As agreed yesterday, I met up with Danny and Dave today. They had planned to meet and park at O'Toole's Irish Pub and start the hike from there. Afterwards we would stop for an Irish pint and perhaps some lunch.
I arrived as planned at 8:15 and we set off in pouring rain. It was the first time I had field tested my rainwear in real time and i now feel very good about it. I have a poncho which covers me and my backpack. The others have a rain jacket and rain pants. Each has advantages. I like mine since it allows air circulation and does not build up moisture inside. By the time the rain stopped after about 45 minutes, they both said they were wet inside their gear due to perspiration. Since I expect the weather in Spain to be more on the warm side than cold I think the poncho will work better even if my legs do tend to get wetter when it is windy. Anyway another unknown eliminated.
No pictures today since we hiked basically the same route as I had gone yesterday except for the detour through Hollywood Cemetery. Instead we explored another trail I had found on a previous hike that heads west from below the Boulevard Bridge upstream along the river through the woods towards Pony Pasture. We walked about a mile along it but then turned back since they had arranged to meet some other people at the Irish pub at 11:30. We met several people on mountain bikes on the trail. It seems to be a pretty trail worth exploring so I will try that another time.
After about 45 minutes the rain stopped, the sun came out and it got warm so we shed layers of clothing to stay comfortable.
We got to the pub on time, met the others including Danny and Dave's wives. I stayed for a beer and a sandwich before heading home.
A very nice hike and good company. In all we covered about 10 miles. This was two days in a row with 10 miles for me and I don't even feel it in my joints (or feet) so I am very confident that I will ready for the start in 5 weeks. I had also bought a new backpack earlier in the week at Costco since I was not comfortable with my old one. It just didn't seem to fit right. I have now used the new one on 2 reasonably long hikes and it is very good. Even when fully loaded I get used to it soon after setting out and don't really notice it any more - that's the way it should be.
Will have to see about hikes next week. I would like to get in a long one before Helen and William arrive on Thursday evening. They will be here until after Easter since they both have spring break next week.