Tag Archives: Hiking

The road that remains

I reached forty years of age this past weekend. I’m now in the half-time intermission of my life. The plays have been pretty conservative up until now, and the score shows it. I think it’s time for a new game plan.

Denice and I just got back from a really great time, on vacation in Colorado, her home state. We spent most of the week camping in the Rocky Mountains. I witnessed in these past few days some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It helped me realize just how little I have seen of this world.

We traveled across the vast openness of the Colorado plains, over windy mountain passes that were clothed with green Pines and whispering Aspen trees, on into the high desert mesas. Wild. That’s what Colorado is. It is a wild place. I feel a pull inside me to explore wild places. This trip has left me hungry for more of the wild.

At night it was so dark that I could scarcely see my hand in front of my face, but the sky above was a dazzling ocean of stars. For the first time that I remember I was able to clearly see the Great Rift of the Milky Way.

In the down time of our trip, I had been reading the book, Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall. The book is awesome, by the way. It is mostly about ultra-running. I felt inspired one morning and decided to go for an early morning run. I awoke just as the sun was coming up. I put on my Vibram Five Fingers and set off into the wild. I have been doing barefoot walking for a while, with a little bit of running here and there. This particular morning I ran about a quarter of a mile to the lake, and then a half-mile up into the rocky hills. On the initial ascent, I spooked a deer that was feeding on the grass around camp. I made it almost to the top of the ridge and was pretty tired, so I decided to head back to camp.

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The day after my run, my calves were very sore, and my feet were a little bruised from the rocks. It felt good though. It felt good glide across this unforgiving terrain with nothing but the equipment I was born with (and the aid of a thin strip of rubber). It also felt good to feel the pain afterward. I know that I can handle this stuff now, and I think it’s time to stop holding myself back, afraid of breaking something. I’m going to start running a little every day and hitting the trails on the weekends. I think my weight issue will take care of itself if I just pursue the joy of moving under my own power.

So, my new game plan for the second half: Number one… stop playing it so damn safe. Life is a short and fast adventure, not a game of chess. If you play it too safe, you will miss the whole point. Number two… I can do way more than I think I can, so I’m going to test myself in the wild, and not hold back. And, number three… People are what this is all about. I am going to stop neglecting the relationships of my family and friends and make it a point to seek out and forge new friendships.

Till next time.

Why? Because it is there.

I was excited to see that Joe Rogan had done another podcast with The Iceman, Wim Hof. I’m about half-way through it. Wim is as excitable as always. apparently there is some new research on his method. I love JRE, but I really hope he rides the circuit and does another interview with Dr. Rhonda Patrick. She always cites the sources and I need that for my own personal research.

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View from the summit of Mount Le Conte. Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee.

Wim mentioned that he is doing another summit of Kilimanjaro… Kill-a-Man-jaro. This gave me an idea. We have some mountains here too. One is called Mount Le Conte. While it’s no Kilimanjaro, at 6,594 feet, it’s nothing to sneeze at. My idea is to train in the Wim Hof Method until this winter, and then hike to the summit of Mount Le Conte in nothing but shorts. What could possibly go wrong?

In all seriousness, I think I could do it. The hike would be about fifteen miles round trip. The first half would be the hardest because of the steep incline, but I think I could handle the cold ok.

I would need someone to occupancy me, in case something does goes wrong. If I’m going to face an untimley and frigid death, I should at least have someone to witness it. So, the search begins for a hiking partner.