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.

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

Hiking the circumference of the earth (25,000 miles)!