First Hike. Sort Of.

I say “sort of” because, while it had all the trappings of a hike (pack with supplies, correct shoes and clothing, etc.) it was more of a stroll along a nicely manicured dirt road with great views than a technical hike. But I needed a first hike like this for two reasons: One, it was the breakout trip for my untested Osprey Kestrel 28; and two, it was a first-of-the-season outdoor exercise for a friend who will be accompanying me on lots of my adventures in the future (He did great. Said he could have done more than the 6.3 miles, which is what I like to hear).

My Kestrel weighed in at a scant 10 pounds for this trip around Eagle Lake on the carriage trails in Acadia National Park, but I felt as if that was enough for a quick shakeout cruise, especially given that I’d never carried a pack before. If a pack could be said to carry itself, this one did. I noticed it on my back for the first 20 minutes, but after that, it totally disappeared. Quibbles: I wish the water bottle pockets were angled forward for easy removal/replacement while hiking, and that the hip belt pockets were a bit further in front, but those are little nits I’m picking. Overall, I was thrilled with the pack, and am looking forward to taking it out on the AT for a day hike soon.

I left my shiny new trekking poles in the car. Even though I was anxious to try them, I didn’t honestly feel that a casual walk along a dirt road was the best first test. I’ll be heading to Monson in a couple of weeks to tackle a few miles of the Hundred Mile Wilderness. That will be a fair trial, for sure.

I was pleased overall with my first foray carrying a pack. I’m scheming my next adventure already…


Side Note: I did get to sniff the AT the previous day, but we didn’t have time to get more than a few hundred yards into the trail. There was still a fair amount of uneven snowpack in the woods. But I wanted to see my first white blaze and the Hundred Mile Wilderness sign in person, and I did. And boy, did it fuel the fire…


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