Finally hiked North Moat Mt. We did the loop clockwise from Diana's bath to the Red Ridge trail to the Moat Mountain trail, then to the summit. Took a liter of water each, and topped up at the stream along Red Ridge trail. We drank about 1.5 liters each for the 10 mile hike. Weather was cool to warm, and partly cloudy.
North Moat has been on our list of hikes for quite a while, but we never did it because of injury's or being worried it would be too hard. As it turned out, it wasn't as bad as we thought it would be. Pauline said it kicked her butt a little. I was okay, but my knee started getting sore about a mile into the decent. I brought my new knee brace, and it seemed to work fairly well. No issues going up or along flat ground, just the down. It seemed to help manage the pain so it didn't get so bad I couldn't put weight on it. Knee is getting better. I believe it is a muscle imbalance, causing runners knee. My self prescribed rehabilitation routine seems to be working.
Red Ridge trail is mostly exposed rock, and has great views. I'd say it was fairly safe to climb if there was a little rain, but there would be some very slippery sections. Once on the Moat Mountain trail, there are a couple lookouts, and one just before the summit where we sat and had a 15 minute break. Pauline had herself a little nap. Amazing how comfy a rock can be when you are tired enough. The clouds started rolling in, and you could see them moving through the trees. After our break, we headed to the summit, and decided not to spend any time there since it was cloudy, windy and pretty chilly. Once we were heading down, we saw the clouds converging from both the west and east. When they met, you could see the clouds swirl, then get pushed down into the trees below. It was awesome watching the weather happen right in front of us. The clouds were much lower then 3000 feet, and we were at 3100 feet, so a birds eye view no less.
Bugs were pretty thick in some places, lots of swarms, but fended them off with bug spray. I used some Sawyer Sunblock with repellent which worked fairly well. I only got a couple bites, and only one really itchy one, that is still bothering my a day later. I'm a little glad about it as I get to test the hydrocortisone I just got. I think my next hike I will use the Sawyer Picaridin instead. It's a better formula I think. And I will be treating my clothing with Permethrin. BTW, the shelf life is 10 years on those products.