After rigging the canoe on top of Kelly‘s new car with pool noodles and driving over to Spruce Run Recreation Area, we discovered it was too windy to canoe. No one else was on the water, and a ranger said it was likely we’d get out from shore and not be able to get back. So we drove next door to Round Valley Recreation Area and went hiking instead.
Round Valley Reservoir was the site of my very first ever backpacking trip in 2007. I went out for one night with my dad and a friend. It was only about six miles out to the campsite, and six miles back the next day, but I could barely walk afterward. I remembered one hill in particular being brutal and having to stop at least a dozen times on my way up it, while day hikers passed quickly by. I was interested to see if that hill would look as intimidating this time, and indeed, if it was even a hill at all.
We followed the Cushetunk Trail from the South Lot, away from the reservoir and skirting the boundary of the recreation area. I forgot that there were roads so close to the trail. Eventually we started making our way back in towards the water, and I recognized the infamous hill on the way down it. We made it to the Campground Trail and turned off there, heading right down to the water. We only walked a little ways before stopping to hang out and eat.
On the way back to the trailhead, the hill was respectable, but not as long as remembered, and I didn’t have to stop on the way up. What a difference! I could also still walk when we got back to the car.
I checked out the photos from my first trip when I got home. We went in the fall that time so the scenery was a little different. What I also remember about this trip is that I slept so well, while my dad and friend both claimed to have been up all night listening to bears circling us. Hmm…
All the gear I carried to begin with was cheaper, and therefore heavier and bulkier. And did you notice that I have two hiking shirts? On a two day trip? What was I thinking? I hadn’t yet learned that only one stinky shirt is needed for hiking, even for up to a seven month trip. I hadn’t yet learned many things! My only other burning question is what on earth was I doing with a Jagermeister hat?