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TGP

TGP going the distance!

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1 hour ago, Elastigirl said:

We've learned the hard way to always carry extra GPS batteries. We don't  go as far from civilization as you  do, but it's a real bummer when you are geocaching and your gps dies. Our phones sort of work, but not near as well.

 

Funny, all my talk about mud, and  our walk was perfectly dry. Granted most of the walk was a gravel path, but even when we went off road,  it wasn't muddy.

funny thing about that...

I found your missing mud.  somehow it must have been moved most of the way across the USA. ?

 

pm me your address and I'll mail to you. ;)  lol.

 

Just now, Terra said:

These are my go to running/hiking shoes!!!  I'm on my third pair...  However I don't hike as much as TGP

 

You want to make the mistakes on your training hikes...

 

I'm Very seriously thinking of running trail shoes.  I've been looking into it and its very convincing!

 

funny that you bring it up just now.  after a busy weekend- I was doing a mid morning walk and thinking.

I've decided to quit moping about the practice walk.  yes, Truthfully it was a BIG dissapointment to me.  

 

 but as you say - you Want to make those mistakes during the lesser walks.  it would have been Awful to have overpacked on my A100, and the temptation to overpack would be signficant.

clearly I've been taking some lighter pack loads for advantage (in other walks).  Instead of just , now, blindly saying - ok I guess I can't take hardly anything in my pack.  I need to do the NERD thing and experiment some with the load some.  find the happy medium- where I have a little bit of warm dry clothes if I need it.

 

I have few big hikes left; but I've resolved to do a fair bit of those 3 hour hikes in the meanwhile.

that's long enough to feel it!

 

with my very long hike behind me and a pretty skinny schedule of upcoming hikes; its time to work  in shorter time periods and continue my training.  the point of the next few weeks should be intensity.  and I think I may do a little running here and there.

 

its time, too, to get my schedule back!  time to get back to climbing and weight lifting once a week.  I don't know why they dropped.

 

but earlier; I felt so busy... and 2 8+hour hikes seem to swallow the whole week up.

 

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well, shockingly

not much!

 

I get the 20# (ish) from the balance.

 

 i know I have an osprey pack.  it weighs a good bit.

 

....

bladder of water

sleeping bag (50*)

hammock; hennessey expedition

'a little bit of emergency gear- compass, lighter, tinder

Water filter (kahadyn (sp?))

TP, 3oz bottle of gel alcohol

 

I should do an inventory and figure out weight, shouldn't I?   yesterday for some reason I was exhuasted!  very tired. not much got done.

 

the backpack and repairs to my hiking boots* NEED to happen.

 

(I may very well replace them; but why waste good gear?  I need to seal the front tread with shoe glue and put waterproofing/ campdry on them!  then they will be good for some hiking)

 

anyways.  Good question!

definitely will be part of the pack study.  I might walk tonight.  weather doesn't look good--- but it looks worse on other days.

 

 

 

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Hmmm. Now you have me thinking about places to trim weight. How much does the hammock weigh? Could you burrito yourself in an emergency blanket instead? What about skipping the filter and taking a small bottle of iodine tablets and a bandana for filtering? (This is my primary or backup method. If I have a big water source at a base camp I bring my pump filter, otherwise I skip it.) emergency map,compass, fire are always a must, obviously. If you love your hammock, would you consider sleeping in your extra clothing layers, assuming they’re dry? 20 lbs including water isn’t that much, but if you’re uncomfortable then it matters. What’s up with your pack repairs?

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Second note: you have a headlamp right? And a knife and duct tape? In the unspoken list of emergency gear?

My backpacking pack is a 75L osprey, and I love it dearly. (This pack rode along with the green Salomons for the Grand Canyon, climbed Mt Washington, and has seen many trips in the Rockies. ) For smaller loads I have found that some sort of frame sheet still matters over long long days. The worst is when your pack shape caves and the weight gets all wonky and badly distributed. What kind of pack are you running?

