2009 was quite a benchmark year for me. I completed my May resolution of hiking 100 times before the end of the year. In doing so, I hiked 417 trail miles and lost 25 pounds. When I tell people about the accomplishment, many follow up with, “So what’s next? What are you going to do in 2010?” I honestly answered that I didn’t know. I mean, how do you follow up on something so great? Go to Disneyland? More importantly, should I follow up with something else? Why risk the chance of failure on a new project?
These questions have been bouncing around in my head for weeks and I believe I found the answers I was looking for. I’m ready to take the leap into not one but three goals this year.
Goal #1 – Become a member of a Search & Rescue team.
It wasn’t too long into my 100 hikes project that I looked for ways to use my skills and love of nature to volunteer in my community. There are a surprising amount of ways to volunteer in Southern California, but I found a strong pull towards the San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team. I went through their application process, had an interview with management, and waited for a response. As fate would have it, on December 30th, as I returned home from my 100th hike, an acceptance letter was in my mailbox!
So on January 9th, I begin trekking down a 2+ year path towards the goal of joining the search & rescue team.
Goal #2 – Hike 500 miles in 2010.
Last year I hiked more miles in seven months than I had done in all my previous years added up. 417 miles of trails. This year, I want to do more. Given that the San Dimas Mountaineering Academy will own most of my Saturdays until this fall, I think that I can find the drive & perseverance necessary to hike an average of 10 miles a week, every week, for the entire year. Yes, this is much more hiking than with the 100 hikes project – but I believe this is an attainable goal.
Here’s my own version of the legal fine print:
- A “hike” must be mostly off of paved surfaces. There will be no “hikes” to the grocery store. The only exception is if a “trail” is a paved footpath or road closed to through traffic (example: Mount Wilson Toll Road).
- A weekend hike must be at least 3 miles long in order for the mileage to apply to this goal. We weekday hike must be at least 2 miles long.
- The hike must be documented online in the form of photos and/or video. Distances will be measured by my GPS (if possible) or by estimations based on maps.
But documenting 500 miles on 100hikes.com doesn’t sound right, so I’m proud to announce the creation of thehikeguy.com. The site’s purpose will be to promote the hiking lifestyle through example (both my own and others), to provide tips on how to hike, from the very basic level all the way up, and to help others learn the importance of respectfully exploring our natural areas.
Goal #3 – To hike with 150 people
Specifically, 150 people who haven’t been on a hike for a while… or ever. I want to show others what I’ve come to respect so much. To share the trail with those who might not have ever been on one. Hopefully, our outing will be the first of many. Of course, I’ll always enjoy hiking with those who already share my respect for the trail.
More details of these three goals will be posted soon. I look forward to sharing the process with you over the next 12 months!