I snuck out on two hikes this weekend, both at my favorite oasis of Ohiopyle, PA. On Saturday, I woke up a little after 5AM and tried to make my arrival close to sunrise, this way I could get back in time when the rest of my family is stirring and I wouldn’t miss out on too much.
A couple weeks back I was hiking on a trail (the same hike where Benny found a deer’s leg), a fellow hiker had his dog off leash. The dog sprinted away from his owner and charged me at full steam, the owner shouted and was obviously concerned, but there was no catching that dog, he was determined to get me. Fortunately, it was very cold outside and I had jeans on with heavy socks underneath, the dog bit at my pants and issued me minor cuts on both legs. The dog was 40 or 50 lbs, not huge, but it was big enough to cause concern. Benny was bewildered by the whole scene and chose to watch on the sidelines. As the dog was biting my jeans, I thought about grabbing his collar, but figured he would then just bite my arm, which is something I did not want. At this point, my next option was to just start punching the dog’s head, I was about to deliver a haymaker when the dog’s owner finally grabbed the animal by the collar and pulled him away.
The reason I tell you about this wild scene as it planted a seed in my mind that was not there previously. What the heck are you going to do if you are attacked by an animal on these hikes?
Simultaneously, I have recently taken interest in a summer solstice hike that happens in June where you have from sunrise to sunset to hike 34 miles. A friend who plans on participating advised that I should acquire trekking poles for the long hike. I dismissed trekking poles as nerdy and said I did not want to be a dork on a trail, I might as well throw on a striped shirt and hat and finalize my complete transformation to Waldo.
Anyways, after doing some research, it seems like trekking poles do in fact help improve hiking distance by achieving greater weight distribution. The trekking poles aren’t necessary on most hikes that are shorter in duration, but could be used to beat a dog away. Therefore, I will acquire trekking poles to solve my concern about getting attacked by an animal and to enhance my hiking distance.
After my hike, I wanted to treat my family to a big fun afternoon because I’ve been working too much lately. We all went down to Dave & Busters and played games for a couple hours. Each family member had their moment when they accomplished an amazing feat and won gazillions of tickets, we had a serious ticket rush. Here we are determining which products would most optimize our tickets.
On Sunday morning, I woke up around 6AM and got in another hike in Ohiopyle.
It was chilly in the mornings, but ice was melting by 9AM.
Benny is the only creature capable of appreciating these hikes more than I.
I hiked up to Baughman Rock (picture above), it is about 2.3 miles from the town of Ohiopyle, mostly at a steep incline. It was about 22 degrees during this hike, so my lungs were burning for a good portion of it.
Benny at Baughman Rock, on the other side of the fence is a steep cliff. You can see he approached it with caution. He is standing where I took the above selfie.
Encouraged to see the trees are starting to bud. The next two snap shots are from my hiking app, Gaia GPS. It works without cell phone reception by downloading the map prior to your hike, saving it on your phone. Then when hiking in areas without service, turn your phone onto airplane mode and it tracks your position on the saved map. The black line is the hike I took on Saturday. The image below is a sample of the stats it tracks, including altitude and speed.