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headlamp, well I had that in a pocket- it was mostly a night hike. knife yes.  a very lightweight shovel for cat-holes.

 

Duct tape? no. (good thought).  some lightweight first aid stuff.

 

raingear, again mostly on me.  they were forecasting rain.

 

I'll have to get back to you on the kind of osprey pack.  I got it from my father.  he had extra gear when he prepped for walking the AT.

 

regarding the pack shape.  I had a too heavy winter coat (and some more stuff) in my pack. it didn't cave- it billowed.

somehow the weight WAS very badly distributed...  I know cuz, I did 5 trips from 12-23 miles in relative comfort.

 

but this time I was feeling the weight this time before mile 10.

 

another point of curiousity is to try to figure out when an uncomfortable pack really starts getting to me.

 

 

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So when I used to work at REI, we had and order to properly tightening a pack so it wouldn't shift throughout the day:

 

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacks-adjusting-fit.html

 

Scroll down to "Fit Adjustment at Home." One thing I noticed backpacking with my Mom was that when she got uncomfortable she would adjust the load lifters first. She had an Osprey Aura 65 that was 2 lbs lighter than my men's Aether 70 but the framesheet buckled with 35 lbs in it. The aluminum frame on my Aether has taken up to 85 lbs without caring AT all. I cared, but it didn't. A lot of people do this. But if the hip belt isn't low and tight, all you're doing is pulling the pack up onto your traps and neck. So the basic gist is LOOSEN the shoulder straps and get the hip belt super locked in, then tighten everything else. For a lighter pack is this less of an issue, but if you HAVE a padded hip belt, use it as your first strap. My metric regardless of whether the hip belt is padded or not is "can I scramble without it hitting me in the head or tipping me over?"

 

Sorry if you know all this already. Just core dumping all the things :)

 

Duct tape is everything - gear repair and blister repair. I carry very little first aid gear, but a knife, duct tape, and a bandana always. For multi-day way out there stuff I generally grab this:

https://www.rei.com/product/800721/adventure-medical-kits-ultralightwatertight-3-medical-kit

But otherwise it lives in my glove box in the truck.

 

If you don't think you need your bulky layers a lot, could you compact them down in a stuff sack or with a piece of webbing?

 

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i did NOT know this. wow.

thats alot of info.

 

the load lifters has been adjusted BUT I'm not sure of other things.  espiacially torso length.

 

I'll def look into it!  (and its definitely the traps that got pounded)

 

ty

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Sample packing list if I were doing this:

 

Probably 4 pairs of socks and a carbiner or something to dry a pair on my pack as necessary

Snacks - cheese, nutella, tortillas, gatorade powder and starbucks iced coffee instant packets

One wide mouth nalgene for mixing drinks (with duct tape around it)

3 or 4 L water bladder

Second nalgene if necessary.

Bivy blanket/tarp thing

32-degree down bag

Puffy jacket

1 longsleeve layer

1 extra underwear

Shell and shell pants if serious rain or cold was a threat

Hat, (gloves + chemical warmers if temps required it)

Wag bags instead of the shovel, tp, etc options - alpine and desert climates out here mean it's better to pack out solid waste

Map, compass, cell phone, headlamp, knife, one set extra lamp batteries, bandana, iodine tablets.

 

Whether this would go in my light 24L pack or my burlier 35-40 would depend on distance between water stops.

 

My general tact is to move fast enough to stay warm, so I would probably wear leggings and a tank+longsleeve light fleece thing I've had for 10 years for temps I'm seeing these days. This works better for me than bulkier clothing - I sweat a good bit so it's more important for me to stay dry and not catch a chill when I'm super tired.

 

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On 4/30/2019 at 11:29 AM, TGP said:

I'll def look into it!  (and its definitely the traps that got pounded)

Hip belt FTW! Also, HOW you pack your stuff is important to avoid strain on the shoulders - heavy stuff should be in the centre/midback of the pack, not the top or bottom!

