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New Trails to Trek! (August 2021)

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Thursday, we hiked the Colby Trail again only this was the first time I finished the Colby Trail with energy to spare…I was ready to go some more. So, we decided to try the try

the Upper Colby Trail this is a 1.5-mile trail. We ascended halfway up the first part of the trail and it was just too steep and loose to continue at least for my level. So, we turned around and came back down and as we came down a hiker maybe in his mid-20’s scampered right up that trail and disappeared! At least I am starting to know my limitations and what I need to work on. I feel my endurance and stamina are really improving in addition to muscles in my calves and lower back are not as sore as they were the first few times I went out.

On Saturday we had time to try out the Mystic Canyon and Big Dalton Trail also located in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of Glendora, California. The Mystic Canyon Trail

is 1 mile and rated as moderate to strenuous. At least the first part is very strenuous and all ascending which we made it about ¾ way up and had to turn around. Once near the Mystic Canyon Trailhead is the Big Dalton Trail offshoot which we took. This trail is pretty level and easy with lots of nice scenery. That was a nice cooldown after the trek up the Mystic Canyon Trail. Nice trails rated as strenuous with plenty of scenic views. The Mystic Canyon Trail we will try again as this is a great trail to train on very stressful on calves and lower back muscles, so I figured if I can feel it then they are being worked! This trail is a dual use trail so watch out for mountain bikes.

This week I went to REI and checked out the many backpacks. I was able to try on several backpacks with the help of an REI sales specialist, the Camelback, Osprey 24, and the Osprey Manta 34 just like a pair of shoes I tried them on they added some weight, like 15 lbs., and I walked around the store with it. The Manta 34 was by far the most comfortable for me. I do know that each person is different, torso length and such, so go try them on before you buy. In my case since I have shoulder issues it was important for me to get a pack with padded shoulder straps and that had more robust adjustable load lifter straps and padded hip belt to help distribute the pack’s weight towards my hips and legs instead of my shoulders and back. With these I will be able to either put more of the weight on my shoulders and off my lumbar or more on my lumbar and less on my shoulders.

The Osprey Manta 34 is designed to hold up to 30 lbs. and has a combination of a 4mm LightWire alloy Most day packs I looked at did not have internal frames. There is an Osprey Mira 32 that is reportedly designed more to fit a woman’s body shape. But man or woman you should try them both on as one or the other may fit you best. Another thing I really liked that was absent from the other packs were the external and internal zippered pockets and two zippered hip belt pockets in addition to external pockets on each side to carry water bottles in addition to a hydration pack compartment.

The Manta 34 was a bit more expensive than I had expected for a backpack but after consideration and having a best fit with plenty of features that I was looking for it will be worth it. This was $180 at REI, $179 at Amazon and $158 elsewhere.

All in all, after reading the reviews and trying them on I think I made the right choice.

This site shows a more detailed review of the Manta 34:

Here you can find some tips on selected a backpack.

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