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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The challenge: Hiking 2,021 miles during the calendar year of 2021. Week 30 (July 23-29) of this personal walking challenge flipped over two major mile markers: I broke through the 1400 mile marker (1,434.5) and now I have less than 600 miles (586.5) to the finish line! The weather was good (a tad hot, but I am not complaining) and my schedule gave me several nice time windows to enjoy the outside. Most of the miles were pounded out around the neighborhood but I did have one relaxing hike (9.2 miles) in the woods at Sugarcreek MetroPark.
I walked a total of 48.7 miles this week averaging a smidge under 7 miles per day. In order to complete the walking challenge within the calendar year I need to average 39 miles each week. Since January 1, I have averaged 47.8 miles per week. If I can maintain that weekly pace of 47.8 miles, I will complete the challenge in just over 12 more weeks – that would be during the last week of October. Sorry for all the numbers but it is just how my mind works. SO…. here are a few more: in order to complete the challenge before the end of the year, I only need to average 22.65 miles per week. If you know me at all, you know which goal I have re-established for myself – a minimum of 48 miles each week. I think I can do it if I stay healthy, if the weather cooperates, and if I remain motivated.
The neighborhood is being redecorated this summer with lovely yellow, green, blue, orange, and black conduits. Some sections of the sidewalks, portions of the tree-lawns, and strategic spots in the roads have been dug up by brand new, shiny, quiet machinery up on practically every street in area in order to plant these beautiful pipes in the ground. The workers are very time sensitive and never begin their shifts before 7:00 am. Some of the holes have been covered with top quality plywood while others have shiny metal plates to better protect us walkers from joining the pipes in the trenches. We might be able to enjoy these lovely coverings permanently because there is no sign of a crew that might be removing the wood-grain sidewalk paneling and replacing it with our old ugly green grass. I think the planting is taking too long for us to see any benefit this summer, but I can’t wait to see the yellow, green, blue, orange and black trees and flowers next spring.
I obviously have not taken many photos of the construction (as beautiful as it is). Stay tuned for another report next Monday – Week 31 coming up.
I have made it through the middle of July and 28 weeks of my personal hiking challenge of walking 2,021 miles in 2021. This week (July 9 – July 15) I was able to pound out 47.6 miles. This week was filled with some technical reading as I am serving on two dissertation committees, and both candidates will defend their research on July 16.
July 9th started out the week with a strong 8.5 miles. The weather was nice with the highs only touching 77 degrees. I has some important social events on Saturday, July 10 including both a celebration party for Tommy, a precious son of a close family friend, who has be proclaimed cancer-free after a long bout with leukemia, and a family get-together of best wishes as four of my grandchildren are off to Utah for several weeks. So, July 10’s walking window only yielded 4.7 miles.
Sunday afternoon (July 11) produced some rain, but I managed to dodge the drops for an average hike (6.4 miles). Monday (July 12) was my best day of the week. Two hikes (one in the morning and the other in the evening) bookended the afternoon showers. I took a solo hike around the neighborhood in the morning and then took a nice walk with my wife and daughter at a local park about 7:00 pm for a total of 12.1 miles.
Several conference calls and Zoom meetings dominated my day on Tuesday (July 13). The needed demands of the yard invaded my walk time and then when I began to make my neighborhood loop, the rains let loose catching me a mile away from home. By the time I reached my front door, I was drenched and only had 2.9 miles to show for the entire day.
Balancing out another Zoom meeting, an evening Bible Study, and a morning conference at my bank, 5.8 miles was my total hiking yield for Wednesday. July 14. Thursday the 15th completed the week with 7.2 miles as I combined two shorter hikes. I walked to my church and back (2 miles one way) and then a quick stroll around the neighbor hood in the afternoon.
I have hiked a tad over 1,329 miles leaving less than 700 miles to complete the journey (more accurately – 692 miles). I am hoping that Week 29 will be another good one. The weather looks promising with several sunny days.
Week 27 of my personal walking challenge was rather “weak.” My goal of the year is to walk the year in miles (2,021 miles in 2021). I need to average 39 miles each week and this week (July 2-8) I barely hit the minimum with 40.1 miles. I had several unusual days that cut into my normal hiking time. I traveled back from West Virginia on July 2 after spending a few days celebrating my mother-in-law’s 95th birthday (I managed to walk 5.5 after getting back to Ohio). A special Springboro family get-together on the 3rd (only walked 3.4 miles) and a church-family, poolside, 4th of July party on Sunday (5.9 miles before the party started) filled my weekend. I had two strong days on Monday and Tuesday (totally 20 miles) and a below average day on Wednesday (5.1 miles), which was good because I caught a stomach bug on Thursday and had to take a zero-day. That was probably too much detail for this week, but I thought my low total might need some additional insight.
The highlight of the week for me was Wednesday, July 7. It was Father/Daughter Take Walk Day and my incredible daughter, Bethany, and I got together for a nice walk at a local park. The walk was nice, but the company was great. We had such a sweet conversation and special time together. I will have to circle July 7 on the calendar for the years to come.
It looks like a rather wet week coming up, but a little shower should not stop the dedicated (mail-carriers and hikers are not discouraged by rain, sleet, hail or snow??). Turn in next Monday for an update on Week 28.