We haven't hiked since our Pocahontas SP excursion a couple of weeks ago. Since then, our training has consisted of a steady 5-day-a-week diet of 45-minute to 1-hour walks with a little bit of x-training mixed in. We've spent most of our time walking the hills at Deep Run Park, since the paved trails are perfect for our double-stroller. Our neighborhood streets have been great for quick walks with the kids and dog, but they're incredibly flat and less-than-ideal for the mountainous terrain we'll be encountering.
The rest of the week will include four hour-long walks-- leading up to our first team hike on Saturday. We'll be hiking Mount Pleasant, a moderately-easy 6-mile hike near Amherst, VA. This should mark the official end of our training honeymoon period...
In related news, I think I have a solution to my pack "problem." I had been leaning towards the super-lightweight REI Flash 18 pack to carry our gear on the bigger hikes---but after trying it on in the store and adding a 10-pound weight, the Flash felt miserable. No padding + no frame = NO FUN. After trying on the Osprey Talon 22 with the 10lb weight, I fell in love-- it has the comfort and venting I'm looking for, BUT the price ($80-$100) is on the high side. (We've spent quite a bit on the hike in a short amount of time). So, I'm going to test out my old North Face Yavapai pack. I bought the pack seven years ago before a trip to Colorado, and it's been my go-to-work laptop bag ever since. I think the pack has seen one trail, and I had no idea the laptop sleeve could carry a hydration pack(!?) It's a little heavy, so it'll encourage me to pack efficiently.
I'm going to test the Yavapai this weekend, and if it fails... I'll splurge on the Osprey (it's a REAL nice pack that seems to be worth the money). In the meantime, D will be sporting a small Camelbak Rogue, while I carry her stuff in the bigger pack. She carried the girls for 18-months... this is the least I can do to repay her :)