Happy Birthday to Me

I boss myself and set my own work schedule so I celebrate my birthday with a solo hike or ride. With all the snow around and the temperatures below freezing at dawn, I chose to ride Camden Hills State Park this year. Refrozen snow is good. Thawing snow isn’t, for biking that is.

Whenever I go out on a hike or ride, I hope to notice something interesting. Today it was connecting shade and north slope conditions with good solid track to ride upon.

The Camden Hill State Park is a 10 minute drive away.

Heading Up

I started up the mile long climb on fairly packed surface- many folks walk this section, some with their dogs, and it shows.

Eventually I reached the left tun for Bald Rock Mountain, a 1,000 prominence that overlooks the Atlantic.

It has been deep enough with snow that snowmobiles have gone to the top yesterday. None up there today. I am trying to make the full 5 miles on this Multipurpose Trail and then turn around and come back. I am racing sunshine, which has the capacity to soften the surface of the trail and cause my 5” tires to sink in and wallow.

In the next mile, the Multipurpose Road flattens out and is bordered by hemlocks and spruce trees that not only shade the surface from the sun, but hold the cold overnight. Grip is better here.

Soon I encounter the right tun for the Summer Bypass Trail, left untouched all winter. You can see that entrance right above the top of my front tire.

At the 2.5 mile mark I reach the Ski Shelter, empty this morning.

I will enter on my way back and drink water and eat a snack.

Still pushing to preserve firm snow.

From this point to the Route 1 side of the Park, there is much less foot traffic , with a clean snowmobile track from a rider who probably came through here last night or early this AM.

I stopped just at the water tower, turned around, and came back, deciding to take a left up the Cameron Mountain Trail, a decision which was aided by fresh snowmobile tracks and two sets of foot prints going that way.

Cameron Mountain is at the very edge of the State Park. The snowmobile track swoops around the summit and then twists and descends through private property when it eventually crosses Youngstown Road and heads for Lincolnville Center. The down hill is steep and fast, but my Ice Cream Truck embraces the wobble and delivers.

I decide to continue on the snowmobile trail rather than ride the pavement of Youngtown Road back to the car. I discover a huge hay field where I thought that I had lost the trail, but then I saw a tiny red trail sign far across the center of the field.

Winding my way down toward the village, I encountered an active logging operation that I was able to ride through with little difficulty.

After more than two hours of pedaling, I decided to get a breakfast sandwich and a coffee at Drake’s corner store where I took this distorted selfie in the window.

My car was still three miles away. I do not like riding on Rt. 173, due to the narrow road and inattentive drivers, so I decided to gamble on the abandoned section of Thurlow Road being tracked in.

After dodging thinly iced-over water at the start, I encountered unbroken soft snow as far as I could see. I decided to walk the bike through. I was tiring, with my heart rate spiking to 155 beats per minute through the snow. Soon I encountered a little maple sugaring operation half way through service via a couple of ATV ruts that assisted me getting back to better track.

A sort while later I was back on pavement, where I took a left on Youngtown Rd. and had a leisurely couple of miles on pavement back to my car and home. Today was a great start to my next season of exploring my local trails.

Step up ! Mileage Challenge for 2017 !

It’s now 2017. After reviewing all the end of the year” bests” lists and the sun ever so slowly extending itself into the far northeast corner of the USA , I’m ready and hopeful about what’s to come.

For one, I’m still able to embrace health and happiness. My body weight has remained around 200 pounds since I lost 27 pounds on my 2013 CDT thru hike. On prior hikes, I’ve gained it all back , but this time, I’ve been able to remain 15 pounds lighter.

Setting goals is my personal  life raft. Without them, I would be a diminished individual. My spanking new goal for 2017 is to hike, walk, backpack, or bike a cumulative 2017 miles.  It will be a figure that is easy to remember!  With that number in place, I am generally out the door every day to put in at least an hour to an hour and a half on moderate to more activity.
I dumped my decades old gym membership in 2013 after I came back from the CDT.  I went back to working out indoors but it didn’t feel right to drive a vehicle a half hour to change clothes and spend an hour inside a sweat factory where I did more talking than walking.