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WEEK 5 UNTIL my A100...

 

Well another week has come and gone!  despite not really feeling like it- I got out last night and did a little walking late...

 

I'm glad I did.  the few additional miles will make the past week, the highest mileage week of my whole training.  the peak of my program. attached is a pretty little graph showing just how much this weeks effort rises against the rest of my routine. 

(the blue is short walks, the red are 2-4hour hikes and yellow are the long hikes)

 

PK93h49.png

 

anyways.. thoughts

  • Yesterday I probably had More running in my walks, than I have since I gave up my running program last year.  I have no Real stamina, but I can still run.  and since running is the next thing- its appropriate to slowly add it to my life....I just NEED to make sure I don't compromise the taper over it.
  • I'm working the Weekend!  this doens't happen often to me- but when it does it always makes for particularly early mornings.  I've got to be at work and getting lab tests started at 6am.  If I'm efficient this will leave some limited time for walking; and then I have further commitment in the afternoon.... in short, this weekend is going to feel SO BUSY.
  • I figure I have exactly three hikes left in my whole program.   Next wednesday; May 8; may 11 and one last long 25miler when my partner gets back from delaware.  In a way, the Taper has Already begun!  (the 25miler with my partner is a bit of an exception).
  • for the first time since I defined my hiking goals; I have acheived all 8points: a 100% score.  its also the end of my 12 week accountabuddy challenge.  Good timing!
  • I have pretty much decided on the Salomon PRO 3D Gortex Trail running shoe... its considered a little heavy for a trail runner, but its absolutely much lighter than the hiking boots I've been using.  unless I don't like it when I get it- I will try to walk the A100 in those.
  • I have until Wednesday to make wise adjustments to my backpack and get the weight and packing right.  I've downloaded and printed good maps.  about getting my gear right- better Late then never.

If I can pull it off, though, on Saturday- I'd like to go to my steep hill walk, and take pics.   I've walked the steep hills several times- it goes up 800' in less than 0.5miles.  I've Never, though, done it More than 1 time.  its frankly Exhausting to get to the top!

OTOH, I've been building stamina on the hills and its time to try to do that walk two times in a row.  I think I can do it!  I just know that I will need a fairly good amount of time- as much as 2 hours.   for while it only takes 22minutes to get to the top.  you've got the trip down (which can't be rushed) and there is undeniably a cooldown period between the 2 circuits.

 

...

I've not been keeping up with my flowers Have i?

 

the weather has been wet and sometimes muggy and as such; Flowers have gone NUTS here.  I love May!!!

 

currently it seems that purple flowers are doing Really good.  its been a great voilet year!  but I think I will go to periwinkle. or Vinca minor to be exact.

 

these are ornamental ofc; they are from Europe.

but they make for a beautiful perennial ground cover!

 

Vinca-minor-blooming-big-577d479d3df78cb

 

I know where several nice batches of them exist on the edge of town and I'm walking near them nearly every day.

 

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2 hours ago, TGP said:

its considered a little heavy for a trail runner,

 

This sounds like a nice bet. Trail runners break in way faster than boots do. Watch and see how much the bed in over the first 30 miles - if there's too much slop in the fit you may  have some hot spots. That said, a beefier trail runner will be less prone to giving you foot fatigue that something super unstructured. Transitioning from boots, your feet may be a little confused at first, but I'm excited to see how you like them! The fact that these are a beefier shoe as runner go, and still have a sizeable heel drop means your gait shouldn't be tooooooo changed all at once. This close to the event, incremental is better and these look awesome.

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I got one more Hiking report in me I think.

or at least, I'll do one more....

 

not that it was a long hike (it wasn't) or a very pretty hike (nope), or even that it was another chance to put it all together and see if I have everything figured out.

- I didn't even wear a pack!-...

but it was frankly an accomplishment.  and while I have some pics - I might ask for some imagination to understand why.

