Posts Tagged With: 2021 in 2021

Hike 2021 in 2021 Forward – Week 41

Week 41 of my personal walking challenge started on October 1, 2021. My goal for the year was to walk 2,021 miles in 2021. I reached that goal on Tuesday, October 5, 2021. I was able to hike 44.7 miles in five days to cross the finish line.  

I took a look at my mileage per month and noted the following:

January                 188.8 miles (cold temperatures and weak legs)

February              190.9 miles (only 28 days )

March                   205.99 miles (first month over the 200-mile mark)

April                       187.37 miles (the weakest month of the year – Spring rains and a dip in motivation)

May                       228.4 miles (warmer days make for good hiking)

June                      231.0 miles (Consistent pace with May)

July                        219.5 miles (possible heat factor)

August                  249.8 miles (Finish line getting cloer)

September         277.1 miles (Best Month – the finish line can really motivate me)

October               44.7 miles (not bad for five days)

I thoroughly enjoyed the walks.

In the last three years I have had the joy to complete three hiking challenges: The Amerithon in 2019 (3,521 miles), 2020 in 2020 and 2021 in 2021 for a total of 7,562 miles. God is so faithful in providing me with the strength and opportunity to walk and enjoy His creation; to meet new people and hike with my sweetheart; and to breath in the fresh air of winter, spring, summer and fall.

Three Shirts to choose from for my Next Hike

Now what?  – I have taken a few days off, but the next goal is to reach the mileage of the Appalachian Trail – this year it is 2,193.1 (In 2014 I only had to hike 2,185.3 – the AT changes from year to year because of new land acquisitions and additions to the official path.) That means an additional 172.1 miles.

After obtaining that mileage goal, I might consider hiking with purpose or a goal as opposed to a particular distance. For example, one day might Pick Up Trash Day about the neighborhood while I walk. Another day might be to Connect with People as I walk and see if I can encourage them or pray for them. Another day might be an “Iron Sharpens Iron” day as I invite a friend or mentor to hike and talk about life. Another day might be a Prayer Day where I get alone in the woods and spend some time praying for family and friends and the needs of others around the world. Any ideas? Post a suggestion for me.

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Hike 2021 in 2021 Forward – Week 40

The 40th week of 2021 ended on September 30. The weather was perfect for hiking, and I tried to make the most of it. I was able to fit in three hikes at local Metroparks (Twin Creek, Germantown, and Sugar Creek) and I averaged just a tad over ten miles a day for a total of 70.4 miles for the week. That total is the best for the year, barely beating my total two weeks ago of 70.1 miles. Although the woods hiking is more strenuous than the neighborhood sidewalks, I so enjoy trekking on the paths of the forest and breathing in the endorphins of nature. Cement just does not compare to the leaf-covered trails; the cars and trucks don’t score quite as high as the deer or even the box turtle you might meet on the orange trail at Twin Creek.

The goal of walking the year in miles is getting very close. At the end of week 40, I have accumulated 1,978.86 miles leaving just over 42 miles to the finish line. If all goes well, I should complete the personal walking challenge next week.  

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Hike 2021 in 2021 Forward – Week 39

The finish line of this year’s personal hiking challenge is getting closer. On January 1, 2021, I began to walk toward a goal of hiking 2,021 miles during the calendar year of 2021. Using my rusty, dusty calculator, I knew I needed to walk 39 miles each week to accomplish the goal. But before I took my first step, I also knew I wanted to finish before I had to rely on the unpredictable weather of December to provide the checkered flag. So, I have been trying to accumulate a few miles over the minimum of 39 each week in hopes to finish early or at least to provide a cushion against a bad weather week or two.

Week 39 (September 17 – 23) of the challenge was a good week. I managed to dance around a few days of rain and to maximize the nice, sunny days ending up with 53.1 miles. Most of my miles this week were neighborhood walks. I have developed several 5-mile loops around Springboro so that I don’t get bored with the same route every day. I enjoy taking a morning walk and then one later in the day to spread out the adventure. I was able to take one nice long hike along a bike trail this week starting at Medlar Park, walking along the river, and ending in Franklin (and back again). This sunny walk revealed the coming of fall as some of the color is turning to the interesting browns and gray of autumn.

I was able to break through the 1900-mile marker during week 39, finishing the week with just over 1,908 accumulated miles. That leaves a tad over 112 miles to complete to challenge. The weather looks good for next week, so I am hoping to schedule some good hikes during week 40 and then to celebrate the finish line sometime in mid-October (Lord willing). God is faithful.  