With this plan, I sometimes play catch-up.  I had a work week last week that cut into my recreational daylight hours. Saturday morning brought me to a three hour hike in nearby Camden Hills State Park.  We have not had much snow here.  The ground is practically bare, however,  there are ample stretches of compressed, hard, grey ice covering some of the hiking trails and single track that I travel on.  Half of Saturdays hike was done on Stabilicers.
Fitbit helps.

Strava  helps more.

2017 so far. Its a start!
2017 so far. Its a start!

If you are considering getting in ready shape for the upcoming hiking season then I’d suggest you also make your own grand plan with a mileage goal thrown in to keep you honest.  I’d like to thank Carey Kish for getting me started on upping my Maine-based mileage.  His 2015 Maineac Outdoors column inspired me.  I’d recommend that you review my own blog post that conveys my start.

I  boosted the whole shabang up a notch for 2016, aiming for 1,000 miles of walking as well as also a separate 1,000 mile biking. I was in for a nasty surprise this past Thanksgiving when I realized that I still had over 250 miles to cover on the bike before Dec. 31.  Early snowfalls and some brutal single digit temps led me to sufferer through a few  slushy bone chilling rides, but I made it.

Road rode yesterday
Road rode yesterday

I plan to amassing at least 100 bike miles a month from now until my birthday on March 27.

What about you?   Ready for a mileage goal of 1,000 miles to invite you outside more?      Who is in for a belated New year’s revolution or two?

You might not have to ride ice to get there.

Rollins Trails/ Ragged/Snow Bowl
Rollins Trails/ Ragged/Snow Bowl
Riding ON Hosmer Pond !
Riding ON Hosmer Pond !

Midcoast Maine Fat Biking: Ride Local, Ride Often !

Hosmer Pond Jan. 2015
Ian and Buck on Hosmer Pond-  Jan. 2015

The real deal is never the same as the ideal.
Take fat-tire bikes for example.

Advertised as the children of snowy Alaska’s Iditabkes, these newly minted cash cows of the shape-shifter bike industry have a magical draw when they are viewed in real life, as opposed to in magazine ads or Instagram photographs. Fatbiking in Alaska The bikes themselves are borderine cartoonish.

Hoar frost holds up the Pugsley
Hoar frost holds up the Pugsley

With blocky, simple frame lines, it’s the wheels, no – the tires themselves, ballooning out to five inches in width that elicit broad smiles, and then chuckles on first sight.  Then you eventually ride one, and that chuckle becomes a laugh and you are hooked.

Except you don’t float like “a magic carpet on wheels” over just any old snowscape.  Snows of up to a couple, three inches are not even worth discussing.  The bike goes. However, once the snow gets to be about 5” deep the magic of riding these chunkers fades and we enter the world of sweat, work, and subsequent exhaustion.

Pace line over Coleman Pond
Buck, Andre, and Erik riding over frozen Coleman Pond in 2015

At least it is possible to move with a fattie under you, but once you enter deeper snow this happens: you pedal and then experience the disappointment of being propelled forward for a meager distance. The promised magic morphs into a grunt.

Which is not generally a problem for me. I have the 100% package of the Polish suffering gene, which propels me well into longer periods of low level leg work.

A  friend of mine just bought a Surly Pugsley. He was surprisingly frustrated that it took hard work to pedal the thing in 5” of snow.

The winter track beneath a bike is best experienced when someone or something has packed puffy snow down.

Love that tractor!
Love that tractor tread!

The packing hierarchy goes like this, from best downward:  snowmobile, 4WD truck tread, ATV tread, snowshoe tracks, ski tracks, footprints, and the occasional winter game trail.

