skechers like I had a broken foot for that entire time. TG I own a pair of open-backed slip on sneakers. My calf muscles, sore as they were, were genuinely the least of my worries. I was severely dehydrated, having planned enough water for a 4 mile hike and having done more than twice that.

Things I’ve learned:

  1. My friend underestimates distances. This is good to know for future excursions.
  2. Socks probably would have been a good idea.
  3. Even enormous blisters will deflate in two or three days.
  4. I’m pretty fricking stubborn. (oh, wait. I knew this one already.)

It was a pretty hike, but I won’t be doing the entire thing again any time soon. It seems better suited to (or at least more frequented by) bikers, and yielding can get old fast. I would go back (to do a partial hike, not another ten fricking mile hike of doom), but I don’t think I’d suggest it myself due to the frequent necessity of yielding to traffic. My favorite hiking sites are always the ones where there’s a possibility I might not run into anyone at all, and 6/9 mile run, pretty as it is, is not quite that, at least not on the shorter side, And, the longer, more isolated side is not scenically different enough from my usual haunts to make a special trip for. If I want pretty meadows and rolling hills, I can find that a lot closer to home, is all.

Still, it was a very pretty hike if you’re in shape enough to manage it without murdering your feet, and as much as this hike is partially a memory of being in mild pain for days, I’m also glad I did follow our distance-ignorant leader to the prettiest part. I am still setting an absolute limit of 5 miles for a hike, though, at least for now.

Also, yes, am attaching more photos than usual. It was a much longer hike than usual, so there are more to choose from. You can see the whole crapload of them on instagram if you are so inclined.

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