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Same message, hopefully with paragraphs, sorry Out of Your Comfort Zone, Part I

From: gordyhawkins
Sent on: Sunday, January 22, 2012 1:52 PM

What a great day for a hike.  It was hard to get up in the morning and get moving, however once in the car and grogginess wearing off, anticipation of a good day to come was a warmth.  On the way to the trailhead, to the northeast the moon like the letter C and dawn arrived with a colored sky and wisps of clouds, ground fog filling open fields and lowlands.   

We gathered at the Tucker Hill fire tower for brief instructions on what to expect for the day, brief acknowledgements of the FTA workings, a quick whistle blow and the show was on the road.   We headed north, clockwise, from Tucker Hill to cover the 15/16 mile grand tour of the Croom Forest.  The initial 1/3 mile down the rooted trail made for a slow start, but a good way to start so as to get in the mood of the forest.  After that the trail was the classic sand, dirt, abundance of pine needles, pine cones, hills, a few armadillo diggings, and unfortunately some horse hoof indentations and other horse remnants.   

Per my car thermometer, the weather was 52 degrees at the start of the hike and 75 at the end.  After about two miles it was time to shed the outer layer as body heat, sunshine, pleasant breezes were the settings for the day.  The scenery was as a perfect January day: barren trees and bushes, with recent controlled burns leaving visibility far to the depths of the forest.   

We had lunch at the primitive campsite on the eastern side of the trail.  The picnic table was unoccupied at the time we were there.  Soon after we moved on we noticed two large stashes of bottles of water and bundles of wood, and not long after that the undeniable answer, troops of Boy Scouts hiking toward the camping area.   The final hikers turned the corner to enter the finishing chute after 6 hours and 10 minutes on the trail. 

The day ended with aching joints, ankles, calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower backs, blisters and smiles, laughs and congratulations.  For many of us it was the first time to venture in the 15/16 mile hiking range, but that distance is now in the physical and psychological resume for all of us.  What a great group of folks and WE DID GOOD.   We are: Dee, Elizabeth, Patty, Thom, Ann, Alex, Lisa, Linda, Joel, Marcus, Hal, Debby, and Gordy

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