So, we pack our own trails to ride on the snow. Last Saturday, I spent the morning helping my next door neighbor Matt cut out an overgrown discontinued snow mobile trail.

Matt had a full compliment of gear, that we hauled into the woods for the morning:  chain saw, limb trimmer, axe, files, rope, even a stump vise.

Matt and the gear heading into the woods
Matt and the gear heading into the woods

Years ago, the winter landscape around this part of town was punctuated with the sounds of snowmobiles, day and night.  Not so much anymore.  Times have changed- the snows are often slim, and when there is snow on the ground, many of the locals pack up their sleds into enclosed trailers and head up north to Jackman or Rangeley to ride the snowmobile superhighways that make Quebec an easy haul.

So, we cut away a path for our bikes, and then walk them a bit , and then ride them some more until they are in a state where forward motion is not only possible, but productive.

The moral of this story is find some folks who do regularly ride winter trails where you live and make an effort  to contribute to packing a better path for those that will follow.

 Bubba ride from Jan. 2014
Bubba ride from Jan. 2014

Right now in Midcoast Maine, that’s the Rockland Bog.

Rockland Bog Trails from Bog. Rd.
Rockland Bog Trails from Bog. Rd.- Photo from John Anders

The network of trails at the bottom of the Rollins Road in Camden is now fast, but a bit icy at the start.

Snow Bowl lot to Rollins Rd. trails
Snow Bowl lot to Rollins Rd. trails – John Anders photo

Word has it that Camden Hills State Park is getting good and that Tanglewood 4H Camp is ridable but I plan to personally checked those out his week.

And then there’s this project I am working on with my nest door neighbor, Matt. Hopefully, we’ll turn that into something good.

Ride Local, Ride Often!

Fitness Goal + Data = Gold !

You can’t purchase your miles of foot powered travel.  Sure, you can buy experiences that frame human powered travel, but to move from point A to point B simply takes work, and time.

For 2015, my oldest son Lincoln encouraged me to set a daily goal of 1 hour of either bicycling, jogging, or backpacking.  Being a data hound, I track my progress.  If data is not of the slightest of interest to you, you’d better close this window and move on.

Until January 1, 2015 I logged my exercise time with the Fitbit app on my iPhone 5s. People may not realize that Fitbit lets you track workouts without necessarily buying a $150 Fitbit wrist tracker.  The free Fitbit app utilizes my iPhone 5s’s M7 motion coprocessor, a part specifically designed to measure motion-related data from the iPhone’s accelerometer, gyroscope and compass.  My “cheater” Fitbit works fine. I  aim for 10,000 daily steps, the equivalent of 5 miles of foot travel. In fact, Fitbit just “awarded” me the Monarch Migration badge, for completing 2,500 miles since I logged in on Jan. 1, 2014.

But things clicked even better for me when I ponied up $59 (a year) for the Strava Premium membership. I wanted to access the Strava Goals, unavailable on the free version.  With a bump up to Premium, you get to set time or distance goals and track your progress by the week or the month, as my 2015 data below illustrates.  This particular feature made all the difference to me in 2015.

screenshot 11 I decided to aggregate both bicycling and foot travel (hiking/walking/jogging) toward that 1 hour goal. By checking via the  various choices of  Strava Premium’s graphics, I could see how I was doing each week. If I was experiencing a slim week, I’d plan to go outside on the weekend and would, for example, log a 3 hour hike in the State Park here in town and end up finishing the week with at least 7 hours of fairly brisk motion.

I surpassed my daily goal of 1 hour (365 hours) for 2015 !  Here’s the data:

screenshot 12I’m not going to rant about the 85 personal records that I accomplished in the 273 activities that I engaged in during 2015, however, that is another ingenious aspect of Strava.  Or the fact that many of the folks that I hike and ride with are also using Strava, where we can view and encourage each other’s efforts, and even send each other GPX tracks of interesting routes that we’ve discovered.

