COUNTDOWN – 5 DAYS – Just One Handful on the Calendar!
I took what I call a play hike today. I managed to log 16.5 miles but my walk had multiple purposes – most of which involved playing with some of my new gear to make sure it worked. I wanted to try everything before the real deal.
- I ended up with a water filtration system combining a dromedary 4 liter bag, a Sawyer squeeze bottle filter, and a life-straw for a backup. I tried them all today and was so pleased at how they all worked easily.
- I set up my tent for the 50th time today just to be sure everything was in good working order. Both set-up and tear-down went without a hitch.
- I made several more successful bear hangs – I had a few bad tosses but my completion rate sky-rocketed (it’s all in the wrist). As long as I can find the perfect tree, I should be in good shape.
- I wore a new ball cap (made by Outdoor Research). It is really breathable, lightweight, and the headband is designed to wick moisture and dry quickly. The hat has reflective trim that will make me more visible to bears at night (this was not a selling point).
This hike at Germantown MetroPark boosted my miles to over 2,200!! All I have to do is duplicate this and I will standing on Katahdin… ok, ok… so it took me over 14 months and now I have to try to match it in only 4 months…. ok, so I hiked most of it in Ohio and not in the mountains of the Appalachian Trail…. ok, so I didn’t camp out in a tent every night before having to get up and hike 20 miles…. ok, so I was able to come home after most of the hikes and get a nice warm shower and have a tasty dinner. But, I didn’t just hike 100 miles before hitting the trail…I didn’t prepare with 1000 miles and call it good. God has given me enough time of preparation to accomplish this goal. I think He allowed me to see that my 64-year-old legs and feet are still made to walk, AND that if He has called me He is able to provide the strength and mental endurance to “hike the hike.”
Check out some great flowers that I have been able to capture with my iPhone. Spring has sprung so fast – two weeks ago everything was brown and stark – today the forest teemed with green and the palette of a master artist.