 

ok. I don't live in the rockies!  and while there's some mighty steep hills- they almost all fall short of cliffs.  another proper limitation is simply how high any given hill can be.

the geology of the area is that this use to be flat(ish) lands next to the Mighty applachian mountains (which were more extraordinary in those days than they are now).  so what happened is millions of years of erosion against the mountains.  this means all the hilltops are more of less the same elevation and that the lowest point (and the biggest hill) has to be against the biggest river.

 

Warren sits right next to it! the alleghany.  just upstream of Warren is a big hydroelectric dam and since the lowest regions upstream of that are drowned in nearly 100' of water- you can rightly assume the tallest hill lays downstream of that.  In fact, near as I can tell. the Highest hill is JUST below the dam.  and thats handy since its public ground!

... I've walked up the high hill before - several  times- but yesterday was a first.

 

Yesterday I walked up two times in a Row!  and on my first way up I grabbed some pics.  its kind of a crazy walk, very steep, but alas the pics don't do the heights justice.  nonetheless I thought I'd share my walk- and you'll need to remember that a few of the pics were taken; with the camera pointed rather vertical.

 

the real fun thing about this hill..(and many others prolly) is that you really don't see the whole thing at one time.  you scramble like mad till you get to the top of the hill- and then discover another equal steep climb is right before your eyes.  this is particularly true of the bottom.  where a little left of the picture a quaint hunting shack is snuggled against a small trickling stream...

yKNIXmX.jpg

 

well above this first rise: you get the main part of the hill- and I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't 300" of strait climbing.  most of the ways up there's a small road; sunk into the shale of the hill.  there's a tree and a tiny cliff that I usually scramble onto; Almost rock climbing.   Getting above the mossy ground above that requires some real care (both up AND down)- but happily the deer have cut little game trails into the bank. it helps

mdegnAV.jpg

(PS... this is just the beginnings of that hill -you can't see the road from here)

 

Above that. there's a fun place.  the guys that built the dam made a stone quarry at the very top of the hill , rightwards of where I walk.  an access road makes a big switchbank- flattening the top of top of the second steep bank.   we could  go strait. (in fact, I do when I return the second time)... but a like the scenery a little if we head towards the little stream; leftwards.   without walking down in the slightest- the rest of the hill reveals itself.

 

CSlVnaJ.jpg

 

....

so see there's rocks at the top of the hill- find the tallest one and proclaim victory!  its a 25 minutes climb but its all of 0.35miles!! very steep.   now I usually return by going to the right (to meet where I would have gone if I had gone strait at the switchback).  thats a place of big boulders and a few cliffs.  but for all THAT- if youre careful its actually a less athletic climb.

aned going DOWN.  its just makes sense to go down the safest way possible.

 

now a true hiking fact that you might not know if you don't walk tall hills  or mountains.  going UP a hill is plenty hard.   guess what?  going DOWN is even harder.  at the top of the switchback is the steepest section- Watch your knees and Def use the deer trails so you get down SAFELY.

 

bzOXVpc.jpg

see?   and if that looks a little dizzying- you should TRY it in real LIFE.  its definitely the craziest part of the hike.

 

....

no.

...

sorry scratch that.  Repeating the HIKE with only a five minute cooldown was the craziest part of the hike.

 

I'll let you go with a picture of a widely known flower.  Most people know Buttercups, right?  these were sprinkled on the hill most of the ways to the top- fun

wj7MukY.jpg

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I love/hate a good hill workout, good on you having the determination to go through with the second lap.

 

11 hours ago, TGP said:

the real fun thing about this hill..(and many others prolly) is that you really don't see the whole thing at one time.  you scramble like mad till you get to the top of the hill- and then discover another equal steep climb is right before your eyes.  this is particularly true of the bottom.  where a little left of the picture a quaint hunting shack is snuggled against a small trickling stream...

In the mountains we call them false peaks, not sure if that is technically accurate though.  If it is your first time up a route it can be soul-crushing!  You motivate yourself by glueing your eyes to the peak, putting one foot in front of the other, saying you only need to make it another 500 meters.  Then you triumphantly stagger to the "peak" only to find out you still have a loooong way to go. All uphill. Evil.