It just keeps going and going….If you need even higher degree of data analysis ( like the” 3D rotating elevation profiler”) of your Strava data then check out Veloviewer!

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So, I have three new goals for 2016:

-1,000 miles of biking

-1,000 miles of hiking in Maine

-75 minutes of daily biking, hiking, or backpacking (525 minutes / week).  To read about the magic  525 minute threshold, check out one of my posts from 6 month ago entitled  Exercising Inadequately, Excessively, or Just Right ?

Anyone else logging their lives out there, or do you just go ?

 

 

Searching For Old Roads

This month I’ve had the fortune to join three fellow Lincolnville, Maine residents on two exploratory hikes where we walked where old footsteps, carriage wheels tracks, and hoof prints achieved a degree of frequency that was sufficient to establishing primitive roads that ascended these coastal hills.

Rosey and Kerry above Route 52 looking west
Rosey and Kerry above Route 52 looking west

There are close to 30 miles of official trails in Camden Hills State Park.

Map of Camden Hills
Map of Camden Hills

What we are looking for does not appear on this map.

Now is the time of year to explore the remains of routes that date back to when white settlers began to settle this area previous to 1800.  It’s approaching mid-December right now, when deciduous leaves have been stripped off the trees and the ground cover has died back to reveal the visible foundation of the landscape.    What’s left are bare ledges and rock outcroppings that posed considerable navigational challenges to the earliest settlers to this midcoast Maine area.  Here is an example of an ancient roadbed passing through the side of a rocky area:

The bright area above the slot is out path
The bright area above the slot is our path

The particular road that we tried to establish was one that came up from Youngtown Road  above Lincolnville Center over the Camden Hills and then down into the settlement of Camden itself.  Before 1804, there was no Route 52- the sheer cliffs on the west side of the Camden hills dropped right into Megunticook Lake.  That all changed in 1806, after four years of hard labor of some forty men resulted in Daniel Barrett’s toll road. The flatness of that narrow winding road was much quicker and easier than the mountain road above Maiden’s Cliff that twisted its way near 1,000 feet of elevation.

Our walk today started at the “old Barrett homestead”, or as it is better known, the Maiden’s Cliff parking lot. We walked up the Maiden’s Ciff route for a short time, then veered right before the trail crossed a wide rocky stream.  From there, we were able to follow a steadily ascending old road.

Matt and Kerry heading up
Matt and Kerry heading up

I expressed my doubts about whether a horse could draw a loaded wagon up the steep slope, or consider what is would take to hold back such a situation on a descent.  We later agreed that this might have been on of the paths where timber from above was skidded down the mountain in winter or spring.

Here’s a massive pine tree that must have been 200 years old that had somehow escaped cutting.

Big pine
Big pine

It is so much easier tracing old paths with a small group, that can fan out in questionable areas and discuss route options in real time in a real place.

“You can feel it underfoot.”

“There’s a hand built berm laid up just to the left there.”

“ As good as the road is underneath us, It’s as rough as a cob all around us.”

In 1754, militia men forged a rough trail from Thomaston overland to Stockton Springs through what some Lincolnville historians term The Gut. We passed over that saddle later today, where we located old boundary markers and some very distinctive triangular hunks of weathered granite that were important lines of sight or outright ownership.

Unique marker stones
Unique marker stones

Today’s adventure with this group reminded me so much of a trek in southern New Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail back in May of 2013. Back then, my backpacking buddies Train, Wizard, General Lee and I were having a difficult time picking our way up the long-abandoned Butterfield Mail Coach route as it wound its nearly invisible track through a bone dry arroyo in the foothills of the Cooke Range. That stage route across the west started in 1857, and operated until 186. This was the era where the real wild West was settled. We were dodging Spanish Dagger plants then, and now I am pushing my way through thickets of bare young maple trees.

I loved walking today on a historic footpath that holds deep mysteries that have all but vanished in just over 200 years.

