Hiking 101: The Story & Preparation

My very first hike in October 2, 2006 was classified by Lonely Planet as an “easy” hike in Grand Teton National Park (and the photo* you see of me above was taken by some other hikers I met at the waterfall).  The hike was NOT an easy one for me, an experienced very fast walker, but not a hiker.  The hike was about 5 miles round trip, and the highlight was this waterfall at the mid-way point.  I lugged my camera backpack, and less than halfway to the waterfall, it began raining, and continued to rain.  It was a miserable hike, (partly because I was still smoking) and by the time I got back to my rental car, I was soaked to the skin.

I’ve always wanted to do more hiking (especially since I quit smoking on 12/10/2007).  I LOVE being in the solitude of nature.  It grounds me.  The sounds of frogs, birds, and animals scurrying through the woods upon hearing my approach are my music.  I love the challenge of physical activity while hiking, (but not too out of my reach, please, but enough to challenge me).

I see all of these extreme hikers going to amazing places that can only be reached on foot when I visit the National Parks.

I want to see some of these places.

Here’s the thing:

I hate going to the gym for cardio. I need visual stimulation, different things to look at (and the television doesn’t cut it).

Weight training is fine (and an absolute necessity as women get older, hello, Kathy!).  My really cool gym is 40 minutes away, near the college where I go during the fall and spring to work on film in the black and white darkroom.

I am not going to the college this summer.

But I do get close enough when I go to work.

So the hiking thing really kept speaking to me, and one day earlier this spring, when I was early for my shift at Paper Source, I wandered into Eastern Mountain Sports, and found a book on 50 Hikes in Maryland, by Leonard M. Adkins.  (Not linking the book because this guy is a BIG proponent of supporting local businesses, which I am also a BIG fan of as well, so if you are interested, go to your local hiking/camping store and ask for your own copy.)

And this past Saturday, I went on a second hike detailed in that book in Calvert Cliffs State Park.

Tomorrow’s post will detail the actual hike, including photos.

Stay tuned, for Kathy Takes (Another) Hike … Literally

*Photo — I handed another random hiker my Nikon D70 camera (which was on manual) and this is the best shot I got after correcting the photo.  My face looks really, really red, which could be a sign of my extreme physical exertion to get to this point, or just a freak of nature (which is what I choose to view it as 🙂

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