Monday, July 13, 2015

Boulder Field Trail

One of Hickory Run's most prominent features is its boulder field and we make it a point to take the kids to it each time we visit the park. The only drawback for me about that attraction is the drive up to the field. Really it's not that long of a trek, but it feels long and dusty and tedious. Perhaps knowing the thrill of bounding across the rocks makes the trip seem tedious.

Fortunately, I was able to walk to the Boulder Field instead. I agreed to meet Sherry, the kids, and the rest of our party up at the field. The trail, according to park literature is 3.5 miles. It's slightly uphill. I challenged myself first to beat the party to the field. I figured all those kids stopping at the bath houses at Sand Spring Lake would hold them up enough for me to win a race to it. 

From park literature.
Then I stopped being delusional.

Part way through my journey I surmised that simply reaching the Boulder field via that trail in an hour would be an accomplishment in itself.

Start of trail: 2:35.
Poorly lit selfie at end of trail: 3:35.
I should note that there was some foolishness about this quest. First of all, trail conditions weren't that good. Lots of places were swampy as a result of our wet early summer and a recent storm. Running and fast hiking over such terrain while alone isn't necessary prudent.

One other unwise decision: rather than have my modest point-and-shoot camera dangling from my hips I moved it to the webbing of my somewhat old Camelbak. Midtrail I realized it had popped out. No idea when this happened. I moved on, figuring it was lost. But I came across hikers going the opposite direction and asked them to keep an eye out for it. If they found it, I requested that they set it at the sign at the trailhead.

I got lucky. A hiker trailing me found it and returned it to me up at Boulder Field.

So I immediately took a selfie with the camera with which I was reunited.

Sherry's look says it all: As she pointed out I could have simply clipped the camera to the Camelbak to prevent it being lost in the first place. 

This past weekend's adventure marked my seventh trip to Hickory Run. I've been fortunate to have a chance to travel a new trail on each adventure up there. My hunch is that an eighth trip to Boulder Field won't be too far away. The kids feel like it's theirs. Besides, my friends, the kids, and I are getting pretty good at this camping thing. More on that in my next post. 

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