Forest discovery.

I found a national forest that I can walk to from my cabin. So, now my training hikes are a 19.5 mile loop that includes lunch and a nap in the forest. I carry all my gear, a bunch of water andimg_2587.jpg some random cans of food for added weight. I was carrying a big 55 lb load that included two packs, firewood, a bear canister filled with canned food, and some water jugs. But I like having my gear with me, because I can imagine just continuing on forever and carrying a 55lb pack isn’t that much fun.

I believe the Pacific Crest Trail goes through this forest. Even though I see the Cascades looming in the distance every day on my walks, the trail seems like a long way away.

There are these signs up that say it is an old growth forest. It’s not a very impressive forest, I have much bigger trees on my property, which I think might be their point–that if you don’t thin, the trees stay small and crowded. I think it may be fire suppression that causes the crowded forest but maybe it’s the way it’s supposed to look.

One day, on my hike, I passed by a man’s house. He said, “You look like a traveler. Can I offer you some water.” I had to tell him I was only a pretend traveler, right now, and that thanks, but my load held lots of water. He looked confused. I’m excited to begin my travels for real and stop being a pretend traveler.

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Hermit, long distance hiker, primitive cabin dweller, seeker.

6 thoughts on “Forest discovery.”

  1. Perhaps the term “naturally managed forest” is more appropriate. Nature can be messy. Nature can color things in a way we don’t appreciate like after a fire. It has/had a system all along and didn’t really need our help. Perhaps that is the lesson to learn.

  2. I aim for every other day, but I don’t always do it. I think that is the best way to prepare for a long hike–go out walking every other day with a pack that is heavier than what I will be carrying most days.

    Last year I was hiking every other day with a 35lb pack 13-19 miles. My body got lots of rest and good food and little mental stress while training.

    I think that is best, rather than hitting the trail and ramping up. When I hit the trail with a light pack I felt good, could get good mileage days right from the beginning, and didn’t need rest days.

    I think the trail experience is so much better when it’s not interrupted by a lot of time spent in motel rooms. It’s also a lot cheaper.

  3. You are fortunate to be able to train the way you can. When I’ve done long hikes, I had to work right up to the start of my hikes–needed all the cash I could accumulate. So I have never been in my best shape when I started a hike. My method has simply been to start slowly, as slowly as I needed to, but I’ve always done okay by 2 weeks into the hike. The first week is tough, especially if I could only do 9-10 miles a day. After that, my mileage boosted to the 10-12 miles/day range. I usually stayed in the 15-17 mile/day range.

    Carolyn H.

  4. You are right, I am fortunate. But, I think some people might find it’s cheaper to do it my way.

    For instance, some hikers started over a month ago. They started early so they could ramp up the mileage. So for this last month, they have been spending lots of money on motel rooms, meals out and other trail expenses.

    Where as if they had used that month at home to train and live cheaply, they could have hit the trail in trail ready condition and skipped the unnecessary motels.

  5. Crow, I don’t understand how hiking fewer miles in the beginning equates to staying in motels. I’ve never had that experience when I hiked a long trail. HIking a shorter does mean I need more food between food drops but that’s all.

    Carolyn H.

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