Why do we hike? Exercise. Yeah, ok, not really. Exercise is not the main reason why I like to hike, but it is a great benefit. I hate the treadmill and it's too easy to stop
and end my workout whenever I want. Walking 6 to 8 miles up 2,000 feet and seeing the landscape from a lookout is exciting. Once you're committed, there is no
other way to get back to the car, except to hike the remaining miles. Also, many of the sights we've seen cannot be seen from the road or a park view point. The trails
provide access to much more. Natural Bridges park is a very good example of this. The lookouts are nice, but the hiking trails go under the rock bridges. You can walk
right up and touch the rock.
Photography is another excuse to go hiking. There's blogging. I post the pictures on my hiking blog and describe my experiences. Hiking is an excuse to get out of the
house and breath some fresh air. It's a challenge to see if I can make it up a mountain side to an altitude that I've never hiked before. Chimney rock was a
500-foot elevation gain and the first time we did it was hard! Earlier in 2016 we hiked the entire 8-mile loop of Catoctin park. It was tiring, but not as difficult as I
remember the first time. When we hiked overall run falls at Shenandoah National park, our elevation gain was 1,700 feet and 6 miles. Now we're contemplating hiking
paths like South Kaibab and Bright Angel at the Grand Canyon.
This type of hike will require camping. Not really my thing, but I'm willing to tough it out to see the sights. The Kaibab trail is about 6 miles long with a descent
of 4,780 feet. We plan to go down that trail. Then the Bright Angel trail is 9 miles long with the same altitude going up. There's a connecting trail at the base of
the canyon that is about 4 miles or so. The Bright Angel trail has water along the way, which is why we want to hike up that trail.
Before we attempt this hike, I want to know what it will feel like to hike something that big. We're going to plan a
local hike involving a trail that has some altitude (1,500 - 2,000 feet or so) and we'll need to hike it up and down at least 2 or 3 times in two days. This will indicate how much
food and water we'll need to pack and we can test any camping equipment we decide to purchase. This will also take some research and we will probably find another
large trail that will test our abilities before we return to the Grand Canyon.