Well, hey ho, trailheads. As of this writing, it finally feels like spring is here. Here in New Jersey, between two nor’easters and several days of snow, it felt like winter definitely wore out its welcome. Even after the snow melted, we had several prolonged periods of cold temperatures, which didn’t make being outside all that fun. On top of that, March and April were pretty wacky months on the work front, which didn’t leave much time for hiking. Or blogging.
My family and I are going on a couple days’ outing in Shenandoah National Park later this spring. The hiking party will of course include two hyperactive dogs. So we’ve been in planning mode for the past several months. This includes working out the logistics of carrying enough water – we’re thinking of freezing a couple of gallon-sized zip-top bags of water and carrying them with us. We’ve also been working out which trails are suitable for hiking with dogs – I’ve been seeing lots of recommendations for the Rose River Loop. And I’m not expecting this to be an issue, but we’re making sure everyone knows what to do in the off chance that a bear goes wandering past.
Mom and I invested in some new equipment – namely, a pair of Osprey daypacks and some new hiking boots. My old Merrills went off to bliss eternal a while back after I finally wore a hole clear through the heels, and I discovered the hard way this winter that my all-purpose brown boots aren’t exactly watertight.
So I’ve got a pair of Keens that need breaking in. I took them on their first sea trials during a short birdwatching hike up at Eagle Rock Reservation last weekend. (On that note, I’m pleased to report that the warblers have started migrating north, so spring is definitely here.) I’ve also been wearing them to the office most days these last few weeks. I’ve also been hitting the gym to start getting my hiking muscles back into shape.
I’ve found myself checking in to see when L.L. Bean is going to be offering the kayaking and paddleboarding discovery courses for the summer season.