Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hiking Boonton and Mountain Lakes


Every time I wore my really warm long underwear when hiking last winter, I ended up regretting it. Unfortunately, I learned from my experience and didn't wear it today. The temperature was 28 but, according to my weather app, it "felt like 15" thanks to the wind chill. I should have also brought my warm gloves and a warm hat, because this hike was bitterly cold.

I haven't hiked with the Ramblers since my surgery, so this seemed like a good hike to get back in with - no scrambling, not killer in length (10-12 miles was the estimate up front), not entirely flat but no Mt. Everest either. It ended up being nearly all those things, as it clocked in at 12.7 miles.

We took the bus to Morris County, New Jersey. The hike started in Boonton with a leisurely look at the old Morris Canal, and I seriously thought about going home at this point; I wasn't sure I was warm enough to have fun. Then, a few things happened: I ate a Luna bar, the wind died down somewhat, and the sun came out. We also started hiking more briskly (or perhaps I should say, stopping at fewer sites). In fact, the hike up the Tourne, a large hill or small mountain, was downright warmifying. We then stopped at another section of the canal and Boiling Spring before heading to and around Birchwood Lake. Then it was back up an old trolley line, across Rattlesnake Meadow, and back to the bus. Incidentally, Boiling Spring is not a hot spring, simply an underground spring, and Rattlesnake Meadow is not a meadow, nor do rattlesnakes feature prominently (although to be fair we didn't exactly check thoroughly).

It was, overall, a nice hike, although I would have likely enjoyed it more under warmer circumstances.

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