Started a brisk 1.5 hour hike at Jumping Off Rock near Ophir in the Uwharrie National Forest this morning. The weather was a perfect 64 degrees. The particular trail we chose (By the way I was walking with AT section hiker, Jeff Bowers, no relation) was very mild and not much of a challenge. We walked and talked our way over a short peak. After that the trail was just like road walking, only in the woods, with overflowing creeks.
Just wearing a small day pack with a gallon of water and a few snacks, my burden was very lite. At the first creek crossing I carried my shoes and socks and waded through. No two ways about it, that water was cold. We ended up scampering across water 4 times. One of them got half my right foot soaked. With such a short hike it wasn’t a problem. Now there are some very challenging trails from that same spot, but for my first day back at hiker training 1.5 hours was just fine.
Crossing the big creek coming back, the same one I waded the first time and considering one foot was already wet, I got bold and ninja hopped across residual boulders in the stream! A fellow traveler popped out of the trail behind us and was surely impressed to see a big fella with just Cat-like agility.