Mariette Beaudoin. Hiking. April 24th , 2018.
We entered the Sierra Nevada on June 11 in a very heavy snow year so we spent about a month hiking through snow sometimes only getting down below snow level in the evening to camp. I had very little experience hiking in deep snow and no experience navigating when the trail was covered with snow most of the day. Mostly we did it with map and compass but we did use a GPS some to pinpoint the trail location and to confirm which was the right pass a few times. I had crampons at the beginning of the Sierras but soon lost them off the back of my pack before I ever used them. One thing we didn‘t have to worry about was water. We got spoiled by only having to carry a liter or two of water. We often drank directly from springs and the snow melt streams without bothering to treat the water.
Shoes. Since mountains have an uneven surface you will have to wear cleat-like hiking boots that have spikes and tread marks under them to allow you to have a firm footing over the rugged surface. Shoes like these will prevent you from slipping while mountain hiking.
When you talk about hiking it does not mean you have to go for something as outlandish or extreme as the Appalachian Trail. It can be as simple as taking a walk through a forest or up a hill in your neighborhood‘s vicinity. For the most part hiking will cost you nothing to very little and is a great stress reliever. Indeed the mental and physical benefits you can get from hiking ensure you can live a more fruitful and fulfilled life.
Oregon was only three weeks and Washington took four weeks and then it was all over except for the very emotional goodbyes. Unlike the mountaineer who still has to get down the mountain after the summit the hike ended on an emotional high with nowhere to go no descend time to unwind. We spent a couple of days there not wanting to say goodbye and go home. It‘s hard to describe the feeling of watching the mountain peak landmarks pass below on the flight back to L.A five months going by in fast reverse in a couple of hours! And then came trying to go back to a "normal" life when our main concerns for so long were just walking eating and sleeping. Now we were home at least our bodies were but our minds keep wandering back to the trail.
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