I go up Uncanoonuc so frequently that I dont usually post trip reports unless there is something unique about the trip. Today I did the north mountain loop barefoot . After doing a hike in the whites last week barefoot I’m a little addicted to hiking bare foot. It feels like you use totally different muscles than usual and everything feels so good afterwards, and its not as painful as you would think if you choose your footing carefully. The weather was beautiful on the way up and there were lots of wildflowers near the summit. Also there were lots of Blueberries which I stopped to gobble up. To the north as I hiked up there was big thunderheads forming against the blue sky, but as I hiked over the top I could see there were big clouds that were already dumping rain heading toward me. As I made it back to the road there were rain drops starting to fall and Thunder was striking pretty close. I know sneakers wouldnt help to insulate me much anyways, but theres just something more scary about being barefoot in a lightning storm. I ran downhill on the road for the last 1/2 mile back to my car. The road did more to tear up the callouses on my feet than the trail did.
My goal is to hike a 4000 footer barefoot this season. And maybe do the cigna 5k barefoot too. I always thought of barefoot hikers and runners as just annoying “look at me” people. But now I’m starting to get it. You remember each section of trail so much more vividly (especially the sections with sharp gravel) when you get to feel it under foot.