Saturday, June 2, 2012

Turtling is Recommended

The view from the fire tower on Spruce Mountain.
 Sometimes you just need to go hiking. And while you're there, I highly recommend spending some leisurely time on the trail. Pack in dinner, bring a tasty beverage, take in the view, or turtle (lounge on a warm rock in the sun). And hikes aren't just for the weekend! Head out after work with friends, get to the top in time for sunset, and bring a headlamp for the twilight hike back down.

This week, we were fortunate to hike two of our local greats: Spruce Mountain and Mt. Abe.

We hiked Spruce Mountain mid-week after we were all finished with work. We packed in dinner, beers, and our headlamps and thoroughly enjoyed the summit and the fire tower at the top. Bringing a headlamp along is always a good idea, no matter what time you start out; however, it is especially recommended for afternoon hikes. The security of knowing your way back down is guaranteed to be well-lit, no matter how long you linger at the summit, is always worth the extra effort and weight to bring your headlamp along. You never know who you will meet or what personal revelations you will have while soaking in the sun from the top of a mountain. Best to be prepared for whatever life brings your way, including fun.

Lauren checks out the fire tower on Spruce.

Another classic hike in our area is the trek up to Mt. Abe, at about 5.2 round trip. But don't let the relatively small mileage fool you - this hike has its share of climbing. Still, the trail is smooth, fun, and totally do-able in an afternoon. This can also be the start to an excellent day of ridge walking by linking Lincoln and Appalachian gaps along the Monroe Skyline. On this day, we took the afternoon to hike after spending the morning getting our yard in order. We packed in a lunch from the Warren General Store and enjoyed a long turtle-session in the sun at the top, watching the rain clouds move in from the Adirondacks.

Heading up the Long Trail.
The view north.
Heading down after some excellent turtling.

So, if you're in need of some hiking - some time in the woods, a good climb, the free feeling of foot travel, and maybe some time well-spent on a sunny warm rock - pack your stuff and head out there. It doesn't matter how far or high you go, just enjoy yourself and bring some friends, dinner, and your headlamp for the way back down.

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