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Hike 2021 in 2021 Forward – Week 38

Hiking the year in miles (2,021 miles in 2021) has been lots of fun. This past week (September 10-16) provided some great weather and opportunities for some longer hikes. It ended up being my most productive week thus far in the challenge. I averaged 10 miles a day and hit 70.1 miles for the week.

I had three day-hikes in the woods at local parks. Rocky and I spent one day finishing up our MetroParks challenge by completing a small trail in Trotwood plus the beautiful yellow trail at Taylorsville. We spent more time driving to the trailheads than we did actually walking, but it was so good to be with my hiking buddy (and wife).  I also spent a fantastic day hiking at Twin Creek. I hiked for 6 ½ hours and ended the adventure with 18 miles (my second longest hike of the year). It was a good work out but I was pretty tired at the end of the afternoon.  Later in the week, I drove out past Waynesville to Caesars Creek and hiked the perimeter trail around the lake. Despite the ups and downs and the roots and rocks I love hiking a trail in the woods free from the trucks and cars and the street construction.

At the end of week 38, I have accumulated 1,855 miles leaving only 166 miles to the final steps of completion.  It is supposed to be a wet week coming up, so my next seven-day output might be challenged a little bit, but I hope I can find some time each day to dodge some drops and log some miles toward the goal.

Here are few more pictures from Week 38.

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Hike 2021 Forward – Week 37

I have adopted the goal of hiking the year in miles: 2,021 miles in the calendar year of 2021. Week 37 of challenge (September 3-9) was my best mileage week all year. I had great weather and the opportunity to take a couple of fabulous walks in the woods. I ended up with 69.1 miles for the week, bringing my total accumulative miles to 1,785.

Pushing a few buttons on my calculator, I see that I have 236 miles to finish the walk. Some have already begun to ask my plans when I break the final tape of this challenge. First, let me quick to say that 236 miles is still a long way and life can throw lots of curve balls, so I am hoping first of all to successfully complete the 2,021 miles. If God is gracious and allows me to do so with some days left over, my plan is to extend the challenge to 2,193.1 miles – the official length of the Appalachian Trail this year. The length of the AT changes every year as the Appalachian Trail Conservancy gains additional land and slightly changes the route. That would add to the walk another 172 miles. I will have to wait until the 2021 challenge is over to see the realistic feasibility of extending the journey. But thanks to those who have encouraged me to continue to set goals and not to sit around.

Week 37 brought a few days without daytime responsibilities and a chunk of time to hit the trail. The week started out (Friday) with a trip to the Germantown MetroPark and a hike of over 12 miles. Shortly into my day’s adventure, I met a hiker, Michael, who was about my age (a year older actually) and who was in better shape than I am. He was out hiking all 26 miles of the entire TVT (Twin Valley Trail). We started to hike together and ended up walking the TVT around Germantown and the connector trail leading down into Twin Creek MetroPark. We had a grand talk and shared about our careers, our family, and we solved 92% of all the world’s problems. I almost always walk alone if my hiking buddy Rocky (my wife Cathy) is not available. Friday was unusual but quite enjoyable.

The week ended with another glorious hike in the woods – this time it was the perimeter trail at Caesars Creek. The trail is published as being 12.4 miles, but my tracker indicated that hike was a little short of that distance. However, it is still one of my favorite hikes in the area. The loop trail does require a 0.7 mile trek along a 4-lane road including a bridge, but other than that downer, the trail through the woods and around the lake is so beautiful. I started earlier in the morning hours (about 8:10) and the cool air made the walk so fresh and energized. My favorite experience: I was under a group of trees down by the water’s edge taking a nice drink of water. It is a place where Rocky and I often stop when we are out together. So, I raised my water bottle to toast my bride of 49-years and raised my voice, shouting her name to the water, and from over head I heard this terrible scream. I thought it was a bobcat in the trees about to pounce on my head. Instead, it was a blue heron that must have been roosting in the branching just over my head and not heard my entrance to the water’s edge. My toast scared the bejeebies out of the bird and the bird’s cry made be double the current world-record for the standing high jump.


