I did not do very well with my 2015 hiking goals. From January 3 on for the entire year, my left ankle has been sore. It varied between extremely sore to only a little bit sore, and has not been bad the last few months. I’ve gotten used to it. Then, starting in June, the back of my left knee has been quite painful. I’ve recently been doing some physical therapy without a lot of improvement. I hate to make excuses, but when you want to hike a lot, it is hard to do so when your “wheels” are bad. So here is how I did last year, aches, pains and all.
1. Hit the trails for 200 miles. Nope, I only hiked 141 miles. (But I did put 2,145 miles on my feet last year, despite chronic left joint pain).
2. Go backpacking at least three times. Nope, I only went twice, and the second time, I had to wrap my knee in a bandage to even continue hiking. And after the first one, my ankle throbbed for days. And both trips were short - one overnight each.
3. Join my friend Dick for his annual hike - at age 90 this year - up Mount Washington in New Hampshire. There is thought that Dick may be the first nonagenarian to summit Mount Washington, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi and north of North Carolina. Nope, Dick is obviously retired, and scheduled his hike with days to spare. Being a working man, I can’t take off and drive to New Hampshire at the drop of the hat. But I did cheer for him from afar.
4. Take a week-long hiking vacation - I have scheduled one in Oregon for this coming summer, a state that I have never been to. Yes! I had a great week of hiking in Oregon in August.
5. Lead at least two group hikes. Nope, I only lead one, and cancelled another due to ankle pain.
6. Master my (fairly) new DeLorme Inreach Explorer. This one will be a little difficult to measure, but it has a lot of capabilities that I don't know how to use yet. I’d have to say no – I learned more about it but have not mastered it.
7. Take hikes in at least five of Virginia's wonderful state parks. Nope, I only hiked in two.So obviously, while what hiking I did was wonderful, I fell well short of my goals. But I did get out there as much as I could.