35th Birthday Hike – Lassiter Trail
I was actually on the verge of punking out on my birthday hike this year. With a busy work schedule and a wedding in just two days, I felt a little pressed for time. If I was left to my own devices, I likely would not have gone out. Luckily, I wasn’t left to my own devices! Ryan surprised me by taking off work (That’s two years in a row he’s taking off work to go hiking on my birthday). He got coffee started, woke me up and explained the planned route. “You can work in the car,” he volunteered (which I did!).
And so, on my 35th birthday, we went hiking at Merchant’s Millpond State Park on the Lassiter Trail.
Footwear – Vibram Five Fingers
This was the inaugural hike for some new footwear! We both hiked in our relatively new Vibram Five Fingers!
Once on a day hike, I spent about 7 miles exclusively on rocks. Suddenly I came across soft, dark soil. It felt so nice– it was like walking on clouds. Because of that experience I definitely thought I was in tune with the terrain. But really, I wasn’t at all. I was downright oblivious.
In the Vibram Five Fingers, you are much more aware of what you are walking on. You can feel the tree roots underneath you or perhaps the sand or mud. Nothing hurts– even walking on gravel or the spikey black gum balls is pain-free. Still, I found myself much more connected with the earth beneath me and I had one more sensation to add to my hike experience. I will definitely be hiking in them again!
Vibram Five Fingers (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Early on in the trail, some trail maintainers gave me a way to still feel young. I may be 35, but at least I’m not as old as this tree! (I’m not dead either).
Comparing Myself to the Tree (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Since it was one of the first warm days, we got to see a lot of sunning turtles. Those little guys are pretty skittish. To steal a phrase from my brother– “An ant taking a dump on a piece of cotton” would make them plop back into the swamp. Ryan had to be super stealth and use a mega zoom lenses to snag these.
Two Turtles (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Three Turtles (Photo by Ryan Somma)
Five Turtles (Photo by Ryan Somma)
#($*&$#(* Lots of Turtles!!!! (Photo by Ryan Somma)
As far as birthday hikes go, it was a shorter hike– we only did 6.7 miles. But it was absolutely lovely out and a fabulous way to get grounded for the rest of the week’s excitement!
|Merchant’s Millpond State Park – Lassiter Trail
Length: 6.7 mile loop
Elevation Gain: Negligible
Directions from Elizabeth City, NC
Take US-17 North
Turn left on US-158 (there will be a brown sign for Merchant’s Millpond State Park)
Travel roughly 25 miles, passing an entrance to the park
Turn left on Honey Pot Road
Turn left into the next park entrance