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in Prestonsburg Kentucky for a few days. sun/clouds today, low to mid 50s. the witness prep i planned today went short, so i took a few hours to walk a trail at nearby Jenny Wiley State Park. the trail i chose (the eponymous Jenny Wiley trail) is, according to the park website, a "strenuous backpacking trail, enjoy totally immersing yourself in the appalachian terrain, not recommended for solo hikers."
we can debate this description. i was solo today but felt perfectly safe. it is within a state park and never more than a mile or so from a paved road. the hills and hollows in Appalachia have some nice ups and downs, and i worked up a little bit of a sweat - but not much. i didn't have time to walk a 9 miles out and back, so i went about an hour out and turned around. i didn't have my gps, but i am guessing i went somewhere between 5 and 7 miles.
i didn't bring some of the things i normally do; while i had trail shoes and appropriate clothing, i didn't have a pack. carried a store-bought bottle of water and a pair of gloves in my fleece jacket pocket. when i heated up enough to walk in a wool t-shirt, i had to tie the fleece sleeves together and carry it over my neck/shoulder, not ideal but workable.
this time of year, the leaves are down and covering the trail. this one must not be getting much use recently, based on the lack of trampling and spider webs i kept walking through. mud slides are something of an issue in this region, so portions of the trail were muddy or had slightly iffy footing. one section of the trail was totally blocked by a slide and the deadfall, looked to be at least a year old. some parts were fairly flat, others, the trail either switchbacks up and down or runs across fairly steep slopes - wouldn't want to lose your footing, or you're likely to tumble and eventually hit a tree.
a nice and unexpected break from the normal hustle of work.