Since I wasn’t an avid hiker in 2010 I’m not sure what kind of pace I’m going to be able to keep up with. I’m mostly worried about my schedule, but as I write this it is during the winter doldrums with parks closing at 6pm which makes weekday hikes next to impossible for me.
Ultimately my goal is to hike at least once a week for an average of 5+ miles which is 260 total miles. I’m pretty sure I’m going to miss some weeks, and the weather has already had an impact on me this month.
I also hope to take at least four backpacking trips, though most of them will likely be quick overnight trips. I’m hoping those trips help boost my mileage numbers.
I’ll be sure to update this post throughout the year with my progress as well as my most memorable trips.
Posted in general
So here we are with my first post. I’ve run across a few references that really are drawing me to the trails. One of them was an article called The Smartest Businessman on the Appalachian Trial. (http://www.inc.com/magazine/20101101/the-smartest-businessman-on-the-appalachian-trail.html) which profiled Winton Porter’s shop Mountain Crossings in Northern Georgia. As luck would have it I ran across David Miller’s book AWOL on the Appalachian Trial a few weeks later which I quickly burned through. (http://www.amazon.com/AWOL-Appalachian-Trail-David-Miller/dp/1935597191/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1291572671&sr=8-1)
I cannot say that I’m an experienced hiker since I have only gone for day hikes. I lived in Alaska for a few years and went on a number of 5-10 mile hikes then, but those were pretty informal trips. Now I’m looking to start on more of a journey. I am a chronic workaholic and have a hard time taking enough vacation time. Even my non-work time tends to be technology related so I haven’t had sufficient time to decompress. My mind needs a break, and some time away from technology would be a very good thing.
My initial goals are modest. I would like to do regular day hikes at least once or twice a week. I’m in a relatively good area for some simple trails, but Western North Carolina has a rich selection of fantastic trails and sights. I plan to take at least a few day and multi-day trips next summer around Mt Pisgah. More on that later, one step at a time.
Aside from the reading I’ve done that sparked my interest I then did a fair amount of research into some essential gear I will need. I was amazed to find how friendly the folks at REI are. While I have been in there before, I didn’t wasn’t really paying attention. At least 4-5 people helped me with questions on different things, and all of them were very cool and seemed very knowledgeable. I ended up getting a pair of Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots. While they are a bit overkill for the local trails I’ll be walking, I think they will be needed for the trips I’ll be taking out west soon enough. I also picked up a small synch sack to carry some essentials. I’m a LONG way from needing a full pack for multiday backpacking trips.