This week we have been dog sitting. He talked about going hiking on Tiger Mountain and I said that I was game. I started making mental notes about going to the store and getting food that will tide us over while we were hiking because we would definitely need it...the trail he was looking at is a 13 mile round trip hike.
Well we ended up hiking on Cougar Mountain today instead. It was a total let down! For starters, we grabbed one of the free paper maps that has all the trails on it. It did not have all of the trails on it or if it did, some of them were mislabeled because we took a right onto a trail that should have taken us to a waterfall and it ended up being some different trail that we did not anticipate taking.
Most of the hiking was uphill. Now I understand that we were hiking on a mountain but when I say "most" I mean that it was not half uphill and half downhill. I would say that about 70 - 75% of the hiking was uphill. It would have been totally worth it if there were some lookout points or peaks that had incredible views. The lookout trail that we were following ended and there was not a view point anywhere to be seen. There were several "peaks" that we apparently reached with no beautiful view.
While the park itself was quite and clean, there were times where the trails were literally only wide enough for half a person (which I did not mind) but all you could see was trees and dirt and the random snails, slugs and caterpillars. We heard some pretty bird songs and the random child yelling but overall it was quite and peaceful.
I have to admit that I had some difficulty with the uphill climbs at times. I have to seek the advice of my doctor because I looked at my hands at one point because I could not close them into fists and my hands were so swollen that you could not tell where my knuckles were or see my wrist bone and I could not extend my fingers all the way straight. I was breathing fine but it was like I was having an allergic reaction that was only affecting my hands.
After the accidental .52 mile downhill trek that we made that set us back about a mile, we completed our hike of 11.5 miles in 3 hours and 31 minutes. Now that was active walking. From the time we left the parking lot it was about 4 hours round trip. Not bad at all. That was with three people (one of my boyfriend's co-workers) and two dogs (the one that we are watching and BF's co-worker's dog) with only a couple of stops to drink water, feed the dogs, decipher the horrible map and horrible trail markers.
We are all going to sleep really good tonight and we might possibly partake in a 7.2 mile hike tomorrow to Lake Serene which I think I posted about a couple of summers ago.
Until next time!