by Rob McWilliams
In hiking, as in life, it can be difficult to forego the tried and tested for something unknown. What if the something new does not suit us? Better to stick with the familiar, or what everyone tells us is great. For many years, I took the same hike every Black Friday, a 10-mile point-to-pointer through Easton and Weston. I broke that tradition last year, but instead hiked a loop at familiar Macedonia Brook State Park, although in a landscape transformed by early snow. Neither hike was an option this year. Nor indeed were most of my favorite places. I needed a gentle route I could easily bail from if my knee played up, or – more optimistically – scale up if everything went smoothly.