In the end, we took the first old road all the way up until we connected along the Jack Williams Trail, and took that to over Zeke’s Trail for a brief time when we veered off and continued the high line on another old road that eventually dipped down to known connections coming up from the Youngtown Road.

On the way back, Kerry discovered a pretty crude bush shelter, where someone had been squatting for a while, well off the marked trail.  They left a mess.

Cheap lodging
Cheap lodging

If this mild December holds out any longer, I just might be up there again, spending the night on Bald Rock Mountain in the Camden Hills on Sunday  so I can wake up on the solstice and watch the sun come up over the ocean and place its rays upon North America.

The life-affirming light will start to come back, once again, revealing yet another meaning of Christmas.

Star atop Mt. Battie tower
Star atop Mt. Battie tower

Join me on a Microadventure: Sunday’s Harvest Moon/ Supermoon/Lunar Eclipse

Local adventure opportunity !

Lunar eclipse
Lunar eclipse

Anyone up for a #microadventure to check out the Harvest Moon/ “Supermoon”/ and total lunar eclipse tomorrow night (Sunday, Sept. 27)?

MIcroadventures
MIcroadventures

As Alistair Humphreys states in Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes,  “A microadventure is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and 100% guaranteed to refresh your life.  A microadventure takes the spirit of a big adventure and squeezes it into a day or even a few hours.”

The Harvest Moon in 2015 comes on the night of September 27. It’s also a supermoon, and the closest the moon will come to earth this year.  What’s more, this Harvest Moon will stage a total lunar eclipse on Sunday night.

According to my stargazing brother-in-law Gene, ”The total eclipse will start at 10:11 p.m. EDT Sunday evening and will last one hour and 12 minutes.”

This particular astronomical situation hasn’t happened in 33 years, and won’t for another 18 years.

Good background, including a video here.

I plan to watch it all unfold come up over Penobscot Bay from the top of Bald Rock Mountain in Camden Hills State Park. I’ll head up after supper, starting from the Steven’s Corner lot at 6:30 pm.  Should be able to reach the top by dark.

If you also plan to head up, definitely bring a headlamp.

I also plan to sleep up there and make it down early enough to get to work on Monday, so I’ll be packing a sleeping bag, ground mat, and a bivvy bag.  There’s a campfire ring in front of the lean-to as well.  That might happen, too.  It is only a 2 mile walk from the parking lot to the top, so if someone wanted to, they could go up and down on Sunday night.  I don’t rush any more.

There are flat spots on top that can serves as tent sites, and floor of the worn-down lean-to just below the top can serve as a sheltered space as well.

The weather could not be better for the viewing on Sunday night:  clear skies and low in the 50’s .

Who is in?

Sponsored by Uncle Tom’s Guided Adventures

 

Winter Into Spring

I’m blessed by having friends who walk outside in the winter. The picture below illustrates just how varied the modes of outdoor travel become this time of year: bikes, skis, snowshoes, toboggans, boots, and traction devices.

Comrades on the winter trails
Comrades on the winter trails
Three successive days of walking on local trails just culminated with exiting the Camden Hills State Park. IMG_4468 It’s the warmest morning in over a month, finally above freezing, and instead of the anticipated 6-10 inches of new snow from this weekends storm, it’s raining now.

Rime snow obscures  blue blazes
Rime snow obscures blue blazes
Who cares ? I sure don’t, because after a mere two miles of slopping over the snow pack, I’ll be heading home to dry myself out by the glowing coals of the wood fire.

In 2015, I’m orienting my outdoor life to align with several goals I set for myself: hiking 1,000 miles in Maine, and walking or biking 365 hours. An hour a day average.

I’m also working on snowshoeing all 30 miles of trail here in the Camden Hills. I’m now down to just five miles more.

