The weather is finally turning springlike, which means that many of you are starting to think about the epic hikes you have planned for summer. Since nothing can torpedo an ambitious mountain hike quicker than legs that aren’t up for the hills, it’s time to start getting your gams ready for game day.
Scott Hicks, Bill Downey Jr. and Bonner Ballinger got the idea to backpack the Foothills Trail in early 2015. Same goal: thru-hike the 77-mile trail straddling the North Carolina / South Carolina line in 7 days. Different motives — and approaches.
Bill viewed the hike as a physical challenge, as a way to structure his hiking and give him a goal to train for. Scott saw the hike as a prelude to a longer hike, most likely the 211-mile John Muir Trail in California. It was a chance to tackle the logistical challenges of a long hike. And Bonner? Bonner is more of a “because it’s there” guy — no underlying motive needed.
This pack is killing me! The wimpy hip belt is bearing no weight, putting it all on my shoulders. In less than a mile, my shoulders are getting rubbed raw.
Fortunately, this wasn’t my pack.
“This is what you get for buying a $70 backpack,” I yelled back to Ray, who had surrendered his pack to me so that I could experience its shortcomings first-hand.
What do we love most about what we do with the GetHiking! program?
Help people fulfill their dreams.
Using the skills developed through the GetHiking! GetBackpacking! and GetOriented! programs, folks accomplish any number of goals.
For instance, ascending one of the revered Seven Summits.
I climbed into the frigid car this morning, turned the key and was met by a sluggish grind, followed by clicking, followed by quiet. A moment of worry, then a smile. The New Year would be getting off to an active start with a bonus three-mile “hike.”