Sunday, June 6, 2010

Cancelled, Schmancelled !!

Today's "Hike A Giant" hike is cancelled due to forecast inclement weather.

What??  The sun is out, there's a nice breeze - it's a little hot and humid, but not bad.  Tornado warning for all of Connecticut, 75% chance of scattered and severe thunderstorms.  It's a perfect day to go for a hike!

I think there were a few people still there for the organized hike (the Sleeping Giant t-shirt and hats gave them away), but I was a little late and they were already on the way up the Tower trail.  So off I went, up the Orange trail.

I figured a west end hike - up the orange, over the green, white and blue, back on the violet (very colorful)- maybe I can get it done before the rain comes.  Ever the optimist.

Just off the Green trail, a deer bolted out of the trees.  A buck, stubs of antlers just a couple inches.  He stopped and watched me, bobbing his head to get a better look through the trees.  After a minute, he got bored and took off through the woods again.  The BioBlitz isn't scheduled until next week - cataloging all the plant and animal life on Sleeping Giant.  But maybe we can just pencil in a few right now - Odocoileus virginianus (my buddy Stubby here); Tamias striatus (the chipmunks that scurry everywhere in the park); and Canis familiaris (a really muddy Cocker Spaniel that was in the parking lot on my way out).

Near the Chest, someone fashioned an arrow-looking marker out of rocks.  Roughly pointing southwest, I don't know where it would have sent me.  Instead, it's on to the Chest and the white and blue trails.

Passing through the rocks on the Blue, there's one formation that looks a little like our own Easter Island moai - statues to our ancestors.  Eyes, nose, ear... sinister expression.  Rockhead standing watch over the trail.

Over the Red Triangle to the Voilet trail.  There were still a few people headed up and down the Tower trail as I crossed it. For a little while, it was very quiet and still, but the forest seemed even greener than normal.  That's not a good sign.  Then the wind picked up.  It started getting darker.  The first few drops of rain came down softly, then a little harder.  For a few minutes, I was dry under the canopy of trees. 

On Mythbusters, the guys proved one year that a person running in the rain gets wetter than if he walked instead.  Two years later on Mythbusters Revisited, they overturned that verdict showing the running person stayed dryer than the walker.  My own emperical study of the situation...  I walked - I got wet.  I ran -  I got wet. Let's face it:  hike in the rain and you will get wet!
Fortunately, there was no lightning.  I remember you're not supposed to stand under trees in a lightning storm.  Of course, that's a little tough in the middle of a forest. 

It only rained for a few minutes.  Coming down the violet trail, the rain stopped as I came out of the trees into the quarry.  But the walk over the rocks by the Mill River was a little slippery.  Nice and easy...  one hand on my water bottle, one hand on my camera, one hand on...  Holy Crap I'm going down!  The water bottle went flying, my hand got a little scraped up as I skidded down the rocks trying to stay mostly upright.  But I saved the camera.  After all, what's a hiking blog without photos?

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