Our next adventures: Paddle Merchants Millpond, early morning hikes

Merchants Millpond
Merchants Millpond

One of our favorite paddles in the state and one that should be on every paddler’s resume: Merchants Millpond.
Built in 1811, this 760-acre millpond, the anchor of Merchants Millpond State Park, has since been lovingly embraced by swamp. Cypress and tupelo gum trees festooned with Spanish moss create an ethereal paddling experience that’s surprisingly accessible: if you don’t have a canoe, you can rent on Old Town 158 at the park for $5 for the first hour, $3 for each additional hour. With our paddle expected to last two hours, that’s how much? Anyone? Anyone? Correct, $8.
And that is a bargain for the adventure to be had here.
For more information and to sign on for this trip, on Sunday, June 28, visit our GetExploring! Greenville Meetup Page.

We try not to let a little heat keep us off the trail. A lot of heat, on the other hand … . Well, a lot of heat just means we need to shift gears a bit. That said, our GetHiking! Triad and Triangle groups will be taking advantage of somehwhat cooler morning temperatures next week:

* Tuesday, June 23, 8:30 a.m. GetHiking! Triad takes a 6.6-mile hike on a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail piggybacking the Corridor Trail at Pilot Mountain State Park. More info here.

* Wednesday, June 24, 7 a.m. GetHiking! Triangle takes a 4-mile hike on a portion of the Sycamore Trail at Umstead State Park. More info here.

Gear of the week: H-H-Hydro F-F-Flask

Hydroflask32-280x280You’re in the wild, it’s hot (imagine!). You know you should drink, so you reach for your bottle, unscrew the lid, put it to your lips and —
Could a piping cup of Earl Grey be any hotter?
Probably. But you get the point. Warm water is not enticing; your odds of taking a big slug of tepid to keep you hydrated are pretty darn slim.
Which is why you need the Hydro Flask insulated water bottle. Stainless steel on the outside, double wall vacuum insulated on the inside — it may be a little heavier than your typical water bottle, but isn’t 32 ounces of liquid kept cold for up to 24 hours worth it? On days like we’re currently enduring you can take a Nalgene frozen solid out on the trail and it’ll be bathtub ready in an hour.
Well worth the investment. Check it out here.

Tip of the week: Malady journal

Quill_PSFAs you start hiking longer and farther, you’re constantly challenging your body to keep up. Usually, it does, making the necessary adjustments to adapt to this new lifestyle. But sometimes, your body throws you a curve, a curve you can’t, on the face of it, figure out how to handle. Or even identify what, exactly, is the problem. If you find yourself baffled by a nagging, hard-to-define injury, it could be time to keep a malady journal. The more detailed account you have of the problem, of how and when it pops up, the better your odds of either diagnosing it yourself or explaining the problem to someone who can help.
A for instance: You’re hiking along and suddenly you notice a little tenderness, a little soreness on your right heel. Make note of where exactly the soreness is occurring, how far into the hike you were when you noticed the problem, what the conditions were (rainy? dry? rocky? steep?), what kind of socks and shoes/boots you were wearing, and what you did immediately to deal with the problem. If the problem goes away, make note of what you did: It could pop up again down the line and you may well have forgotten exactly how you dealt with it, successfully, the first time. If the problem persists, make note of subsequent attempts to deal with the issue. At hike’s end, if you still haven’t solved the problem you’ll have a detailed account of what happened and what you did to try and deal with it. With that detailed account, you can more effectively find a solution.

Resource of the week: Check the weather

Especially during summer, when thunderstorms can come from nowhere and create havoc for outdoor recreation — especially if you’re out on the water — you need to check the weather. Check it before you go out, check it on your phone periodically while you are out, especially if you start to see billowy clouds gathering overhead.
Local weather station’s are usually best, with the most pinpointed information. That said, here’s the link to WITN.com in Greenville.

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