So, yesterday a friend and I drove out to the Platte River Wilderness for a day-long hike. We are getting ready for our trip out to the AT in Massachusetts and Vermont, so we both carried our packs, full of gear and a bit of food. Not the same weight as we'll be carrying there, but enough to get a sense of what it will be like. This "getting the sense" thing is important as the friend who is going with me (trailname: Red) has never been on a backpacking trip before. We'd done one other full-day hike (about 7 miles) and she experienced some pain in the balls of her feet, so we wanted to give the experience another chance to see if Advil and some different shoe inserts would help.
We arrived at about 9:30 and were hiking by 10. We kept with my new hiking plan of stopping every hour for a short break, and all went very well. Red was experiencing a bit of pain, but it was manageable; at the end of a 10-mile day, she said "With another break, I could have hiked some more."
This is very good news, as we're planning to hike about 10 miles a day in Massachusetts/Vermont.
The bad news was that as soon as we started hiking, I started to sneeze. The scenery was beautiful, it was VERY warm, and the wildflowers and grasses were out in abundance. Needless to say, hiking while sneezing and constantly blowing one's nose is not the most pleasant (or elegant) way to spend the day.
Made it through, however, and I'm feeling better today. Drugs help.