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I agree going down steep hills is even tougher than up. If it is a super steep spot, I've been know to sit on my butt and scooch down, because I'm afraid I will slip. And also my knees sometimes bother me when it's steep. Never going up just the down .

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21 hours ago, TGP said:

going DOWN is even harder.

Is very tough on the calves and thigh muscles. And also on abs and back for keeping balance and throw a bit of your weight backwards if the hill is very steep downwards.

I've also (like @Elastigirl) gone down on my but to navigate a steep downhills.

 

I love the new green that is starting to show in your photos! Even last week still things were brown and 'dead' looking. Now there is bright, almost lime green leaves everywhere!

Good luck for these last couple weeks, and especially for week 3 of the challenge.

 

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On 5/5/2019 at 6:41 AM, TGP said:

going DOWN is even harder.

Back in the ancient times I call "College Years" I did crew and one of our main workouts in off-season was various types of stadium stairs. Going up was soooooo much easier than going down.

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there is an Unbelievably diverse amount of flowers out there right now.  yesterday I did my walk home and I was just repeating name after-

bluets/ forgetmenots / voilets/ dandelions/ speedwell/ trout lillies/ etc....

 

I LOVE may! 

 

anyways; I'd thought It'd chime in with something I don't often do.  I love learning names- but I keep a certain wariness to Eating plants I think are edible.  that is MOST of the time.

 

as far as yesterday though;  I just saw references to a couple unique plants in quite a few internet places.  they were growing strong in a clean looking corner of my lawn- so before I mowed

I did Eat!

 

maxresdefault.jpg

this is purple Deadnettle; Lamium Purpureum.  its a member of the mint family - which is a very safe group of plants, being nearly entirely edible.

 

I found the taste odd, but not disagreeable.  the fuzzy leaves were a little odd in my mouth too.  I would totally eat it again (and I might! there is a LOT  of this on the fringes of my lawn) but I'm not sure I would eat it big quantities or Very routinely.  its kind like an odd aftertaste.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRnQPe0cN6I-scxe-YaXqA

 

who Deosn't know this flower??  ... this is ofc the common wood violet;   viola sororia. it was food and medicine for the cherokee indians and Let me tell you!  it TASTES great!  wow, oh wow.  definitely the best wild plants I've eaten.  (well some mushrooms have tasted really good ,too).  it has a faint Sweet & floral taste.

 

if everyone know how good these things tasted perhaps they would be a lot less violets.

 

but. clearly they don't since these voilets are pretty close to the most common wild flowers- present in many places; from the forest floor to Profusely common in some people's lawns.  generally the lawns that Haven't yet been cut.

-----------------

anyways; maybe I don't have anything to report. I'm Pretty sick of being at work! since its now day 7.  but on wednesday I will have my next hike.

 

that hike got a little bit shorter.  my brother in law wants to hike.

 

No- he can't come to the main hike as I'm going MUCH further than he'd be willing to walk.  but I will shorten the hike and get back to my house to do another short hike with my brother in law.  it will be... interesting to see if he actually does it.  he said something like that earlier in the year- then bailed on the walk when it came time to do it.

 

I think he has complicated feelings about hiking.  he knows he needs to be in better shape and doesn't want to be so out of shape that he has difficulties hunting and fishing; but he's had health problems recently.  the local emergency room will not treat him (or they make him wait forever) because he only has Veteran's benefits.  the VA hospital is a grueling 70miles drive (one way!).  he went to that hospital for bad side pain and it was never really well diagnosed- they eliminated kidney stones,etc.

 

so when your feeling that health issues could come at any moment- it can understandably be hard to hike.  being back in the woods a couple miles in sudden and intense pain would be quite the problem.

