Am I a Barefoot Hiker?

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.

Mt Waternomee Hike to Bomber Crash Site

On saturday Jake, Jenny Juliana, Emily and I hiked up Mt. Waternomee to check out a piece of history.  In 1942 a B-18 Bomber crashed on the side of the mountain in a winter storm.   The story can be found here. The Hike was 4.6 miles round trip. Juliana and I decided to hike Barefoot for this one. Our Tracks: The trail follows an old logging road for about 1 mile before ending in a field.  The path from the field to the wreckage is pretty clearly marked with survey tape and orange arrows painted on trees.  It was easy to follow. Grades are gentle until you cross the brook, and then it is steep the rest of the way.  Not far upstream of the stream crossing there is a really pretty waterfall that is probably best visited on the way out.

Stream Crossing:
Photos of the wreckage just dont convey what it is like to see how catastrophic this crash must have been. But here are a few shots any ways.  This debris was scattered over a large area.

Jewlz with an engine Wings: A Star from the wing Landing Gear: Unrecognizable wreckage:
Team Tarahumara: (not recomended for visiting a place littered with metal shards and glass, we had shoes with us)
After we did some exploring around the old wreck we had lunch, and so did the Mosquitos. Bug spray wasnt enough to stop those guys. We then hiked out the way we came with a little bit of variation to see the waterfall.  The whole trip was about 4 hours long.

Renegade Playground Stratton VT

Emily and I went to Stratton VT yesterday and I ran the race.  This is a “tough mudder” type of race with lots of mud pits and obstacles to climb over under and through.  This was the course map.  It was about 3.25 miles long with a lot of up and down elevation on the ski slopes. My Time was 44 mins. They released groups in 20 minute start waves, by about 1/2 way through the race I started to catch up with some of the people from the previous start wave.  On one of the obstacles I got stuck behind  a very slow lady from a previous start wave  where we had to crawl through really stinky mud for 100 feet.  She took forever! and there was no way to go around her. Emily took some shots of me from down below.  And hopefully I’ll get more photos later, because they had photographers at some of the obstacles.

Pre Race Trying out my wig  :D Race: (The Girls in Pink kept the same pace as me for almost the whole race)

The race finishes off  by running through a school bus and jumping into a big mud puddle.  I made it a grand finally. Emily shot this in burst mode and I made a animated GIF out of it

I was covered in mud after: (Huh? I always thought I would be better looking with more hair)
I spent the rest of the day getting mud out of my eyes and ears.  Emily and I took the long way home so that we could check out how much flood damage there was from Irene in my old home town of Wilmington VT.  It was amazing to see how high the river had gotten.  We stopped to eat at Wahoos  and the table we were sitting at had a plaque on it saying that it had been recovered from a tree 1.5 miles away after the flood.  Emily and I did a few other fun things before heading home. It was nice to take a shower and get the stink of the mud off me when I got home