Tuesday, September 11, 2012

AWA Explorers: Torphins

Actual date of this event: 6 Sep

A group of about 15 got together for the first AWA Explorers hike. We met at Kippie Lodge before we headed west toward a small town called Torphins. We were told that the hike was about 9.5-10km with a few inclines. The weather all week had been very nice! But it was pretty chilly at Kippie Lodge at 9am, so we were hoping it would improve. When we reached Torphins, it was still windy, so I immediately put on my rain jacket which was the only extra layer I had brought. We all made the necessary potty stop before we set off for the trail. 

I had just purchased some hiking boots and waterproof pants two days before so I was ready for some mud and rocky areas! The beginning of the trail was grassy with some mud and pretty narrow with tall overgrown shrubs. My boots and pants proved their importance so far! 

We reached a few gravel roads and a few paved roads before we started the incline hills. I was hesitant with the inclines because I had jogged 6 miles the day before for the first time ever... was weary that my legs were ready for another big adventure. So we went up and up and up. Some were small inclines and some were large inclines. It was about halfway through the uphills that I began to break a sweat and decided to go jacket off (Dunaway's, Marge, Wortmann, you out there??? Inside joke, sorry, good times at Disney World).

Eventually, we reached the point where we would begin going downhill. At this point, we thought it was best to take our lunch break. We had a small view of Bennachie (see previous post about Bennachie hike). I realized that I had not taken one picture since I was so distracted and focused on breathing while going uphill, so I attempted a few good pictures here.

After lunch, a few of the ladies were getting very cold as the sweat was not good for warmth in the cool breeze, so we got to moving again fairly quickly. But downhill! We walked by a very large and pretty home, Learney House.

We took a group shot.
<imagine group shot here, since I dont have one to share>

The walk downhill was very pretty. We had a view of the countryside to our left.

And trees formed a canopy above us.

We saw tons of cows, as well. I didn't realize cows were so colorful??

I think the hike turned out to be a success, and my legs held up just fine. I mean, it was pretty chilly, but at least it didn't rain. And I will not complain about it being cold because we will be doing hikes when it is much colder than that! 
Note to self #1: boots and pants were an excellent purchase. 
Note to self #2: purchase a thermos for when it gets cold.

For those of you who have never hiked before: I had only hiked one time prior to Scotland and that was on our honeymoon. I have really enjoyed hiking, so far. It is a great workout and you get to see some awesome scenery while visiting with friends. It is a terrific-something-to-do on a weekend where you have nothing going on. Find a trail near you and go!

AWA stands for American Women's Association. The group includes men and other nationalities as well. 


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