Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hiked in Crocs

Monday, August 20, 2012:

This was an unplanned experiment.  I started out in my Brooks Cascadia Trail Runners as usual, but no more than a half mile from my starting point I came upon a crossing that involved a couple of floating logs spanning six feet to a floating stretch of bog board.  None of it would keep me above water, so I switched to my Crocs and made the crossing.  Then, inspired by my one-time trail hiking companion Corky, and by others who I'd passed hiking in Crocs, I gave it a try.

And I gave it a full-sized try.  I hiked eighteen miles in the Crocs today.  They have their pros and cons.  If you're used to hiking in trail runners rather than the heavy boots, the change will not be very noticeable.  I got my heels scraped and banged a few times (Crocs have no heel protection), got wet in muddy areas more easily (Crocs have ventilation holes on the sides where the trail runners would protect you from this dampness), and had more annoying trail debris accumulating inside the shoe.  But there are advantages, too, especially when it's wet.  My socks dried out much more quickly, and my feet felt less like they were in a 'straight jacket' at the end of the day.  My conclusion was that I prefer the trail runners when the conditions are dry, but in rain or persistently boggy walking, I'll be quick to switch to the Crocs.

Today's hike took me along  some easy trail between East Flagstaff Road and East Carry Road (Sandy Stream).  It took me alongside an arm of Flagstaff Lake (shown in its 'morning mood' at left, where the newly opened AT reroute adds more than a half mile of hiking, much of which is 'up close and personal' with the water and includes a new campsite complete with a bit of sandy beach and a new privy.
Then later the trail passes alongside a long stretch of West Carry Pond.  There's some slow going in wet areas where you have to rock-hop on irregular stepping stones and roots to stay out of the muck, but for the most part the trail was comfortable.  Thus I was able to accomplish nineteen miles in 11.5 hours of hiking.

And the weather remained just about as close to perfect as you can get - true 'chamber of commerce' conditions for 'Vacationland' Maine.  I'm so glad the persistent humid tropical wet pattern has finally broken.

Mushrooms beside the trail, high point at Roundtop Mountain


Here's the map of today's hike, and  a link to a slew of additional photos (there were lots of them today):


AT Day 210 - Flagstaff Lake and West Carry Pond at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Maine

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