Thursday, June 20, 2013

Review of the Keen Targhee II

I've been hiking in these shoes for over a year and I've really like them.  There's virtually no break-in time.  They never gave me blisters and are comfortable even after big miles.  The laces are a little short so if you use custom lacing methods, purchase longer ones.  I do find that really fine gravel sometimes finds it's way in and needs to be emptied which is a little annoying.  This is a low-cut trail shoe, so if you prone to ankle rolling, perhaps the Targhee II Mid's would be better for you.  My ankles are usually pretty stable, so these have worked well for me.

The sole goes up a ways on the sides, which helps keep water out.  They are relatively water resistant when walking through small puddles or mud, but expect to get wet feet if you miss-step during a stream crossing.  They do dry quickly, though.

My favorite part is the toe protection - it is really great when you're worn out at the end of a hike and keep kicking rocks.  The soles are very grippy and are very stable even on steep slopes.  I have been using them for over a year and they have held up very well.  They are well constructed and feel very durable.  Even in chillier weather, they work pretty well.  I've used them in light snow with a good pair of wool socks.  Obviously they won't protect you from deep snow, as they don't be past the ankles.

  • Protected toe
  • Strong gripping soles
  • Comfortable
  • Will let deeper water in
  • Little ankle support

Monday, June 17, 2013

Section 5: 11.4 Miles

I'm just doing a quick summary of this section because it there really isn't much to tell about it.  This section of the Long Path follows the Heritage Trail that runs between Monroe, NY and Goshen, NY.  It's a mostly paved rail-trail and is really very nice for biking, running, pushing a stroller etc.  It would be a very nice thing to use if I lived close.  There aren't any exciting views, but its in a pretty area and runs through nice little towns.

I hiked north to south, and then biked back.  The trail starts out as a gravel path.  This first section is pretty rustic and runs through a nature preserve next to a lake.  I saw a family of swans, a heron, turtles, and frogs.
This little guy was crossing the path, and he wasn't a big fan of the paparazzi action.

I wish I could have gotten a better swan picture.  She was sitting on her nest with the dad swimming nearby.  It was so picturesque.  

The trail passed through a town and then restarted, now paved about a mile later.  It was a fairly high traffic trail - lots of bikers and families.  It passed through farmlands, an old railroad parking area with several big pieces of railway machinery, and a very old cemetery.  

 It was up on a hill, a little ways back from the path.  

Ben lived to be 81.  Not bad for 1882.

It was a pretty uneventful hike.  I encountered a woman who claimed she saw a bear and was afraid to walk back to her car.  I walked with her a while, talking to her about how to alert bears to her presence on a trail and how the loud talking or singing would scare them off.  In about 10 minutes she, changed her mind, decided she saw a dog instead and jogged off.  That must have been some dog.  Or a really brave bear.  Or just a really jumpy woman.  

Either way.  Rail trail checked off the list.  I'm starting to get to the areas I can camp in - finally.  Hopefully we'll get some weekend trips and gear reviews going.  I'm also going to do some solo camping trips.  Solo hiking and camping as a woman is kind of a hot topic so I'll share my thoughts.