Last hike of 2020 on forest Road with yearly stats summary

The hiking season for 2020 has finally ended, and I can’t say I’ll miss this clusterfuck of a year. The Covid19 Pandemic, Extended Fire Season Political nightmare and health issues has left us emotional wrecks. I personally can’t think of a worse year for the world, or country, in my 63 year life! 😦 I would like to think that 2021 will be an improvement, but we don’t think the pain and suffering will see a reduction until the latter half (or later) of the year.

All these terrible circumstances has literally caused us to fear just about everything we took for granted! Quite honestly, getting closer than about 50 feet, from any people, causes me great worry. I’m terrified of getting (and possibly dying or being permanently crippled) this virus. We haven’t been to a store, or been close to our family, in over nine months. The only things that have gotten us out of the house are taking care of health issues and hiking.

Honestly, hiking has saved our lives, both emotionally and physically. We chose to abandon hiking on any normal or popular trails (except for a couple occasions in bad weather, that scared away most people) in order to avoid people. Forest Roads, on both public and private lands, has kept us away from most people. We typically see maybe 1-2 people, walking on a road, about every 20-30 hikes. We probably see a couple vehicles during every hike, but there is rarely conversation since they don’t typically stop. On very rare occasions there are bikes or motorcycles, but they’ve never stopped to talk. We put on masks whenever we think there could be an encounter with anyone, just to be careful. Being outdoors is inherently lower risk, but we don’t take chances!

As a result of having very little else to do, we’ve actually been able to go hiking more often, and for longer distances. I’ve included the summary of both this year, and since I started on this 25,000 mile goal, and it’s shown below. Amazingly, this was our 3rd best mileage year since we started this mission! 🙂 I’m both stunned and amazed that it worked out so well. Part of why I’m stunned is that we spent almost two weeks indoors, away from the toxic smoke filled air. My wife had knee surgery, at the beginning of the year, and took almost a month off of hiking. Lastly, I had foot and shoulder issues, and was fortunate to deal with them such that they only mildly affected our hiking.

2020 HIKING STATS

We went on 251 hikes.
Our yearly mileage = 1917.1 miles.
Our yearly elevation gain = 275,482 feet.
Average mileage/hike = 7.64 miles
Average elevation gain/hike = 1,097 feet

LIFETIME HIKING STATS

We’ve gone on 2299 total hikes
Our total mileage = 17,216.5 miles.
Percentage of Mileage Goal Completed = 69%.
Our total elevation gain = 2,553,900 feet.

We have been hiking, for the past several weeks, in the same area, as it’s fairly level and easier than many places. We’re hiking in this area since my foot is taking a long time to heal, due to my slipping on a stick a while back. My Orthopedist wasn’t concerned about my foot getting better but advised me to go on level terrain, and take it easy, so we did.

This hike was 7.7 miles with 776 feet of elevation gain. The weather was cloudy and it was a bit cool (low 40’s) and was a pleasure for hiking.

I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy New Year’s, and a safe journey through these tough times! Hopefully, we’ll see and hear from you when things improve, and we can resume some semblance of normalcy? Hang in there, stay healthy and safe. Hopefully, you can find the time to get outdoors and enjoy some of nature, as it’s very healing. Mileage Mike

First snow during Forest Road Hike!

2020 Hike # ;238

Hike Distance: 4.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 384 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1817.5 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 266,064 feet

This is my second hike after slipping on a branch, and spraining the top of my right foot. I saw the Orthopedist two days ago and an X-ray showed no fractures. The doctor also thought that I probably slightly stretched the tendons and muscles in the foot, and a recovery shouldn’t be a problem. His advice was to go on shorter hikes, less often and on relatively level roads.

Yesterday, I went on the first hike, and it didn’t go too badly. Todays hike was a bit different, and the top of my foot hurt at the end of the hike. 😦 I had taken five days off, and my foot felt okay, but evidently that wasn’t enough? This is obviously going to be a longer recovery than expected. 😦 My goal of reaching 1900 miles, by the end of the year, is probably a pipe dream at this point.

Today’s hike was wonderful in a special way as it snowed! 🙂 We were only at about 1350 feet of elevation, but large flakes were coming down, and the snow started to stick to the ground. My wife said it felt like we were in a snow globe. Ha-ha As you’d expect, it was a bit cold, and we really needed more layers for warmth, but being a short hike it wasn’t an issue. I’ve attached a short video of our first snow fall for this year, and hope you enjoy!

We also visited a waterfall that is along this section of forest road, and it was raging from all the rainfall. A mesmerizing and beautiful sight to see. 🙂

Forest Road Hike

2020 Hike # ; 236

Hike Distance: 7.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 1168 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1808.6 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 265,183 feet

A wonderfully cool day, in the high 30’s, with clear skies and a stellar view of stunning snow-capped Mt. St. Helens! 🙂 The roads were clear of all people, and vehicles, and solitude reined supreme. We enjoyed all the good things this location had to offer, until issues arose. You almost couldn’t ask for more, but the day ended on a rough note.

We climbed up a tree covered hill, and I was getting very anxious, but didn’t know why. All appeared good until we came down the hill, and ran into a group of five wild horses! The horses didn’t respond to our waving, yelling, whistle or very bright light, and continued to block our road out of the area. Well, my wife played a nice selection of songs, on her smartphone, and we walked forward while singing at the top of our lungs, and off key. Thankfully, the horses decided this was the deciding factor and bolted into the trees, never to be seen again, but we did hear them. I will admit that this experience appears a bit amusing, but, horses in this area have been known to be aggressive towards people, forcing them to climb out of reach. This isn’t an acceptable option, and we were quick to exit the area, and get to a main road.

I know you’re asking yourself why we even go hiking in this area, or maybe your not? My quick answer is, the forested, and non-forested, lands are full of many animals. Most want nothing to do with people, and it’s rare to hear of a bad outcome, even with cougars or bears. We are very proactive in our preparation for most issues we could come across, and have chosen to take the risk. Personally, I would rather die out here in nature, than in a car accident or in a hospital, etc..

The biggest issue we experienced on this hike was when my right foot slipped on a branch that was buried under some leaves! Unfortunately, the top of my foot took a jolt, with some instantaneous pain. I had no problem walking back to the car, but know I would need to assess the situation. Long story short, I’ll be taking off however many days are needed to heal? Right now I’m writing this trip report with a cold pack wrapped around my foot. 😦

The last issue to mention, which could affect my hiking, in the near term, is that my shoulder has been in great pain. I had received a cortisone shot, for Calcific Tendonitis, about three months ago, and it was only effective for about two months. Basically, my shoulder feels as if something is torn. 😦 I’ll be seeing my Orthopedist, next week, to assess my shoulder, and possibly my foot if it still bothers me. We’ll see what he says, and hopefully it will heal over time? Obviously, I won’t be pursuing an MRI, physical therapy, or surgery, until a Covid19 vaccine is available to both of us! The good news is that I seem to be able to hike just fine, but can’t use a hiking pole in my right arm, and just let the arm hang by my side. This is probably the reason I slipped on the stick in the ground, since I wasn’t using my hiking stick for my right side. Ugh!

So, that’s all the news for now. I hope everyone is staying safe out there, and take care. I’ll give an update on my shoulder/ankle after visiting the Orthopedist.

Forest Road Hike

2020 Hike # ; 235

Hike Distance: 9.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 904 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 1800.7 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 264,015 feet

What a gorgeous cool day, and wonderful for a long hike. I hiked solo, and tend to move quickly when I’m alone, so it made it easy to get in a longer distance. Not much else to say about this hike, other than I enjoyed the solitude.