Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Run to the ... woods!
This year, there were a couple options tossed into the fray:
- Knobstone Ridge Trail in Indiana (56 miles)
- Back to the Adirondacks for three days of day-hikes and cabin drinking at night (? miles)
- Appalachian Trail - NC Border to Mount Springer, Georgia (80 miles)
Welp, everyone voted for option 3. I gulped. Truth be told, I always have a little anxiety before these trips. I mean, yes, they're fun adventurous trips that are filled with new sights and new sounds every single day. But, for some reason this year's trip has me more anxious than normal.
First off, these trips require a lot of stamina, a lot of dedication, a lot of muscles, a lot of confidence and mental fortitude.
I think one of the reasons for my worry is the distance.
My first Appalachian Trail in Virginia way back in the early 2000's consisted of 36 miles in 3 days, and 3 nights for an average of about 12 miles per day. Not too shabby.
Last year, we upped the ante to 60 miles in 4 days in the Smoky Mountains for an average of about 15 miles per day.
To complete this year's quest, we'll need to average 15+ miles a day. We must do this to get out by Friday/Early Saturday.
Another worry, we're not getting any younger. Look by no means do I consider myself a geriatric. But, the median average for the guys is 42.8 years old - with the youngest dude a nimble 37.
Typically, after we tackle our first taste of elevation, the ages go out the window, the anxiety wears off, and the survival instincts start to kick in . And boy, do we have a doozy this time around. We're going up, straight up about 2,000 feet in four miles.
That should get the heart pumping. No worries, indeed.
While I'm here, I have to tip my hat to these four gents who are taking bonafide vacation days away from their family, away from their jobs, to join me on this 5-day excursion.
It takes a different type of cat to want to do this type of thing. It's a big commitment, but there are going to be a ton of memories and a ton of photos to share from this awesome adventure.
What's that you hear? Is that the cry of the West for next year? You better, you better, you bet. But, I digress. Let's first focus on the task at hand. See you on the mountain!