Last hike of 2019
12/31/19 Hike 9 of 52
Total miles so far: 24.3 since starting the 52 Hike Challenge on 11/12/19
I wasn’t consistent at all with my 2019 training hikes during the summer, so I didn’t log nearly as many miles as I thought I would, but I’m pretty pleased with what I did accomplish – especially considering that I only hiked somewhat consistently during 6 months (Jan-Apr & Nov-Dec), and I didn’t go on very many longer hikes as I had hoped.
2019 # of days logged on trail: 82 Average mile/hike: 1.8 Total 2019 miles hiked: 145.1
But it is now 2020, and time for some new goals. Obviously with my thru-hike of the Tahoe Rim Trail coming up this year, I will log more miles than last year. But I need to up my miles long before then! I need to start getting in 5-10 mile hikes on a weekly basis. My plan for the TRT is 8-12 miles per day (depending on water sources). The longest daily hike I’ve done in recent years was 6 miles, and that was back in November. Gotta do better!
In my last post, I mentioned that a couple of the hikes I have been on recently were on an urban trail in the outskirts of town.
I had been avoiding that trail for a long time because it is “urban”. By looking at the trail on satellite photos and reading descriptions, I always cued into the fact that the trail is essentially lined with houses. When I go hiking, I like to be out away from town and civilization. It also looked rather barren and boring since there wouldn’t be much of a view seeing that it was down in a ravine. Some of the descriptions mentioned trees and it being a pretty trail, but I didn’t have very high hopes. But in trying to find a trail which I hadn’t been on that wasn’t already covered in snow, I finally decided to check it out. And was very pleasantly surprised.
The creek is rather substantial, and is lined with aspens, cottonwood, willow bushes, and wild roses.
Yes, the rim of the creek ravine is lined with the back yards of the neighborhood houses, but the burbling of the creek easily shut out the noises of town, and the beauty of the creek and the trees eclipsed the fact that there was no view to speak of.
It is a beautiful little gem, and so accessible.
But I wasn’t really expecting much from the next trail I decided to explore. I knew from the descriptions that the only trees along the route were at the very end (the turn around point), but that the attraction at the end (a man-made irrigation canal that comes straight out of the side of the hillside) is pretty cool.
Again, I was very pleasantly surprised.
So, on December 28, I decided to explore this trail that had intrigued me since I first heard about it.
A slightly overcast sky lent a beautiful light to the rolling hills around me.
Up near the irrigation canal, the hills level off a bit and you can see for miles.
At the very end of the trail, there is a small stand of trees, which after miles of nothing but sagebrush, seems magical.
The canal exit from the hillside is not nearly as awesome as described when there’s no water rushing from it.
As I traveled back along the canal on my way toward the car, I saw another trail that headed down through a little rolling valley. I quickly checked the GPS map on my phone and saw that I could take that trail back toward the trailhead.
As beautiful as it was in early Winter, I just couldn’t help imagining what it would be like in the Spring. Crystal clear blue skies, warm sun, green grass covering those hills, dotted with wildflowers.
Yeah, you can bet we’ll be headed back there in, say, April or May!
Or even having a picnic under these trees in the summer. Or playing in the creek.
This trail ended up being just over 3 miles and it took me 1½ hours.
If I hadn’t started training for my thru hike and if I hadn’t joined the 52 Hike Challenge, I might not have been looking for new trails to hike. My experiences in hiking these new trails has taught me to not discount any trails in the area. There is always beauty on any trail you might be hiking, and more often than not, it won’t even be that hard to find.
Kinda like life, I think.
So enjoy the trail you’re on and look for the beauty. It’s there.
Wow, I totally fell off the blogging bandwagon. To be honest, in about May of this year (2019) I fell off the whole training wagon as well. Probably why I didn’t blog anything except for our trip on the Appalachian Trail. I have posted a few videos on my YouTube channel, and kept up pretty good with Instagram, but this blog has suffered. I’m making a commitment to change that.
Hey, look at that, not even New Year’s yet, and already making resolutions.😆
So, while training went out the window this past summer in lieu of other things in life, I did go on several fun little hikes besides the overnighter on the Appalachian Trail. (Working on getting videos made of those hikes.)
And then I was invited by a friend to go backpacking with her in February! There had been some talk of her asking me to go. And she finally made it official.
But, oy! a 30 mile hike (round trip) coming up in only a couple months and I hadn’t been training in 5 months! Time to start!
By the end of October, I was back into a good routine of daily hikes and walks mainly just in the hills behind my house.
And then I learned about the 52 Hike Challenge. You can learn all about it through their website, but basically it is a challenge to go hiking 52 times within a one year period. There are various challenge types that you can participate in. I chose to do the original Challenge, which is just 52 hikes of at least a mile each. That’s the only requirement. I signed up on November 11th, 2019. I suppose I could have waited until January 1st to “start” the challenge, but I’m not a fan of delaying once I’ve made a decision. So, my first official hike of my 52 Hike Challenge was on November 12th.
And that brings us up to the present. Today is December 27 and with all he holiday hulibaloo, I haven’t had a chance to go hiking in the past 10 days. But, Christmas is over and we are still on break for another week (both from school and from our house construction), and I have no major plans or preparations to do for the next week. During that time, I want to make some videos out of the footage I got on several of those hikes, and I plan to blog in more detail if I find the time. And of course go on at least one or more hikes during that time as well. Hopefully I can get it all done!
I also used Christmas money and gift cards to order the last of the equipment I’ll need for the trip to Havasu Falls. So when that comes in I’m going to do a couple videos and blog posts about my equipment. That trip will be a pretty good shakedown run for my Tahoe Rim Trail thru-hike coming up in just 7 months.
Oh. My. Goodness!
Gah! I’ve still got a lot of training to do! Time to get to it!
Well, I tried. I had a great little hike planned for me and the girls today.
We were going to get on the trail by 8:30 so the mud was still frozen, hike 2-3 miles, explore some beautiful areas, and be home by noon.
But at the last minute, I was needed to babysit my 7yo and 4yo nieces. We still went on the hike, and we did get home by noon, but we didn’t get on the trail till 9:30 (so by 10 it was starting to thaw and get pretty mucky), and because of the mud and a bunch of young kids, we only ended up going 1.7 miles round trip.
It was still a fun outing, and all the girls (including me!) loved the area and we had a great time. And there is always next week.