Surprise! Did you know that Tanglewood 4-H Camp is located on Camden Hills State Park land ? I didn’t. So I need to strap on the snowshoes and walk or ski 8 miles of trail over there, where the stunning 1.1 Ducktrap River Trail is the featured attraction.

Conflict emerges.

I want to focus on winter biking more than snowshoeing. It’s March 15th today, and when this almost-spring sunlight beams loud and clear the snow melts quickly. We lost six inches of snow cover on one of the few bright, sunny days that unfolded last week.

I need to make like a sugar maple and hope for below freezing nights and warm sunny days in order to keep my personal force flowing.

I dream of riding over frozen snow and skittering down the Cameron Mountain descent just one more time. IMG_0022

Where To Play Outdoors in Midcoast Maine This Week

Yes!

What's up for today?
What’s up for today?

The yearly ritual of turning back of clocks today came with the a clear turn toward Spring, which officially arrives this year at 6:45 pm March 20. The light is different now. It’s clearer, warmer as the longer days arrive, and still below freezing every single night.

It’s a banner year for cold, school storm days, and especially for snow accumulation. There is thee to four feet of snow on local trails, and even higher depths at elevation.

Bruce Bicknell storming up the Ridge Trail
Bruce Bicknell storming up the Ridge Trail

While struggling up the steepest sections of Ridge Trail in Camden Hills State Park on Saturday, my extended Leki trekking poles went all the way up to the hand grips before the connected with solid ground.

I was able to do it all this week: snowshoe hikes, bike rides on the snow and ice, and even a run on a clear tar road where I didn’t have to fear a slip or fall on the ice, which had finally melted.

High Street toward Levensellar Mountain
High Street toward Levensellar Mountain

Several places are really prime right now. For skiers and snowshoe fans, you can’t beat the conditions in Camden Hills State park.   Regular snowmobile grooming on the Multipurpose/ Ski Lodge trail has put a packed surface of deep snow down for foot ( and bike) traffic.

The sheer number of people out and about has also packed down several of the side trails.

On Saturday, Bruce and I were able to walk without snowshoes all the way up the Carriage and then Tableland Trails to the intersection of Jack Williams where we donned snowshoes to break the untraveled 1.7 miles of that route. A slight inconvenience that is not a problem in the summer is the nearly constant pushing aside of small branches from my face. it’s because there is so much snow on the trails that you are actually elevated three to four feet above into a canopy that’s normally overhead.

Here’s a Google map rendition of a sixteen mile winter mountain biking route that I took yesterday, with this graphic provided by John Anders, a local bike trail building force. AndersGoogle

To orient, the blue line intersecting Route 173 is at the Stevens Corner parking lot.  Frohock Mountain is just to the left, Bald Rock Mountain is to the right, with the largest mass of Megunticook touching Penobscot Bay below.  The  blue line is all trail. Most of the traveling that we did in the foreground is impossible in any season but winter, unless you have a canoe, or an amphibious vehicle, as it is Swamp Thing country.

Pace line over Coleman Pond
Pace line over Coleman Pond: Eric, Andre, and Buck

Maiden’s Cliff is packed down, especially the left turn route up to the Millerite Ledges.

Maiden's Cliff  overlooking Megunticook Lake
Maiden’s Cliff overlooking Megunticook Lake

The road walk up to the top of 800′ Mount Battie from the Route 1 parking lot is plowed and the pavement is almost 100% clear right now.

Cameron Mountain is really easy to get to,  and serviced by many snowmobiles each day, packing that trail solid.

Descending Cameron Mtn.
Descending Cameron Mtn.

Drive on up to Tanglewood 4- H camp and ski the Road in from the parking lot/kiosk.  it’s groomed and packed solid.  The Ducktrap River trail, starting at the suspension bridge, looks great for skiing.

 

If you decide to head out into the woods this week in Lincolnville, do remember that’s it’s still pretty wild out there. Bring a day pack that can keep you going ( food and water), keep you warm ( dry extra clothes), keep you on track ( map, compass, and GPS), and keep you alive if you run out of daylight (warm clothing, fire starting devices, bivy sack).

