Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.1 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1781.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 1895 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 201110 feet

My goal for this hike was to exceed 200,000 feet of elevation for the year!  As a result, I went on a road I knew to have significant elevation gain in a short distance.

It was raining steadily up until I reached 1800 feet of elevation.  And, it was fairly cold since the temperature was hovering just above freezing.  Snow/pellets were accumulating above 2000 feet of elevation, and  it turned into a winter wonderland!  It was so beautiful with snow covering the ground and trees, and I stopped often to take pictures.  When I got up to 2300 feet of elevation it turned to snow that was falling from the sky.

I so enjoy being alone in this winter wonderland, breathing in the crisp, and clean air.  I really wished I could have stayed out longer but it was going to get dark early.

On the way back to the car I saw two elk saunter onto the road, oblivious to my existence.  I froze in place when seeing them, and they eventually looked around and saw me, and then they froze in place.  I waited a few seconds and then started forward, at which time they quickly made their getaway.

About 3/4 mile before the trailhead I turned my head to see a deer staring at me from the forest.  We stared at each other for many seconds before she walked away!  So amazing to see wildlife on this hike. 🙂

This hike could have been miserable, due to the cold rainy and snowy weather but I was well prepared for it.  Such a spectacular day, and I reached that 200,000 feet of elevation goal, which was quite satisfying. 🙂

Whipple Creek Regional Park Hike

Hike Distance: 5.3 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1773.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 822 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 199215 feet

We were going to stay inside today, but at the last minute decided to go to Whipple Creek Park.  It was a cool cloudy day with few people on the trail. 🙂  We made a large loop around the park and used some of the seasonal trails.  A very nice day in the fresh air!

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1768.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 1630 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 198393 feet

It started out cold and foreboding and ended up a beautiful sunny day.  There was plenty of snow at about 2000 feet and above, and it was a beautiful sight!

I decided to wear my Lowa low-top shoes to see how my feet would do.  I started out having considerable pain in my right foot (the one having issues) and decided to take out the Superfeet.  A bit of a surprise but the Superfeet appear to be what’s hurting my feet!  They weren’t slipping forward but still caused considerable pain.  I’ll have to switch to another insert, which is disappointing since I’ve been using them for about 8+ years.  I’m glad to now know the source of my foot issues.  I’ll probably try some gel inserts since my feet now appear to need a more gentle touch. 🙂

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 8.0 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1759.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 704 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 196763 feet

High winds and torrential downpour didn’t deter us from going hiking today, but maybe it should have?  The rain was so heavy, at the beginning of the hike, that it came down in sheets.

In spite of my concerns I decided to wear the Merrell low-top hiking boots instead of my Lowa waterproof boots.  This was a poor decision that I regretted  after just 1.5 miles on the road. 😦    As the heavy rain continued I felt the water slowly spread through my socks.  On the return trip my socks were soaked and my feet were slowly becoming numb.  By the time we got back to the car I couldn’t feel most of my toes and the cold had spread to other parts of my foot.  I stripped off my socks and put on new heavy merino wool socks, that my wife gave to me (off her feet).  My feet returned to normal temps in about an hour.  I won’t be making this mistake again!  I need to choose the correct shoe for the weather, and carry extra pairs of socks just in case, especially when it’s cold outside.

The one good thing that came out of wearing the Merrell hiking shoes was that my Plantars Fascia had NO PAIN!!!  I’m so thankful for having figured this one out as I was ready to go for physical therapy, and spend money I don’t have. 🙂

Forest Road Hike

Hike Distance: 7.5 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1751.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 977 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 196059 feet

Another great forest road hike in the rain.  Visibility was very poor so we couldn’t see any mountains when we broke out in the open.  Still a nice day for a hike and fresh air.

I again wore my Merrell hiking boots and although my heel hurt a bit in the first half of the hike there were no problems for the second half.  I’m starting to believe my hypothesis is correct about bad inserts in my Lowa hiking boots.