Weekend Warrior - Steep Hills
So about 40 minutes away from where I live, I can get to the Devil's Backbone. The Devil's Backbone is a ridge that runs through Mississippi, Louisiana and a part of Texas. It's got small hills of rock and very, very, very deep gulleys. The effect is to have the kind of hiking just in that narrow part of land that is close to the kind of hiking one sees in mountainous climes.
One of the most beautiful, publically accessible parts of this formation is at Clark Creek, which is owned by the state of Mississippi and is open to the public. You pay a small fee for day use. There are two trail sections: improved moderate/easy trails and a primitive difficult trail (No, they are not adjusting the primitive trail definition down for us flatlanders! I've hiked all over NH. . .and can say, no matter what you are used to, if you are JUST hiking, this trail is difficult! There are NO switchbacks. Everything is straight up and straight down hills of rock. It's listed in the hiking guides as difficult and they're not joking.) The improved moderate/easy trails have portions that are more moderate than easy, but still fine enough for a family with school aged kids to use.
Okay, so that gets me to my question: I am thinking of making Clark Creek my weekend workout spot, at least one or two days a month. It will get me out of suburbia and into some natural beauty. I have a couple of Camelbak knockoffs I could carry for water (there's a fountain and restrooms at the front, but nothing anywhere on the trails), and there are always enough people that I wouldn't feel like I was cut off from humanity. So safe enough. My phone gets signal through most of the park, and I will buy the cheapest strong reception pay-per phone I can find for the competitor so that I will have double chances of getting reception.
So before DH can spill cold water on my plans, any reasons, other than the fact that I am a bit clumsy and have, on more than one ocassion come out of Clark Creek with a boo-boo (Small scrapes and/or a bruise or two that heal in a week that's the result of trying to walk down an unimproved path I should've slid down on my backside.), that I shouldn't embark on this? The risk of larger injury exists, but it exists in a LOT of places I go and that doesn't stop me.
Oh. Then there's ticks. I am well aware that from late spring thru mid fall I will need to strip naked immediately upon return and exam every square inch of my body for ticks. But the dogs already turned up positive for Lymes antibodies when we were in MA just from being dogs who ran around our 3 acres and went hiking with us on the weekends, and I have all ideas that if DH and I tested we might have similar results - we all went to the same places and got the same tick bites - so Lyme isn't a real risk to me at this point (Even if I don't have lyme antibodies, it's a much lower risk than running around the park next to our house in MA was, actually, and I did that all the time with the dogs!); ticks are just a squick of mine.
Okay, so what haven't I thought of? I've got well-worn in shoes that I've already ruined in Clark Creek's creeks, camel backs, lots of long thin cotton pants and Columbia SPF shirts, will buy a second cellphone; I know how to deal with and look for snakes and other wild critters. . .
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