All posts by Mileage Mike

Forest Road Hike

2021 Hike # ; 16

Hike Distance: 8.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 893 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 130.0 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 15,121 feet

Well, I feel like I’m dropping the ball for writing up our hiking experiences and providing original content in this blog. This pandemic has severally restricted the places we are willing to go for hikes. Our hikes are so similar that you could summarize them as simply walking roads that have minimal variety. We seldom see people, but when we do it’s not the best experience. I’m so frightened of meeting other people that we don’t spend much time talking and give the impression we’re not interested. We are courteous and kind but just not interested in breathing the same air, at least until we get vaccinated and there is herd immunity. Of course, it’s still very nice to get out and get some fresh air, but it’s always in the back of our minds that things aren’t really safe in the real world. 😦

Today’s hike was much like our other forest road hike, except we had another run in with some wild horses. I didn’t see them until my wife mentioned they were there. Once I looked up it was obvious these two horses were not happy with us. They snorted and came around in front of us in an aggressive upright position. I really wasn’t sure if they would stop, and was a bit concerned. Thankfully, our defusing the situation came quickly, as we turned around and walked away. I did turn to get a quick photo, which I include below.

The other thing I’m now doing is to carry my Olympus camera with me on the hikes. My smartphone takes great photos, but they’re just not as pleasing and detailed as the Olympus. It just means I have to carry another two pounds of gear with me, which can be a pain when my body is having issues.

The one thing my Olympus camera is good for is image stabilization, and I can hold it for 1+ seconds without getting photo blur! In fact, I can get nice silky water flowing effects without any blur, which is fantastic. I’ve also included a photo of a small stream that contains this effect.

Forest Road Hike

2021 Hike # ; 6

Hike Distance: 9.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 1026 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 48.7 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 5,653 feet

A very nice day to be out in the fresh air! We were feeling pretty good so we extended the hike out past 9 miles. :0 We’ve been going to this area frequently since it’s close to home, and we’ve been getting out on the late side.

We didn’t see any animals, or people, today. A quiet day and plenty of solitude, which we prefer. It’s tough to go out and feel so good when we know that the pandemic is raging on. 😦 Well, we’ll be keeping our distance from people until we can receive the vaccines.

We’ve started to think about where we might want to go, on a hiking vacation, when the pandemic becomes just a horrible memory. It just gives us something to look forward to, even if it isn’t in the near future.

I did look into the status of permits at the PCTA website, and was surprised to see that they would be issued for 2021! Sadly, we have no plans to participate in any Pacific Crest Trail activities, in 2021, but might enjoy watching others attempt this journey?

Take care and be safe!

Forest Road Hike

2021 Hike # ; 4

Hike Distance: 7.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 881 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 31.1 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 3846 feet

Quite a bit of rain today, and the roads are being damaged from the runoff. Not much exciting about this hike, except that we got out and exercised.

The big deal today was that the road veered around a corner, and we looked up to see a herd of 4 elk!!! Unfortunately, they ran off before I could get my phone out to take a photo. 😦 And then, we walked further, only to see a deer on the road, and it also darted away from us. It really sucks to see such wonderful wildlife and have no proof of it. Well, it’s burned into our minds.

Forest Road Hike with Elk Seen

2021 Hike # ; 2

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 954 feet

Yearly Hike Distance: 15.1 miles

Yearly Elevation Gain: 1753 feet

I finally saw an Elk, and unfortunately got a crappy photo of it. Yes, I took the picture but the quality is very bad, and grainy. The zoom on my smartphone doesn’t yield high quality photos but I’m happy just the same, and happy to post it on this site. I’m probably going to start carrying my mirrorless camera on more hikes, which will increase my chances of higher quality photos.

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