If you haven't hiked and want to try it, the first thing you need to make sure you have is a map of the area. We've never bothered doing that in the past and found out yesterday how important it is to have one. We went to Harrimon State Park to hike where we use to go hiking about four years ago. We really weren't familiar with the area even though we had hiked it before.
I realized that we were hiking two trails combined. What we didn't know was that one of the trails was the Appalachian Trail. We found out because we ran into some friendly hikers that told us where we were and showed us that map they had. We ended up getting off the Appalachian Trail and following the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail that should have taken us back to where our car was.
Unfortunately, the map was outdated. We came across a paved road, which I immediately recognized as Seven Lakes Drive. I knew if we made a right on the road we would eventually get to Lake Tiorati, but on the map it showed that by following the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail we would end up at the lake. So, we crossed the road and got back to the trail. About thirty to forty minutes into this part of the trail, we see the lake. At this point, we're not sure if to get off the trail and go to the lake or stay on course. Since we were confident about the map, we decided to stay on course.
It seemed that the trail was bending towards the lake, but suddenly it began going away from it. We ran into some racers and they told us to go back to the road or go off the trail to the lake. If we decide to go back to the road, we have another forty minutes and that does not include the time to walk back to the lake. If we decide to go off the trail towards the lake, we have no idea on which side of the lake we'll end up at. We opted for the lake because it seemed the quickest way to get back.
Going off trail was definitely a challenge. The ground was very mushy, which made us have to hop from rock to rock. Luckily, we had found some good branches that we used as walking sticks. That helped us out tremendously. My knee was really bothering me (yup, have to lay off jogging for a bit) and the branch relieved some of the stress. After probably fifteen minutes, we see a road and realized that we're on the right side of the lake. We finally get to the road and walk over to the lake for the view. We were so tired at this point that we decided to walk back to the car. We did stop at the visitor's center and bought a map. We told the guy about our ordeal and he informed us that they had changed part of the trail. So, the maps were outdated. Dan grabbed a pen and made the changes on the map.
After we left the park, we decided to drive to the mall. I needed some cargo pants, which of course I found none that would fit me correctly. They need to make pants that fit girls with curves. Anyway, we stopped in Barnes and Nobles and I decided to spend some of my birthday money on hiking books. With the map and the books we got, we will be better prepared for our next hiking trip.
Now for right knee, I had to take a bath last night and do some major stretching. I'm going to lay off jogging this week to see how it feels. I have to say that the bath worked really well. Depending on how I feel, I will go to the gym on Wednesday and workout on the elliptical machine. I think I may have to postpone the eight mile hike for Sunday (unless I get trekking poles this week). I'm not letting this minor injury set me back. I will work through this. I have already lost two and a half inches around my waist. I don't want to ruin my progress.