Check out what’s in my present winter day pack, if you need some ideas.

If you exhaust the possibilities in and around the Camden Hills, you can also head up to Acadia, which now has it’s own Guthook’s Hiking Guide app for the iPhone/iPad available within his New England Hiker app.

Screen shot
Screen shot

Snowshoeing up Bald Rock Mountain

Snowshoeing.  It’s where it’s at right now.  At Camden Hills State Park, I enjoyed a quick loop up to one of the best lookouts around these parts-  Bald Rock Mountain, elevating itself a mere eleven hundred feet above adjacent Penobscot Bay .

Here’s the map of the loop. screenshot  I had originally planned to head out to Frohock Mountain, but that trail had not been broken out, and I wasn’t sure I had the time to head out there and back before dark. There is a lot of snow here. Several places in Maine broke the all time record for 10 day snowfall totals- approaching 6 feet. There is three to four feet of snow out here and it is still powdery.

Frohock is the hill just northeast of this loop.  I would like to get out to Frohock, but want someone go with me so that we can take turns breaking trail.  I just got this crazy idea to snowshoe all 27.5 miles of trails here.

I hiked right up the Multiuse Trail, then took a left a half mile out to veer toward Frohock. I made it all the way to up the summit of Bald Rock Mountain where no one had yet broken a trail from the lower lean-to up to the summit. Here’s the second (upper) lean-to, a place where folks like me can stay the night for a quick local adventure.

After I hit the shelter, I slogged up the steep granite ledge to the top, which was buried in snow today. I was alone, but had dozens of islands to communicate with from the top.

This hike is so good. After you take in the view, it’s really all of two complete miles of downhill to the Steven’s Corner parking lot.

Descending Bald Rock
Descending Bald Rock
I like completing this hike in the late afternoon, when the sun is starting to set.
Frohock from Multi-use Trail
Frohock from Multi-use Trail

I plan to journey out to Frohock this coming Saturday morning at 8:30. If any one else wants to help me break trail to Frohoc before the next blizzard comes in Saturday afternoon with a foot or more of new powder, come on by.

Time for backpacking again

I have come alive in these past couple of weeks again after a tough winter. The snow is gone, and even the mud is firming up. In the past week, I have enjoyed some mountain bike trail rides with The Bubbas and also started some longer backpacking excursions in Camden Hills State Park. I can’t say enough about how enjoyable the hiking was here on the coast of Maine this week where it is still cool out, the black flies are not much if an issue ye, and the views through the bare trees allow glimpses of the Atlantic waters in unexpected places.
It still rains, but not enough to stop me from going out.
Two nights ago a dozen of riders took to the Rockland Bog for a couple of hours’ riding bikes. It was still raining when we started and there were a few serious mud pits that I splashed through. When go got back to the parking lot, my feet were soaked but I forgot to bring dry socks, so I changed into a pair or bandannas. Stevie Hawk tried to make fun of me, but I knew I enjoyed dry feet, mo matter what the social cost.

20140509-134551.jpg

An app that I have been enjoying lately is Fitbit, which normally links to a wristband that costs $100. Those of us who have an iPhone 5s can forgo the purchase, and utilize the phone’s motion sensor to track movement related to walking. I tracked yesterday’s 12 mile backpacking hike in the Camden Hills and ended up with these results for the day:

20140509-135110.jpg
It’s reinforcing to see this type of screen at the end of the day, and the ease of entry for foods consumed that day allows me to make progress in keeping my weight down some 10 pounds below normal for me this time of year.

Strava also works into the mix, tallying mileage from my walks, hikes, and bike rides. It all adds up to motivate me to do things outside again. I love generating the elevation profiles, too.

20140509-140033.jpg

Here’s yesterday’s alternative to the Stairmaster- actual walking in the spectacle of an awakening forest.

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