On Sunday, Tara and I met up with some friends from Unleashed for a hike. This would also be my first training ruck for my GORUCK Light I have coming up in October. Tara was just coming along for the hiking portion and carried her own regular hiking pack. One of the women that came along brought one of their extra rucks and bricks. They recommended I start with only 2 bricks, instead of the 4 bricks I will have to carry during the actual challenge. They thought I should just get used to the weight before anything too crazy – and after the hike we took, I’m glad they told me that.
We went to the Long & Ell Ponds Trail in Hopkinton, RI. We carpooled in two cars (there were 7 adults and 2 kids) and drove the roughly 30-40 minutes down. Originally, it was thought we wouldn’t do too much because the kids would be with us, but they proved to have more energy than all of us combined. What we estimated would probably end up being a 2-3 mile hike turned into about 5 miles and 3.5 hours (including breaks).
We were warned that this was a pretty technical trail with some climbing, but I wasn’t sure I expected SO much climbing. I had buckets of sweat flowing all over me and we weren’t going that fast, nor was it that hot out. The beginning, and unfortunately the end, was very heavy on the climbing rocks to continue on the trail. In the beginning with plenty of energy – no big deal. Talk to me again after walking for a few hours and then having to come back that same way! I was very glad to only have 2 bricks in my ruck instead of 4.
This trail had some absolutely breathtaking views and I think it’s one that Tara and I would definitely come to again for a hike. We’d probably plan on bringing a lunch and stopping more often to enjoy it or rest. There’s apparently a lot more down there that we didn’t explore, so maybe next time we’d do a loop. The only reason we did an out and back instead of a loop this time was because one of the women said that it was about a mile on a dirt road, which is kind of boring (and if anything like the drive in, would be dangerous walking on). It was definitely one to add to our list of favorites.