On the rainy, chilly Saturday of February 25, 2023, I wanted to paddle my kayak or canoe. But the last couple of times I tried that I found that my sore left hip, which is scheduled for joint replacement surgery in a couple of weeks, interfered too much with my balance and flexibility. So, I tried biking the Neusiok Trail in Croatan National Forest, to see if it was more manageable.
This was the section to the north of where the trail crosses NC Hwy 306. I was able to bike, but poorly. Despite the national forest being essentially flat, and the trails mostly smooth, with no rocks, I found the Neusiok to be surprisingly rough. Most of the trail was crenelated with endless pine tree roots which were high, hard, and lumpy. Plus everything was wet and slick; the trail had mud puddles; and there were some stump holes.
I never fell over or hit the ground, but I came close dozens of times. In the end, I felt too unstable to keep on with the project. For the next month and a half during my hip surgery and recuperation I will need to fall back on walking city and county park trails, and YMCA workouts for physical conditioning.
In addition to my Garmin Montana 700i GPS, I also navigated with the All Trails app on my cell phone. It worked great! I can recommend this app enthusiastically. The app found the trail and my location quickly, is accurate, the map is easy to read while on the move, and is considerably easier to operate than the Montana. But the Montana is still a necessary tool for outdoor trips because it operates by satellite access when outside of cell phone range; it allows the exchange of text messages with folks back home; and sending 911 SOS requests.