Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Hike

First things first. I had a good race yesterday, which really surprise me since running wasn't going too well lately. The official race results are not posted yet, but my time and distance according to the Garmin was 28:21 mins over 3.16 miles. That is an 8:58 per mile average and for me, it's pretty good. The race report will follow, when the official results have been published.

After the race I stopped by the Sunshine Cycle Shop to check out the Sale that they are having. Since my birthday is coming up and my parents always want me to get something for it (with their money), I ordered myself a trainer for the bike.... Off season can come now! :-)

Other than those two things, the whole Saturday pretty much was a blur. We have been so busy to get stuff done around the house and there was so much to do... I know, not very glamorous. When we finally headed out to dinner, I didn't even know where the day went. I was in bed sleeping by 9.30 PM last night... My party girl days are definitely over and I don't even miss them!

So today, we finally saw some sunshine after it had been raining for the last couple of days. That just felt great and we wanted to make good use of it. We decided to go for a hike and since we felt adventurous ;-) we didn't choose nearby Paris Mountain State Park, but headed to Jones Gap State Park. Neither Terry nor I have ever visited this park before and we certainly were impressed right away. The facilities from what we saw where in great shape and the trail are very good maintained. The only thing that I thought needed some improvement was the trail map they publish on their official website. That one is pretty much useless. But they had a big trail map right at the visitor center that resembled this one here.

While looking at the trail map, we decided to hike up to Rainbow Falls and if we still have time (shooting for 2 hours of hiking) and felt like it, we could even go to Jones Falls. When we looked at the map, we didn't pay attention to the mileage of the trails. We started out on the Jones Gap Trail and then turn on the Rainbow Falls Trail. It got steeper right away and we still followed that creek that we started out with. As already mentioned, the trails are super duper maintained. It got continuously steeper and we had to climb over boulders and little streams crossing the trails. Over bridges, stone and wood steps and up up up the mountain. After walking for an hour we started to wonder, if this trail is ever going to end anywhere and then we finally heard the water fall. Later we found out that the Rainbow Fall Trail is 1.6 miles one way in addition to the portion that we hiked on the Jones Gap Trail. Good that we are all in shape and had our hiking shoes on... Dinner was well deserved after that one! :-) And no, we went right back to the car after getting down the mountain. Jones Falls have to wait until our next visit.

Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure! :-)

View from the first bridge we crossed at the beginning of the Jones Gap State Park trail system.

Steps carved out of the stone.

Steps out of stone between to big rocks... Terry and his favorite walking stick look like they are on a mission! :-)

The sprinkles of water felt good after the hike.

The top of Rainbow Falls... This view was worth the whole trip.

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