Hike Distance: 9.1 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 706.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1049 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 102451 feet
A special day as I surpassed 16,000 miles of my 25,000 mile journey! I normally choose a special place to break through a 1,000 mile barrier but this pandemic has upended everyone’s lives. I’m very satisfied achieving this milestone on any hike, as long as we’re in the fresh air and enjoying nature’s beauty!!
At the beginning of my journey the accumulated mileage always felt like we were moving at a snails pace. Our typical year averaged about 1000 miles. I felt like progress was elusive and resigned myself that this journey would take my entire remaining life, and I’d be a very old man before my body would hobble over the finish line (If I even had a chance of finishing). I’m now on my 13th year of this journey and am astounded that 16,000 miles have been hiked.
Mind you, the journey has come a long way but there have been plenty of road blocks. As we get older life’s issues are constantly bombarding us, and we’ve encountered plenty of health issues that could each put a wrench in our hiking. However, we forge on and deal with life’s issues, one at a time, which is all we can do. I don’t know if this goal will be completed, or possibly ever exceeded, but the journey is outstanding. My wife and I have forged a bond over our adventures, and we’ve seen so many wonderful sights, and we hope to continue to the end of our days! 🙂
On to today’s hike. We had some rain on the drive out to this hike and anticipated more during the hike, but it never did. We wore our rain gear but had to take it off to prevent overheating.
We parked at the TH and were greeted by a foreboding sign, “DANGER, The Wild Horses are Very Protective during Foaling Season, DO NOT APPROACH”. What the hell. What wild horses and when is foaling season? We saw no horses near the TH and almost drove off to another location, but decided to stay since we’ve hiked nearby before (but not this exact location).
We googled foaling season and found that April through September is when this occurs. Our feelings were, we go hiking and expect (but don’t often see) many wild animals. If we were to stop hiking due to every concern about seeing wild animals, we would never go out in nature, so we started our hike! Long story short, we never saw any horses on the roads (but did see plenty of poop) but they were in a large field (far away) when we got back to our car! I included a photo.
The hike wasn’t very eventful, but it was enjoyable to be out in nature. The one interesting issue that did come up was that we tried to complete a loop, at the end of the hike, but the road was gone when completing the loop. We had to go down a muddy embankment, and cross a stream, and climb up a ravine, to get back on the loop road. This event kind of livened up the hike, and we enjoyed the little bit of bushwhacking. 🙂
Reaching the 16,000 mile milestone, at 3.2 miles out, was uneventful, but we took photos to remember the occasion. It was just a nice moment to reflect on everything that’s happened on our hikes up until now.
Yesterday my SI joint, in my back, was immensely painful. I felt as if I couldn’t take another step as the sharp pain was debilitating. Having over a mile to get back to the car, I took an Aleve and just pressed forward. After examining my leg lifts, to correct for my shorter leg, there was a 9mm spacer in my shoe, but I thought it was 8mm! Today was my first day of using the 8mm spacer, and the reduction in pain was dramatic! It turns out that the leg lifts are not allowing me to hike pain free, and it’s not the solution I had hoped for. I need to regularly change the spacer from 8mm to 9mm, and then back again. My orthopedist is puzzled that I’m so sensitive to a 1mm difference, but it’s no joke. I can actually feel a significant change when adding or subtracting 1mm to my leg lift, and must do so on a regular basis to minimize my back pain! My theory is that we’re trying to correct a birth defect that probably isn’t fully correctable. My bones and joints have been used to a shorter leg for 62 years, so trying to even out the height causes other alignment issues, that result in pain. Basically, the leg lifts help but there is no real solution this late in the game. 😦
The end result of today is that it was a fantastic hike worked out better than expected!