March 6, 2016: Return to Lockes Hill

One place you’ll probably see frequently on this blog is Lockes Hill. I hiked it nearly every weekend in July and August last year. While I plan to mix things up a little bit more this year, Lockes is where I will go when I need to just get out there and get a quickie hike in.

And that’s what I did this weekend. After a long day of running errands and hanging a new TV up on the living room wall yesterday, and not hiking last weekend, I was feeling a bit of mountain withdrawal! Luckily, it doesn’t take much of a mountain to get me over it. Knowing we had more house stuff to do today, I got up early, ate a quick breakfast, and headed out shortly after sunrise.

Click on any of the photos above to view the gallery and read captions.

The two trails at Lockes Hill, the Lakeview Trail and the Quarry Trail, were in very different condition from one another today. As usual, I took the Lakeview Trail up because it’s the shorter of the two, and I like to stop at The Glade on the way up. There was a lot of ice on the trail – thick, ripply, built-up ice. This past winter is the first time I’ve done any winter hiking, so I can’t say if it’s normally like this or if it’s a by-product of the unusually warm, wet, and decidedly non-snowy winter we’ve been having. The Glade was quite icy. It really looked more like a frozen river on the side of the hill. At the summit, there was a small amount of frozen-slush snow and a lot of snowless bare spots, since it’s very open up there.

Heading down the Quarry Trail, it was a very different experience. Near the top, it was mostly bare with a little bit of frozen-slush snow. In the middle, it was mostly frozen slush and occasional ice in areas where the water puddles – not the thickly built-up ice of the Lakeview Trail. And at the bottom, after emerging from the woods into the meadow, the trail was covered with pleasantly crunchy, packed-down snow.

Here’s a short video of the middle section of the Quarry Trail – near the end, you can see I’m walking on a little patch of ice.

For additional details about Lockes Hill in general, see my 12/28/15 post.

Side note: One of my purchases while out running errands yesterday was a Garmin Vivofit2 activity tracker. I’d been debating for several months now whether to get one, so I just decided to go with a less expensive one since I wasn’t sure and figured I’d just try it and see. Still very early, but one thing I expected and confirmed today is that it can’t tell the difference between hiking and walking. There was also a difference in the mileage – the MapMyFitness app on my phone measured my distance at about 1.8 miles, but the Vivofit2 tracked it at 2.11 miles. I’m guessing MMF has the more accurate mileage data. Could also be that the Vivofit2 hasn’t gotten used to me yet. Time will tell.

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