This is my third installment under the title of “Walking for Words.” The premise for posting about hiking in a writing blog is that much of what goes into my books comes to me during my daily walks and periodic hikes.
And so, now it’s time for my ‘annual report.’
It’s not exactly like I started jogging/hiking/walking on Sept. 8th in some past year. I grew up hunting, hiking, camping, and fishing. But my annual ‘ambulatory year’ ends on Sept. 8th, because that is the day (three years ago) when I stopped taxing my memory with the requirement that I record and reset my pedometer each evening and replaced these actions with, as you probably guessed, technology. My approach happens to be a Fitbit, but just about any wearable device that automatically records daily steps (at a minimum) and syncs with your phone and/or computer would work.
So, how was my 2016 ambulatory year? Not bad. Over the three years of Fitbit recording, I’ve totaled 13,762,557 steps, which is an estimated 7,990.73 miles. In 2016, I logged 4,490,729 of those steps.
Now that’s not all hiking, unfortunately. It includes everything from some fairly strenuous mountain hikes to wandering over to the frig to forage for a snack. And my morning strolls in search of caffeine probably account for something like 1.6 million of those steps each year – 7,000 or more steps a cup, several hundred days a year. It adds up.
A few of the highlights for 2016.
Several hikes in Sedona, AZ. When you’re staying in a cabin practically in the shadows of Cathedral Rock, you have lots of opportunities.
Several hikes in Washington state, including one of our all-time favorites – Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge and a round trip between the National Park Inn near the entrance of Mount Rainier National Park and Paradise Inn some six miles away and 2700 feet higher. Lunch at the half-way point never tasted so good.
And a hike in the Mount Denali State Park, Alaska. It wasn’t up Mt. Denali – I didn’t list mountain climbing as one of the activities that added to my steps for a reason! It was on the Little Coal Creek trail, which gave us great views. And since the locals were saying they had hardly seen the mountain in two months, due to rain and cloud cover, we were lucky indeed.
Well, with all that – the great scenery, wildlife, and yes, sore muscles – I should have memories to cover another book or two. Of course, I’ll need to keep going, just to work out the details.