Mill Mountain

Troopiehike

My hiking buddy

Yesterday was a big workout day. I went to Body Flow, which is proving that I’m quite inflexible. I then went for a 3 mile run which was nice. My knee felt fine but I was amazed by how quickly the body gets out of running shape. I ran a respectable time in my usual pace. I then decided to begin my official “Kilimanjaro Training” and break in my new Oboz hiking boots by hiking the Star Trail up Mill Mountain. The round trip is 3.4 miles. I decided to take Trooper, my loyal doggie, with me. We had a great time and Trooper really loved being in the woods.

My boots were GREAT! They felt super comfortable They didn’t feel stiff at all and honestly, felt as if they were already broken in. What a difference from my last pair of hiking boots. Those things were TERRIBLE! They were old school leather boots with stiff soles. I am sure they would be great if you had to pick one pair of shoes to last through eternity as I’m positive they’d survive a nuclear holocaust (they’re THAT rugged and tough) but hiking with them felt like having cinder blocks on your feet.  I’m pretty sure if they ever find Jimmy Hoffa, he will have a pair of those boots on. Aye yai yai! I also wore new Smart Wool socks that are thinner than the usual thick things I wear. I wore them with Smart Wool liners too. First time wearing liners, despite hiking my entire life.

Mill Mountain

Mill Mountain

The hike was lovely! I really enjoy Winter hikes. The leaves are gone and you can see lots of views that one misses in the Summer or Fall. The trail wasn’t too busy and Trooper and I mostly had it to ourselves. It took us 36 minutes to climb. I think it would have been less had we not stopped to visit other dogs. We made it to the top without stopping and without a lot of effort. I felt good about the hike. I was happy to see how quickly we made it to the top and it’s good to know that I can hit this trail on the way home from work sometimes. My first goal with this training is to make it up Mill Mountain sub 30 minutes. I don’t think that will be hard if I don’t take the dog. After I do that, I will start carrying a pack up the mountain. I also plan to add in other mountains on the weekends. I am fortunate to live in the Blue Ridge Mountains and just minutes from the Appalachian Trail so there is no short supply of good hikes! Next weekend, providing the weather is nice, I am planning to hike Dragon’s Tooth with friends. Now THAT’S a good climb!

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