Friday, December 23, 2011

Off the bike ...


I've been looking for a cross-training opportunity that would give me some outdoor workouts off the bike, and the recent wet weather we've had here in Philly was just the thing to get me moving in that direction, so to speak ...

I finished Xmas shopping earlier this week, and finished all the wrapping and other stuff early this morning. so my original plan was to get out for a good, long ride on the Misfit today. But it poured rain last night (after I finished my ride, by the way!) so I knew the trails in the region would be a mess. It really came down hard after 11 last night. So I was faced with the prospect of either riding water-logged trails ... or doing something else.

I briefly toyed with the idea of doing nothing active and just going to a movie. There are two movies out right now that I really want to see. First, there's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", which I've been waiting for since I heard it was being made (I love spy thrillers, cold war stuff, and almost any movie featuring Gary Oldman.) But the closest place where that's playing is in center city at the Ritz, so that wasn't going to happen today. The second movie is pretty much playing everywhere -- the Sherlock Holmes sequel. The problem with that one was simply that it wasn't playing at convenient times.

I've been wanting to do a long hike for a while now - there is a section of the Appalachian Trail that is 15 miles long and I'd like to do an out-and-back on that. I knew I haven't hiked enough for my feet to handle that yet, so I decided to go hiking in Wissahickon to start getting ready for longer trips.

It was actually a really nice hange of pace. Some of the hiking trails are off-limits to cyclists, so much of what I did today was "new" in that sense. Ultimately, I got about 10 miles in a little over 2 hours. The trails were wet enough to make riding a bad idea, but hiking was fine. And I got to see a lot of things from a perspective I rare have, so that was really cool, too! I took the camera along for a few photos of what I saw along the way:

Duck(s)!

Technical sections along the hiking-only trail

Water was everywhere today!

Raw and rugged ...

I had to hike quite a way up this section to find a cross-over that didn't risk falling in the water ...

Shakespeare for your pleasure ...

A very cool section of the trail ...

After crossing the creek, the trail became more difficult yet ...

The stairway up to the covered bridge ...

The view from the top ...

The tunnel over the rocks

This was a very cool section of the hike

The drop-off to the water is pretty steep ...

The walk-through section on the lower trail

It's a weird angle, but this is the section of trail that's been washed away. The  part that's left is getting smaller and smaller.

The view from the Lincoln Drive lookout

At the top of this photo on the tree is a black squirrel, a rare site in the park!

In the home stretch -- the last descent back to the Inn.

View of the Valley Green Inn from the trail
So there it is ... Wissahickon Park from two feet instead of two wheels. I had a lot of fun and got to see some sections of the park I rarely see.

In case I don't get a chance to post before Xmas now, hope everyone has a wonderful holiday! Cheers!

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