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Hike 2021 in 2021: Week 36

Week 36 of the 52-week walking challenge began on August 27 and wrapped up on September 2. The goal is to walk the year in miles: 2021. I was able to crank out 51.7 miles this week and I am always pleased if I can hit the 50-mile mark. I surpassed the 1700-mile marker for the year, ending the week with an accumulated total of 1,716 miles. With just a little over 350 miles to the finish line, an October finish date is still possible. A lot will depend on the weather, my health, and the potential curve balls of life.

Most of my miles this week were neighborhood loops pounding the pavement. I did take a hike in the woods at Twin Creek MetroPark on Saturday – it was so enjoyable. I stopped to take a few pictures of some interesting mushrooms. I plan to get out in the woods next week as well – I so enjoy the environment of the forest, but I often can’t afford the drive time to the trailhead.

Speaking of the trailhead, I had the opportunity to record a podcast several months ago. I was asked to share about my 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike on a podcast called the Art of Aging sponsored by the Ruth Frost Parker Center. Kaye Manson Jeter, a Del Mar Encore Fellow contacted me after hearing about my story from a good friend of the family, Donna Balskey. Kaye arranged for the recording with Eric Johnson and spent several hours talking about the AT and God’s faithfulness during my 5-month adventure. Anyway the podcast was just been released and you can take a listen if you are interested: here is the link: Episode 15 – Aging Hero David Rough Hikes the Appalachian Trail at 64 (

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Hike 2021 Forward – Week 35

Under 360 miles to the finish line! My goal of hiking the year (2,021 miles in 2021) is getting closer. Week 35 of this calendar year ran from August 20 to August 26 (Friday through Thursday). The majority of the weather in Springboro, Ohio, was warm and dry enabling me to walk 54 miles during this seven-day period. Since January 1, 2021, I have accumulated just over 1664 miles.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge so far. The daily walks have been physically and emotionally. Breathing fresh air and soaking in some sunshine energizes my mind and my spirit. I believe walking (especially a hike in the woods) is a total person workout. The sounds of the forest are soothing and the quiet of the path provides time for reflection, innovative thinking, and personal prayer.

The Fiber Optics, Gas-line, hole-digging guy knocked on my door this week and let me know that they needed to connect my home to the new gas service. And presto-chango – my front yard received several new piercings. After a day of painful digging, the hole-digging guy came back to the door and connected me to my brand-new service. He left my house with a pleasant smile and a Hi-Ho Silver. The next day my wife commented that she had no hot water. I called the hole-digging guy – answering machine. I walked the neighborhood looking for a hole-digging crew – they don’t work on Fridays (or Saturdays, or Sundays). Today is Monday and it is supposed to rain all day – I am hoping that the hole-digging guy works in the rain, but I am not holding my breath. Washing the dishes, the clothes, and the body in cold water is not ideal, but then I think about the many people who don’t have enough clean cold water to drink, don’t have indoor plumbing, don’t have a washing machine, don’t have enough food to fill their plates. I just have to be patient…., but a hot shower is going to feel great!

Back to the walks. I had a short but nice walk in the woods. When one is hiking in the blazing hot sun, the canopy feels great. The trees form this cool umbrella that lowers the air temperature several degrees and blocks the pounding heat of the sun with welcomed shade. The only downside is the web-walking experience. The spiders do an incredible job of setting traps in such a way that I can’t see them until I have walked right into them.  Most of the time others have web-walked for me and the path is clear, but there have been a few times when I have provided that service for those who came behind me.

It looks like a wet week ahead, but as they say on the Appalachian Trail, “No Pain, No Rain, No Maine.” I have nice rain gear in my closet waiting to be called into action.            

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Hike 2021 Forward: Week 34

This past week (August 13-19) was the 34th week of 2021. January 1, 2021, landed on a Friday so the weeks of this challenge run from Friday through Thursday. The challenge is to walk the year in miles, so my goal is to hike 2,021 miles in the year 2021.

Week 34 was a good one as my schedule and the weather both cooperated as a team to provide some good mileage. I was able to walk 65.8 miles this week. The minimum weekly walk to accomplish the goal in 52 weeks is 39 miles, so this week’s mileage far exceeded the “bar” to finish on time. I was also able to hit the 1600-mile mark on Wednesday and end the week having accumulated 1610.5 miles toward the goal. The finish line is still 410.5 miles away, but the walks are so energizing, and I continue to enjoy being outside breathing the fresh air of summer.

I live in a safe neighborhood, and it has some very pretty places to see. I like to find the beautiful and interesting aspects of my concrete walking loops around my house. Here are few photos of the concrete and the colorful life I saw this week.

