Forest Road Hike

2020 Hike # ; 205

Hike Distance: 7.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 963 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1563.6 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 230,292 feet

A gorgeous clear day! Another day and another bunch of forest roads to hike.

As expected, plenty of hunters driving by in their trucks, since it’s modern firearm season for deer. We get off the roads before sunset, since that’s when the animals come out to feed in the open areas. That said, we’re covered in blaze orange clothing so that we look like bright beacons, and not animals. 🙂

It was a pleasure to see the snow-capped peak of Mt. Rainier, in the distance. We’re glad to see snow start to fall on the volcanoes.

A couple months ago Garmin released a new gps called the 66sr. The exciting attribute of this gps is that it uses dual frequencies (L1 & L5) to obtain your location. It’s touted to be much more accurate than all it’s previous gps devices, and I can now attest to that!

I purchased the 66sr a couple weeks ago and went hiking with dual gps devices, the Garmin 66st and the new Garmin 66sr. The 66st is a wonderful device and I’ve been using it for years, with somewhat good results, except for rugged terrain with plenty of elevation change. The 66sr claims it is much better for even the rugged terrain, and it’s actually quite amazing.

In the approx. eight hikes I compared the two devices, the accuracy of the Garmin 66sr simply blows away the 66sr! While the 66st gps accuracy fluctuated between 8-48 feet, depending on terrain, the 66sr stayed locked onto an accuracy of 6 feet!!! There were also a couple hikes where the 66st dropped huge amounts of track points, and the track looked bad. The 66sr never dropped even one track point, that I could tell.

If you saw the data from both devices, I believe most people would be pleased with either device, and rightly so. However, our frequent hiking in hugely varying terrain, coupled with my 25,000 mile goal, justifies the use of the 66sr.

There are also other benefits to the 66sr that are worth mentioning. The internal lithium-ion battery is huge, and good for more than a week of hiking for us. No more charging of Ni-mh batteies for me. haha The other attribute of note is that the “current elevation” is much more accurate, and so is the elevation gain on each hike! Lastly, the 66st includes an overlay for public lands, which is very useful for us.

I do want to qualify this Garmin gps information with the comment that it’s still not a perfect device. The tracks from the new 66sr still can drift more than I’d expect, even with it’s improved accuracy. Also, this is a new device and Garmin is notorious for premature release of products, and having bugs in the software. I personally haven’t had any major issues with the current software, but suspect that could change with updates.

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