Last year there were a bunch of hikes at Clear Creek Metro Park as their executive director, John O’Meara, trained for his attempt to scale Mt. Everest. They were so popular that he’s doing them again, even without the training incentive.
The first one of this season was on Saturday.
I wrote about these hikes that I did last year. Here’s the first one: Training for Mt. Everest. They are advertised as an “Adventure Hike”:
Join Metro Parks Director John O’Meara for a series of 5-hour, fast-paced hikes through the rugged hills of Clear Creek.
They are supposedly about 15 miles long, but they tend to be closes to 12 miles, by my reckoning. But they sure are fast-paced. When Mr. O’Meara was training, he was carrying a 60-pound pack, and was still trucking it pretty good.
At the last of those hikes, a film crew did some taping, and I’ve shown the results of that before:
Anyways, on to this year’s introductory hike.
The nice thing about Clear Creek Metro Park is that it is a large park with plenty of space for hiking. It is also pretty rugged, with a low point around 770 feet above sea level and a high point over 1160. And the path we took us up and down. Good cardio.
I was a little concerned about how my (bare) feet would hold up. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been playing more tennis than hiking most of this summer, and tennis tends to sand off my soles instead of building them up, as hiking does. Nonetheless, I didn’t really have any problems (except keeping up with John).
Here’s part of the group approaching the high point along Cemetery Ridge Trail.
One of the “little” down-and-ups (from 1100 feet to 800 feet, and back) we did took us down to Lake Ramona. Here’s fellow-hiker Joan on the trail next to Lake Ramona.
We stopped for lunch at the Barnebey Hambleton picnic area, and here is everybody sitting around resting.
Oh, and you may be wondering why I am calling this the “ball-bearing” hike. Well, the acorns were falling. Here’s a bit of what many portions of the trail looked like.
In some parts it was even thicker, to the point where we actually had a hiker fall after rolling on them.
I actually don’t find the acorns to be much of a problem. Usually I can find a footstep that avoids stepping on one, but my feet are sufficiently conditioned that even when I do, it still feels okay. Acorns are relatively squishy (as least compared to rocks and stones), and they give quite a bit when sitting on soil.
Finally, here’s a very pretty mushroom patch that was sitting along the Cemetery Ridge trail in the vicinity of the barn.
It was another fun hike. The only “problem” was that, without his 60 pound pack, John O’Meara was really, really fast. That’s okay; we all just spread out a bit. I could keep up for a while, but eventually had to lag behind (but still well-ahead of many others).
At the very, very end, with a steep decline back down to the parking lot, I was feeling it a bit on my soles, and even moreso on my knees. But these are perfect hikes for really getting into shape, all over.