Section Hiking After a Long Hiatus: Foot Blisters and Butt Chaffing
It had been a while since getting on the trail so my sister and I figured we’d day hike section 5 the other weekend. Just 14 miles in one day seemed super doable. Neither of us planned for how tired our feet would be after taking a longer hiatus from the trail.
The biggest “Pro” of day hiking sections:
The biggest plus side to tackling a section in a day is the lack of stuff. Being able to just carry snacks and water and whatever else we wanted for the day was a true luxury. We were still able to camp along road 285 heading towards the trailhead which was a nice spot to rest and relax before the day ahead of us. We figured camping would allow us to start earlier, but honestly slow mornings at camp are my favorite thing. Getting to enjoy your time fully while being outside of the city to me means having no schedule, no rushing and no time crunch.
Cons to day hiking sections of the trail:
Sometimes it’s more driving than walking, which I absolutely loathe. Having to sit in a car for long periods of time especially after hiking just makes you feel all the more exhausted.
The sheer miles on your feet (without the daily practice and callous building) can be difficult to mentally get over. People say you never truly get your trail legs when you section hike, but I actually hard disagree with this. It’s the feet that don’t get used to the miles. You can build strength and endurance in your legs through other exercises, but if your feet aren’t used to being in those hiking shoes for double digit miles every day, it’s going to be a source of pain for sure. And let’s not forget, the rest of your body hasn’t been hiking long days either. We’re talking not just blistered feet, but chaffing in places you didn’t think could: from sports bras, butt cheeks, you name it.
Overall, section 5 was super doable in a day trip. The miles weren’t difficult and the incline was pretty mild and gradual. The Aspen groves were stunning along this hike, and I can only imagine what this part of the trail was like in the fall. So if you’re itching to get out on the trail for some leaf peeping, Kenosha pass is a great option to save for next year’s foliage that’s not too far from the city.
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