 

I've got no answer for these concerns.  I'm not even sure it IS  a good idea to hike.  I would prefer him to exercise some place more accessable if something happened.  but his motivation for exercise is low- Hunting and fishing has been the focus of life for like forever;  it pains him to think that it might be threatened. Why do anything ELSE but the kind of exercise that allows him to do both.

and that's undeniably hiking.

 

and anyways. he's not an easy person to convince.  he's not asked my opinion or anything.   also any opportunity to hike is welcome.  we are very much to last hikes. 

 

beyond Wednesday there is only 2 additional hikes.

 

----

oh. PS.  just in case someone's curious.

the MOST common of weeds; the Dandelion is always famously edible.  not problem Iding that Plant!  since it seemed early and they are , supposedly, better eating earlier in the year- I did once again try to eat that Plant. 

 

YUCK!  I hate,hate HATE dandelions.  I'm never had a tasty one.  I'm sure they are quite ok to eat but oh How Awful bitter they are!!

 

after the success of deadnettle and voilets; I'm reminded that not everything that is eatable is Tasty.

 

I think I would have to be pretty flippin hungry to chow down on it.  its worse than eating raw coffee grounds. (def similar)

 

anyways we'll see how a short 3 mile hike goes.  

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1 hour ago, TGP said:

but I will shorten the hike and get back to my house to do another short hike with my brother in law.

Sounds sensible, and if he decides not to hike while you are out, he can just let you know (I hope), and you can extend your hike.

 

I've used some indigenous plant leaves which were said to be edible according to our Margaret Roberts herb book, as well as books on indigenous plants we have.  The Dandelion tasted almost like a peppery salad leave you get. Can't remember the name now. We actually plant the Dandelion for our bearded dragon (Breeze). She loves it, especially the yellow flowers. We also have an indigenous purple violet, which we've also planted a lot of for Breeze. I have a couple sage plants on the side of my house, which is, if I'm not mistaken, family of mint, which is related to your tester, but I've never tried eating it :D I think I'll stick to indigenous berries and some flowers when it comes to eating.

When it comes to treating things like wounds/scrapes (Aloe) or insect bites (Bulbine) comes to mind.

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Supposedly dandelion leaves are better when they are younger. We have tons of dandelions in our backyard, so I've tried on a few occasions, and I agree with your conclusion. Helpful for the zombie apocalypse when I have no other options, but other than that not so grate

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On 5/6/2019 at 4:49 AM, elizevdmerwe said:

And also on abs and back for keeping balance and throw a bit of your weight backwards if the hill is very steep downwards.

 

I agree going down hill is WAY harder. Out here we have a lot of ball-bearing gravel on hard pack and it is SKEEEEETCHY!

I use a different technique though. I lean what feels like "forward" but really isn't, like a runner, so that I'm still keeping my weight over my feet. This tends to make my feet stick better and save my patellas some abuse. With a heavy pack on I'll squat a little more, so I'm not fully upright, but the idea is still to not have my weight behind (or uphill from) my feet by too much. This way you sort of "fall" down the hill as if you were running. If you stay loose, your quads and bigger thigh muscles can take the brunt of it.

 

That said, I still am MUCH better at going up than down.

 

How are your shoes working out?

 

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lthese shoes are AWESOME on hills!

 

kind of ironic as you are just talking about going down a hill; on my lunch walk I went down a steep hill near the power line

 

and these shoes handled that REALLY well! very happy about that.

 

compared to the other sneakers I have been using the last few weeks to do the smaller walks- the shoes overall have alot more ankle support, grip and traction... but compared to the hiking boots: as advertised I mostly feel the absence of weight.

 

hiking boots generally have lots of traction and ankle support.

 

I've not been anyplace wet enough to evaluate how they might handle wet conditions (including mud).  given their grip going down the hill: I'm thinking these will be a great choice (for that). and really mud/wet conditions is really the most challenging part of the A100 (shoe-wise)*

 

*... well except blisters; which I'm not very susceptible to.

 

...

tomorrow I'm off to hike most of the day.  that will be a big test of the shoes. 

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