Sunday, April 5, 2015

Training Hikes in Whistler and Our First Hike with Packs

We spent the week in Whistler BC as we do every March- part ski trip, part family reunion. There was shockingly little snow, and no new snow on the way, so we spent more time doing things like hiking and visiting the amazing Scandinave Spa. First, we walked to the Spa and back - probably a 5 mile round trip. The next day, we got more ambitious and mapped out a longer hike up into the hills. It included a stretch of the "Comfortably Numb" mountain bike trail. Here is the route:

We had some stream crossings in the early part of the hike.

These trails are part hiking, part mountain bike. This is a typical construction along the trail that allows the trail to traverse some swampy grounds.

Everything was sooooo green. If there was no moss, it must be the trail. Navigation was a bit sketchy in places as the trails are not marked in any way and they snake through the forest.

Another structure for mountain bikers and hikers.

It is always hard to capture the more extreme variations in terrain using a camera. This photo below shows the mountain bike trail going up and over an incredibly steep and tall section of rock.

The photo below shows the trail going straight down, over a boulder, and then down even more. The wooden slats are so steep that we couldn't walk down them and had to climb down along the side of the ramp. You can see the groove that the bike tires have dug into the boards as they brake on the way down.

A few days later, we hiked just a few miles to "Train Wreck" where seven train cars are sitting in the woods. There was a train wreck in the mid-50's and they just towed the wrecked cars off of the tracks and into the woods. Now, the cars are used for graffiti and as obstacles in a mountain bike course.

Finally, back home, we hiked 7 miles on April 4th around the Billy Goat trail in Carderock, Md. This was our first hike with our backpacks and we are both a little sore today. Sherry is carrying all of her stuff for a 5-6 week hike. We will be doing laundry.

The B and C sections of the trail, with the C&O Canal connecting them. 

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