Forest Road Hike, Again!

2020 Hike # ; 232

Hike Distance: 8.1 miles

Elevation Gain: 632 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1775.0 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 260,270 feet

It was a cold and foggy beginning to the hike. We always dress so that we will warm up as we hike, and we also expected the sun to come out later in the day, and it did.

As with most of our forest road hikes, we have been here before, and are just exploring new areas. We were stopped from going down a couple roads as trees had fallen across them. We would need some serious tools to get past some of these barriers, and we sometimes bring a saw or larger loppers when so inclined. We have been clearing branches and brush, from our hikes, for many years, so this isn’t out of the question. No people or vehicles on the roads, so we again had plenty of solitude. 🙂

The main focus of our hikes, this late in the year, is to finish up with as many miles as possible. I know this doesn’t sound fun, but we don’t actually walk fast for long hours. It just means that I try to look at how many days are left in the year, and then figure out what mileage is possible, given that we hike very often. I’m anticipating that we can exceed 1900 miles for the total mileage, assuming that no issues arise, and they usually do happen. Well, we’ll see what happens?

Forest Road hike beyond 17,000 total miles

2020 Hike # ; 223

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 726 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1705.2 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 250,861 feet

This was just our typical forest road hike, with cool temperatures and with a splash of sun peeking through the clouds. Only one person was seen during the entire hike, and he was a hunter.

As I’ve mentioned many times, the purpose of this blog is to document my lifetime journey to reach 25,000 miles, which is slightly larger than the circumference around the earth. Today was a special hike in that it allowed me to exceed 17,000 total cumulative miles, towards that goal.

Every 1,000 miles I try to look back on what this goal means. What it means to me is much more than a number. You see, I use this goal to motivate myself to get out of the house, and to overcome anxiety and being melancholy. Getting out in nature has helped me to overcome all the stresses/feelings that bombard me, and there have been plenty in 2020!

For me, hiking is also my drug of choice, and I don’t say that lightly. Despite all my moods, hiking has always improved my state of mind, and given me strength to move forward and face the day, and look forward to the future. I would personally be a lost soul if not for hiking, as it puts my fears, concerns and issues in perspective.

I also want to thank my wife for being an integral part of my goal! She keeps me company, on most hikes, and also drives to most trailheads. I couldn’t even attempt this goal without her love and support. 🙂

Take care and happy hiking!

Forest road Hike

2020 Hike # ; 222

Hike Distance: 7.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1201 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1697.9 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 250,135 feet

Such a rainy and windy day we had out on the forest roads today, but it didn’t stop us from getting outdoors! Actually, I personally love this weather, but it’s not for everybody.

The highlight of the day was when a Barred Owl flew silently past us and landed on a tree limb just off the road. I love owls, and we rarely see them during a hike. The eeriest thing about them is when they fly past you without making any noise whatsoever!

This owl wasn’t particularly afraid of us, and kept us company, until we had our fill of taking photos. That blank stare towards us is a bit creepy, but at least we were not on the menu. haha

Forest Road Hike

2020 Hike # ; 214

Hike Distance: 7.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 1122 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1633.3 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 241,401 feet

A weather forecast of cool temperatures, with a twenty percent chance of rain, didn’t come to fruition. We started out the hike with a temperature of 39 degF, and cloudy skies. The cloudy skies turned to rain, and dominated most of the hike. We were pleased with the weather as it’s comfortable to be in cold temperatures while hiking for long times, and with decent elevation gain.

It’s the start of Elk hunting season and we saw a couple trucks driving on the forest roads. We presumed they were hunters but can’t be sure. We stayed on the main road so we were unlikely to become a target, especially since we’re outfitted in bright orange clothing. 🙂

There wasn’t much different about this hike, than other forest roads, but we had a great time under the forest canopy. Our destination was a 3.5 mile marker, as we wanted to get home early. At the 3.5 mile marker there was a nice view of mountains to the east of us, and I took a few pictures. You can tell how accurate the forest road markers are since we should have had only 7.0 miles. I wonder which is more accurate, my Garmin 66sr gps or the mileage marker. I guess only a survey would give us this answer? Oh well, it really doesn’t matter but I’m curious just the same.

I’m getting closer to reaching 17,000 miles of my 25,000 mile goal, and am really excited about it. Given all the obstacles we’ve seen this year, I wasn’t sure how much hiking would be possible. For the pandemic, hiking on normal trails just wasn’t an option, given my wife and I are at higher risk. Luckily, walking forest roads turned out to be a viable option. The fire season was definitely a scary time, and it could have kept us indoors for much longer than the approx. 10 days we didn’t hike. There were also some health issues that could have been more intrusive, but thankfully only minimally affected our hiking. 🙂 We feel fortunate to still be getting outdoors, and are hopeful we can continue, given no unforeseen circumstances.

I purchased a GoPro Hero 9 camera and am going to attempt some video clips, in the future. I was impressed by the feature set and that it’s waterproof, out of the box. I have a backpack mount and want to document some nice forest areas that we frequent. I’m not a blogger, nor do I want to be, but thought this would be a nice addition to my photography hobby, given we’re likely to be hiking forest roads in the foreseeable future (given the pandemic is accelerating in severity and the winter isn’t even here yet). We’ll see where this goes? If this experiment works out, I’ll definitely want to take the GoPro on any PCT backpack trips I attempt, if that will even happen ever again.