Sunday, 4 March 2018

Longest micro hike yet ... (Thankful for the beautiful winter we've been having ....)


I've tried to do this one before - General drove me up onto the ridge and I tried to get to a ruin called Rifnik around 30 km removed ... It was a nightmare. First the rain caught me and I wasn't prepared, so when I had to cross a high grass meadow, I got soaked completely, then got lost on the rocky hill terrain and to top all of it, in a narrow gorge two dogs cornered Bark and me and it could have ended very, very badly.
       That hike - which was gonna be the first day of a five day hike - ended in tears and G came to pick me up to one of our cottages in the region (actually a place where we first had sex! I love that cottage!.. Though we haven't been there in years, really. Hm..) 
       Yesterday someone mentioned a five hour hike that is actually a really hard thing to do... It starts at the train station, then you have to walk to the ascend point, then ascend to the Celeian (Celje) cottage, walk over the ridge to Svetina peak (or village, in my case, because I CBA climbing the peak, fuck it), and then a three hour walk to the tower of Resevna and from there down..
       There is no way I can do a hike like that in five hours. I can, however, do it in six and a half. 
       Now, Celeian cottage is an easy enough, if tedious ascend - getting to the hill is a long level walk - I hatched two 2km Poke eggs during - then you spend about half an hour getting up. (More in my case, much less if you're a ninja.) I refuelled on my warm water and took off the micro spikes. From there, it's said to be an hour walk over a neat footpath, but the road was covered in snow, so I just walked the road until I made it to Svetina - a once exceptionally quaint setting (I based Kestrel's Verisimilitude on it), now slightly abandoned (no shop or rest to speak of.) 
        Because using the footpath from it down and directly to Resevna hill is where I once encountered the dangerous dogs, I opted for using the road until the next fork. That is how I discovered my phone has a navigational system and a nice lady tells you exactly where you need to go. Did not know that. It was really cute.
        My problem with maps, despite the fact I am exceptionally fond of them, is inconsistent use of road thickness... Sometimes the map will go great lenghts (sic) to show you a neat connecting road, but it will in fact be a useless, overgrown (in this case unwalked in 3 ft of snow) nothing of a path, all too easy to miss... Or it will show the end of a road and a marginal hint of a connection to an onwards village, yet when you finally reach it, it is a wide, bright, clear, maintained forest drive-through. What I'm saying is - it's confusing. I've missed marks before, because they were falsely advertised. Today I compared a screen cap of Google Earth to the village and counted the rooftops to find the right turn - because not all roads were ploughed and cleared and though the one I was after was supposed to be a meagre side-road, it was the only one available in the first place!
        By then I really had to pee. It was not possible to just step off the road into the forest, because the snow on the sides of the road was five feet high. Once I finally found a small path leading into a forest, I already had to poo as well, which was another bizarre, clumsy ordeal. Do not remember when was the last time I had to poo without a restroom. You'd think it would be the easiest thing and yet ... With all that snow, dog, possibility of people coming RIGHT then ... Brrrr. No fun.
         After two hours I made it over two minor peaks, over a forest road I remember as very lovely, following a ridge. I was beginning to wonder where the damn tower is when I finally see a monster of a hilltop, fucking far away, steep as all Hell. The weather was such that it was juuuuust a little to warm to be wearing snow pants - which I was - and I was really sweating in my privates on the up. It's not something I normally desire to do. In winter. Though cotton jeans takes longer to dry if wet, it does breathe loads better. The General was right when he said I need decent walking pants, but I have good pants for warm hikes as it is. I'm only hiking in waist-deep snow because I am thankful for the beautiful winter we've been having... Beside that, the velcro on my cheap parka is so exceptionally rough when frozen, it's been cutting my thumbs every time I brush pass a pocket or pass a collar and I now have loads of tiny cracks on my two first knuckles. Like I've been savaged by kittens :P
        The final ascend was a joke. If people hadn't gotten there yesterday, it would be impossible. Traces of people skiing, sure, but that mother was, I kid you not, good 75° angle incline. Not to mention I was impossibly tired by then. I am too heavy, my legs hurt too much. Not so much out of shape any longer as just ... old and fat.
         The tower was there, clean to climb - but I'm not much of a tower person and the weather was not photogenic at all, especially distances - so I just rolled down to the near-by cottage, of which I have fond memories, tied the mutt to the railing outside and rolled in. Had nice tea, wrote the hiking log, let the General, who was napping, know I am ready for the final descend.
         Of the two paths off Resevna and towards St.George, the laid back one is blacktop and the steep one is waaaay down through the woods. Blacktop is hell on the feet - the soles really really burn after a while. The steep one is hell on the knees. However, there was so much snow, every step was actually cushioned and though it would probably be too steep for me clean, right now it was perfect. It took me about an hour to get down to some semblance of a road, so I was able to direct the General, who drove up to collect us. I still don't know if Starbark totally loves our adventures or completely hates them, but she seemed chipper up until the very end and then she fell asleep on my leg :D Even though we stopped to buy kebabs :p

No road? No problem.

Please, no more! I'm done!