Adventure of the Week: Umstead State Park

Photo Feb 01, 2 34 33 PM

On Sunday, we were in the midst of a bright, sunny heat wave (for January), and I decided to make the most of it by hiking in our local state park.  I’ve been to Umstead once before, but not on a solo hike and not on this trail.  I’m totally kicking myself for this, since it’s only five miles away from my house and I’ve totally been wasting the opportunity.

At first, I stuck to the map because I wasn’t sure how visible the trail would be.  My plan was to take Sal’s Branch and hop onto Pott’s Branch at the midway point, circle around and then back onto Sal’s Branch back to my car. Since the trail was easily marked and pretty populated for January, I decided to nix the map partway and see if I could find the trailhead to Pott’s Branch myself.  No dice.  I discovered about a mile from the parking lot that I had just continued on Sal’s Branch and missed the other trail completely.  Can I mention the importance of paying attention to your map?  Don’t be like me.

Photo Feb 01, 2 17 27 PM

So instead, I just looped Sal’s branch twice and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I encountered a couple of women heading opposite of me several times and finally stopped to talk to them after many silly exchanges in passing.  They were really fun people and I hope to see them again on the trail.

Photo Feb 01, 4 00 12 PM

The sun was bright until about mile 4, then clouds came and turned everything gray and colder.  I booked it during most of the second half of the hike because to stay warm. As a result, I think I may have injured part of the back of my knee (whatever anatomy that is). I ran around my lake yesterday, but my speed definitely suffered.  I think I did stretch it out enough to keep it from being a problem, though.  I must remember to stretch more.

Today, the high is supposed to be in the upper 40’s.  I may explore one of the other trails.  I’ll keep you posted!

Photo Feb 01, 2 27 20 PM (1)

What’s your most recent adventure?  Do you live near any parks?  What’s your favorite go-to local spot for adventuring?

3 thoughts on “Adventure of the Week: Umstead State Park

  1. 1. Pretty sure the back of the knee is called the popliteal. Could be wrong.
    2. DON’T RUN MORE IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE INJURED YOURSELF. It’s how I made my hip/back situation worse.
    3. For the love of all green ferns in the world, DON’T GO HIKING BY YOURSELF I SWEAR IF YOU GET MURDERED ON A TRAIL I WOULD HAVE NO REASON TO GET ON GCHAT AND NO ONE TO TALK TO ABOUT POOP ANYMORE.

    Kthx.

    • 1. Oh. Fancy that.
      2. I WASN’T RUNNING, I PROMISE. I was hiking. I kept my heart rate at 90. Promise. It’s so hard to stop my endorphin addiction.
      3. I always tell at least two people (Mom, Mike) where I am going, which trail I am taking, estimated time, text as I get on the trail, text midway through the trail, and text as I get off the trail. I also email maps. I pack extra food/water and a rain jacket in my backpack, along with a compass, pamphlet on edible plants of NC, first aid kit, emergency head lamp and utility knife (it can be utilitarian if you need to stab someone). Not only am I ridiculously paranoid and overprepared, I also hike on a crazy populated trail. I pass suburban housewives and their terriers about every five minutes. I love you, but it will be okay. Our poop conversations will stretch far into the future.

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