Short version: I’ve recently started hiking and I’ve already got some pretty crazy goals.
Long version: Although I used to hike quite a bit when I was younger, I haven’t really done it in years. I’m fairly out of shape and the few times I’ve gone on really short, easy hikes, I’ve been miserable. It occurred to me that I would be far less miserable if I was in shape. I need to get in shape so I started walking. Of course, while walking I thought, this would be more fun if I was hiking.
I mentioned on Facebook that I would like to start hiking. Someone mentioned Katahdin as their goal. I googled and came up with this. 17 miles. 8000 feet. And I wanted to do it. It’s like starting couch-to-5k and deciding you want to run a marathon. Gotta have goals, though, right?
So to get there, I needed to actually start hiking. So I did. First a little 2 mile, no elevation jaunt in local woods. Most recently a 5.3 mile hike with 1600 feet of ascension.
In my research to find the next hike (always adding a little mileage and/or elevation), I came across the New Hampshire 4000 Footers list, or the NH48. 48 4000-foot mountains in New Hampshire. The tallest one is of course, Mt. Washington (6288 feet, which I’ve now ascended twice, in my MINI Cooper). The shortest is Mt. Tecumseh (4003 feet).
People will hike all 48 and the Appalachian Mountain Club gives you a badge! Since several of the “shorter” mountains are close to my current distances and many (most?) are a lot more, I’ve gotten in my head that I’m doing this. Some people do it all in one year, or even one winter (!) and there are special badges for this. I won’t be attempting that any time soon. I’ll just be happy enough to complete the list, which in itself is a crazy enough goal (and a great training plan for Katahdin!).