However, not everything is gorgeous. As with life, there are areas of construction and change. This summer has brought lots of digging and noisy equipment in order to upgrade and provide services to the community.

This week brought a “day in the woods” hike with Rocky. We hiked together at Carriage Hill MetroPark, then drove to Englewood MetroPark for another quick hike. Both of these hikes are part of a MetroPark challenge we are doing together. I sure enjoy the woods more than the sidewalks.

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Hike 2021 Forward – Week 32

The hike continues as I track the mileage I walk each week, in hopes of accumulating 2,021 miles during the calendar year of 2021. I have just finished up Week 32 of this personal hiking challenge (August 6-12). As I had hoped, the summer weather is allowing me to put in some nice walks. This week I managed to trek 57 miles. During the week, I hit the 1500-mile mark, and by August 12 I had accumulated 1,544.7 miles. With a little quick math, I realized that I have less than 500 miles to go (500 Miles – sounds like a good song, although I think Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Glen Campbell, and a dozen more may have beat me to it) – 476.3 miles to be exact but who could sing a song about that crazy number.

Week 32 involved lots of sidewalks. I have been carefully supervising the installation of a fiber-optic line and a water line in my neighborhood. No one has asked me for a detailed report, but the work crews have spent the entire summer visiting our neighborhood. As I have talked with some of my fellow neighborhood walkers and residents along my routes, I have concluded that many folks are going to be thrilled when the last hole is dug in their yards and when the last truck pulls away from the curb. Progress has a price; and innovation initially includes inconvenience (that’s my alliteration for the day).

Rocky (my wife Cathy) and I took a hike this week from Eastwood MetroPark to Huffman Dam (about 6 miles round trip). It was a rather overcast day, which was good because there are several miles of bike path without any tree cover. At Huffman Dam, there is a bridge over the dam that can provide a vertigo moment if you choose to look over the side. I don’t like heights, but I always have to look. On one side there was a wrecked bicycle that I hope was pushed over the side and not ridden to its final destination – I didn’t see anyone floating in the river or a bleeding body beside the two-wheeler, so I think no physical injury occurred in the death of the bike.

At Huffman Dam, there is also a series of narrow, tight switchbacks on the bike trail that is unique to all the Metroparks that I have visited. It adds an interesting variety to the typical, normal, straight paved trail. The hike from Eastwood to Huffman Dam is also part of the Buckeye Trail which took Rocky and me into a nice, wooded path at Eastwood Park. It runs right along the Mad River and was a great change of pace from the asphalt of the bike path.

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Hike 2021 Forward – Week 31

I continue to work toward my goal of hiking 2,021 miles in the calendar year of 2021. Starting on January 1, 2021, I calculated that I needed 39 miles each week to complete the journey during the last week of December. Week 31 (July 30 – August 5) was a good week. I walked 53.1 miles bringing my total to 1,487.

Rocky and I went on a Metropark hike at Twin Creek this week. It was so good to be in the woods and hiking with my wife. The mileage takes longer on the terrain of a forest trail but the path is so much easier on the feet and legs (the payment of the neighborhood tends to pound the joints more). The thistles stood tall and straight. They were attracting bees and butterflies (and hikers) so we stopped occasionally to take a look.

One of my regular routes around the neighborhood takes me to North Park. On the straight shot, the park is only about 0.7 miles from home but taking a big loop I can stretch the journey to up to four miles. The Park itself has a nice one-mile perimeter walk/run track. The shorter, direct route takes me across a small bridge over a small creek and then up a hill through a wooded area into the park. I have recently discovered several alternate paths through the trees ending at various spots in the park. They make welcomed changes to the routine.

This week at North Park they are preparing for an outdoor musical, Cinderella. I most likely will not attend, but the set up is interesting. Hopefully my photos show that the lighting is being hung, the set is being made, and everything appears to be coming together – except for the pumpkin carriage that looks a little flat backstage.

I also took a nice walk along the Great Miami River this week. I saw a heron in the river looking for some breakfast. This large water bird is one of Rocky’s favorite animals to see on our hikes. She was not with me, but I thought of her as a snaped a photo of our long-legged feathered friend. The river was a little low in volume, but I still enjoyed the walk along the flowing water.

I am looking forward to another good week coming up. I hope to reach the 1500-mile mark and bring the finish line under 500 miles away. Life is good and God is faithful.

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