Test Drive 2

Yesterday I hiked a measured fifteen miles on the Metacomet Trail. It is a section that I had not previously walked and plan to include it in the Bataan Memorial March. There was one point that had me concerned, The Pinnacles. It was not nearly as bad as Rattlesnake Mountain. So, I think I have settled on the route. Keep the Metacomet Trail. Start at the Mass boarder and walk the Metacomet home. That will be a little over the 26.2 mile goal. Another positive about this hike is that my friend Ed joined me.

Again I found some great views. This is the view from The Pinnacles:

On the negative side, I did find a tick this morning. So far it does not have the”Bull’s Eye” that indicates Lyme disease. Unfortunately this is something that is of concern in New England. The disease is named after Lyme, Connecticut.

I want to end on a positive note. It looks like Jim will join me on the march as an unofficial participant. It will be great to have some company on the endeavor. Also, my friend Ed may also join. But Ed travels from his work base in DC and has a demanding job.

Test Drive

Today I hiked a portion of the Metacomet Trail that was new to me. A section that I was considering for the Bataan March. When Tina dropped me off she questioned if I was going to climb a high cliff that was in front of us. Yes, and it turned out that that cliff was not nearly the worst.

It was great to be on the trail. The road noise slowly diminished in the distance. I wondered if this hardwood forest looked anything like the times of ” The Last of the Mohicans”. Maybe I could be Natty Bumppo walking an Indian tray. The views along the way we’re fabulous.

Later I came across a couple of fellows that were getting ready to rappel off one of the high cliffs. The one that was apparently the learner looked scared. I am going to stick to walking.

This is not an easy part of the Metacomet. There were several steep rocky parts. It made for slow progress.

As I was walking on the east side of a valley I noted a very high and steep hill on the other side. I remarked that I was glad that I did not have to climb that one. No such luck. It is called “Rattlesnake Mountain”. The trail goes right over the top.

Are you kidding, the trail goes through there? Yes it does.

We are in the very first hints of spring. And, that was evident in the hike. I saw a number of butterflies, one box turtle and some of the marshes were full of whistling frogs. Don’t know what kind of grog but there were so many that it sounded like a chorus. Did not see a bear but, there was a siting in the neighborhood when I got home.

Made it home. But, I am going to rethink including this portion in my march. After all, I am 73

Continuing Prep

Making a bit of progress for Bataan march. We located the starting position on the Metacomet Trail. The trail appears to be well blazed at that point. I found a trail map on Amazon; REI was of little help. I plan to walk the portion that I have not previously walked some time soon after I get the map from Amazon. I do not want to be lost in the woods the day of the march.

Did about fifteen miles yesterday with my friend Ed. I am not dead so there is a chance of success if I can keep it up.

I also went over the items in my first aid kit, pictured here. Focus on blisters. The metal item is a pair of needle nose tweezers. We have ticks in New England, home of Lyme Disease. This is redundant for anyone reading from the NMMI team as I posted a similar post on the chat site.

If I there is a prize for the most boring blog post in Christandome, I will surely win with this one.

Per suggestions from the team, I am adding ibuprofen. Also suggested was a knife and toenail clippers. I will add these in a separate pocket in the pack. I believe I will also add an antihistamine.

Getting ready

It turns out that I have some explaining to do. Everyone is not familiar with the Bataan Death March, including my wife Tina. At the beginning of World War Two and after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invaded the Philippines. The Philippines were then a possession of the United States. The American and Filipino defenders fought the invasion under terrible conditions. The last hold outs were on the Islands of Corregidor, and Luzon. The defeated soldiers were marched to their internment camps up the Bataan Peninsula. Bataan is a peninsula in Manila Bay. During the march many of the soldiers were killed by their captors or died due the terrible conditions of the march. This became known as the Bataan Death March. The march I am doing commemorates this event. The conditions in the camps were horrific to the end of the war. The American and Filipino soldiers were liberated when the Japanese were driven from the Philippines years later by Douglas McArthur’s army.

In addition to the conditioning that is the most important prep for the march, there is a bunch of house cleaning items that I need to take care of. Fortunately I have the proper clothes, a poncho, wool hiking sox, hat and first aid kit. I have a hydration pack but I need a new bladder for it. I also need new shoes. My second pair of trail runners are completely worn out. I plan to stay with Hoka Speedgoats but I may go with a different insert as the wear pattern is funny.

I have mapped a route along the Metacomet Trail. I am going to have to include a portion that is not familiar to me. I can include it as part of my prep. This afternoon I plan to take a trip to my intended starting position.

I have reached out to son Jim and to hiking partner Ed. It would be fun to have some company on part of the march. In addition Tina has said that she would like to march the last couple of miles.  This could be great in that I plan to finish with a loop around Penwood Forest. I will need to do this to insure that I complete an entire 26.2 miles. Big talk now as I could be dying half way through.

Since I may be including others whose schedules may not match mine, I may have to alter the starting day.  The official march is on the 10th of April. However, the virtual march can happen between 9 April and 18 April.

On to the next

When I worked for Hitachi, I was always perplexed by their moto “Inspire the Next”. The next what??

With the end of Covid-19 appearing on the horizon I find that I need a next inspiration. To be truthful, I was not aware that I needed an inspiration. Then I opened an email from my high school alumni association. It was a notice for a virtual team event, the Bataan Memorial Death March. With a name like that, how could I resist? The actual event is a forced march in the White Sands Missile Range with packs. Fortunately for me this year will be a virtual event, I would not necessarily be slugging through deep sand, over high mountains, in desert conditions with a 35 pound pack, I may be nuts but I am not that crazy. I plan to do the “civilian light” version. Virtually hike in New England with no pack. I plan though, to do the 26.2 miles.

I joined my alumni team for the march. We had our first Zoom meeting this afternoon. Our team has participants from coast to coast. There is one guy who will be doing the march in Germany. So far I am the oldest, oldest by probably twenty years.

I plan to keep posting about my progress. When posting about my previous treks I have had the quandary of what to call it. A hike, a trek, a walk a footslog perhaps. March sounds good. If I am blessed to be able to do a future footslog, I will call it a march.