Monday, June 3, 2013

What in the Blue Blazes

Now here's a thought to consider.  Every twenty minutes on the Appalachian Trail, Katz and I walked further than the average American walks in a week.  For 93 percent of all trips outside of the home, for whatever distance or whatever purpose, Americans now get in a car.  On average, the total walking of an American these days--that's walking of all types: from car to office, from office to car, around the supermarket and shopping malls--adds up to 1.4 miles a week, barely 350 yards per day.  That's ridiculous. (Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods, Anchor Books, 1998, p. 183)
I'm kind of guilty of this.  I probably get just under a mile a day, but that's still pretty sad.  So I'm going to try and do better.  And on top of that, I'm going to throw on a couple of big goals.

Bryson's book A Walk in the Woods a memoir of his attempt at hiking the Appalachian Trail--a mostly wilderness trail that runs over 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine and is probably the most challenging hiking trail in the United States.  He didn't make it.  In fact, when he added up all the miles he had done, he had only walked 39.5% of the trail (850 miles of walking in one summer!).

I'm not ready to take on the Appalachian Trail just yet.  I want to, but right now isn't a very good time for me to do it.  So I'm going to try a shorter, easier trail first.  I'm going to take on Ohio's Buckeye Trail.  The Buckeye Trail (marked by blue blazes) circumscribes the better part of Ohio for a total of 1,443 miles.  I'm hoping I get walk it all over the next ten years.

While the Buckeye Trail is nowhere near as challenging as the Appalachian Trail--the Buckeye Trail traverses city streets, country roads, and off-road trails--I'm hoping that the experience of planning the section hikes will give me good insights into how to plan a section hike of the Appalachian Trail in the future.

By the time this post publishes, I'll have already walked my first ten miles.  But I still have a long way to go.  Anyone want to join me for a walk?

Follow my progress here.

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