A Long Loop in the ‘Daks

For a long hike in the Adirondacks, a big breakfast and real espresso would provide a good start to the day, but they would also necessitate a long drive out of the way, so a good start was also a late start, with the trailhead not reached until a little before 9 AM….and it wasn’t until 10 PM that I finally straggled out, having covered 15 miles, climbed three mountains, and waded through several thousand gallons of water and mud.  This may well have been the most taxing Adirondacks hike I’ve ever undertaken, but it bagged three more peaks, leaving me at 29 out of the 46 High Peaks complete without shoes.

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A Long Loop in the ‘Daks

3,000 Miles Barefoot

On September 1, 2018, I was ushered off the local college running track, which was closing for a field hockey match about to begin.  As it happened, this abbreviated workout ended with the completion of my 3,000th mile of barefoot training, on the dot.  I’d been working towards this goal with great enthusiasm since reporting on my 2,000th mile in December 2017 (and the first 1,000 miles the year before).

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3,000 Miles Barefoot

Seven Adirondack High Peaks

The week before Labor Day is typically pretty quiet in New York, and with nothing much on the calendar, I couldn’t bear sitting around idle, so I threw together a quick jaunt up to the Adirondacks with the goal of making progress on the 46 high peaks (as a result of the trip, I’m now at 24/46).  Here are some quick notes…

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Seven Adirondack High Peaks

Down into the Grand Canyon, and Back Up Again

A year or so ago casting around for new challenges, I google’d “barefoot Grand Canyon,” and that’s when I discovered Thea Gavin, a free-spirited writer and self-styled “suburbanite chronically injured running grandma,” who’d hiked from one rim of the Grand Canyon to the other, descending roughly 5,000 feet and them climbing back out, for a total journey of 24 miles, all without shoes.  When conventional boot-clad hikers in the Canyon asked why, she responded, “It’s fun.”

This spring I began planning a western trip to the Grand Canyon and other places I’d never been.  Business matters interceded, the trip was delayed, put on hold, and then finally thrown together at the last minute with destinations to be figured out on the fly.

Now it’s late morning, August 7, and I’m pulling in to Kanab, Utah, which I’ve designated as my final staging point prior to entering Grand Canyon National Park.  Priority of work: lunch, laundry, gas, obtain a wi-fi connection to download maps and review the route, and hopefully find an espresso.  The strategy is to enter the park after dark (avoiding the crowds and the heat), attempt a barefoot descent of the Bright Angel Trail to the Colorado River, and then turn around and climb back up.

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Down into the Grand Canyon, and Back Up Again