Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Hikes: Kings and Crowder's

Last fall my first two hikes were at Kings Mountain National Military Park and Crowder's Mountain.  Both were enjoyable but Crowder's was a better experience for me for one main reason that I'll mention below.  First things first though - the hikes.

Kings Mountain National Military Park is along the North Carolina/South Carolina border.  We hiked the Brown Mountain Trail in and out for a total of 5 miles.  With the exception of a hill towards the end, the hike itself was not too strenuous.  This was the fall so the leaves were changing and falling.
The sky is amazingly clear in this picture considering the fact that it was cold and drizzly when I left my house at 6 a.m.

Crowder's Mountain is near Gastonia, North Carolina.  We hiked the Pinnacle Trail in and out for a total of 3.4 miles.  This hike was a bit more strenuous than Kings Mountain.  There was a climb towards the end of the trail going in that concluded in a scramble over some boulders.  I would have felt bad had I not completed the boulder scramble so I did it.  But I was beat and clearly, woefully, dreadfully OUT OF SHAPE.  The boulders at the end were not the only rocks we had to contend with.  This brings me to a decision I made after the Kings Mountain hike that made the Crowder's hike much better .
What do you mean I just have to scramble over this?
The payoff!

My feet were killing me after the Kings Mountain Hike.  I wore sneakers.  These sneakers are plenty supportive for cross training, walking, and jogging.  As a matter of fact they took me through the Bridge Run this past weekend.  They are not 3 hour shoes though.  RueLaLa put Columbia on Final Sale and I was able to snag hiking sneakers for a very small price.   So I went from this
Hurt feet!

To this!
Happy Feet!
I was constantly running my toe into rocks and boulders on the Crowder's hike and would have spent the remainder of Thanksgiving weekend nursing black and blue toes had I attempted to do this in regular sneakers.

Both hikes were instrumental in me committing myself to at least one hike a month and so despite drizzly weather and hurt feet, I was hooked.

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