Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hiking Price Lake Trail with my shiny new hat.

  There is a lake along the Blue Ridge Parkway called Price Lake.  There are not a lot of lakes in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the last few times I've been passed that lake it has caught my attention.  I have recently caught the hiking bug and last Wednesday when I passed by the lake I decided that I would have to go on a hike around this lake and find out what is on the other side.  Today was the day, but I had to wait for it.

  My dear wife is the volunteer coordinator for Pet Partners, a pet adoption group, and she was on the job at an event today, so I was on baby guard duty.  While we are waiting on her to return so we can head up the mountain let me tell you about my new hat.

  As should be painfully obvious if you have ever seen pictures of me (and if you haven't I can only assume you haven't been paying attention *cough*profile pic*cough*) I like wearing hats.  The most comfortable hat I own is a white Tilley hat.  The Tilley hat is probably the finest travelling hat I've ever seen as it fits like a glove, is crushable, floats, is washable, has two types of straps to keep it on your head in high wind, and is guaranteed for life.  The problem is that I don't find white to be overly stylish and Tilleys used to come in only white, green, and grey.  The latest line of Tilley hats included a perfect brown colour that suits my style a lot better.  Style + the awesomeness of Tilley = Dave excitement.  Once I discovered that the new hat was for sale AND a store in Blowing Rock (next town up the mountain) sells them, I squealed with glee and said to myself "Self, you must get this hat!".  The wife agreed so when I went up the mountain today I stopped by and snagged me what promises to be the best hat I have ever owned: the Tilley Outback, but I am getting ahead of myself.

  My wife returned from the pet adoption at 3:30 (to find a sleeping Zekey no less - awesome parenting on my part if I do say so myself).  At 4pm I was in the car and heading up the mountain.  I stopped quickly in Blowing Rock to acquire previously mentioned new fancy headgear then I headed over to Price Lake to hike its trails.  The following pics are a quick summary of my adventure (and my new hat).

  This was the third serious hike I've done in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I learned a few things:

  • A walking stick is a very handy thing.  It helps maintain balance and keeps my balance, and keeps stress off the knees when stepping over things.
  • I am more nimble than I thought I was.  I need to learn to trust my abilities more.
  • Wearing two pairs of socks really helps cut down on blisters.
  • Hiking in the rain is not so bad.  I wouldn't want to hike in a torrential downpour but a nice light rain is actually fun to walk in.
  • My new hat rocks.
  When I was finished the hike I came across a sign showing some other trails in the area.  It looks like the next trail I am going to tackle is the Green Knob Loop trail, which loops around Sims Creek and Sims Pond.  Stay tuned for updates on this next adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.