Saturday, March 31, 2012

Miles 487.3 to 495.3

Total Miles: 495.3
Miles Today: 8.0
Map waypoints: H to I
Seven mile streak: 8 days

Google Map

Picture of the day

Cal Ripken

I admire Cal a lot. He played 2,632 consecutive games over 21 years with the Baltimore Orioles. Other than that, I really don't know much about him as a baseball player. I'm sure he was good or the managers wouldn't have kept him in the lineup.

The reason I looked up the number of games is I thought of trying to do seven miles a day for the same number of days as consecutive games he played. That would be a little over 7 years or 18,424 miles.

Mark Covert of Lancaster, Calif., who started July 23, 1968, has a 44 year streak of running at least 1 mile a day.

I'm not likely to challenge either of these streaks. But I do think it's important to set aside some time each day to do things I enjoy. Life would want me to work all the time doing what other people consider important. But I don't think it's selfish to do set aside some time each day to do things I enjoy.

My style doesn't include exercising with injuries. Still...the idea of a streak is alluring. I've been doing 7 miles a day, but that is probably too much to attempt for a streak...or is it? Maybe a streak of averaging 7 miles a day would be more doable. Before committing to it, I'll have to be ready. It would have to be just for myself.

I added the 7 mile streak to the summary at the top. It's going to be hard to maintain when we go shorter distances on a backpacking trip. So, I'm giving myself permission to break it and start over as many times as necessary until I'm in good enough shape to keep going.

Sore heels

Yesterday, I felt really good and averaged 4.1 mph for 7 miles. Now the bottoms of my heels are a little sore. I'll have to remember not to push harder when I'm feeling good as it can affect the next days too much. I'm not a big believer in the "No pain, no gain" philosophy. Sure it works if a person wants to achieve physical gains quickly. But it often ends up in loss of motivation or injury. The exception may be if the pain is the person's goal. Nothing wrong with that. A hard workout does feel satisfying.

Personally, I like to do about 80% of what I know I'm capable of and keep repeating this. Some say you can't expand your limits unless you press them. I've found the 80% increases over time without getting into bad fatigue, loss of motivation or injuries which can result in reducing distance for a long time.

In my opinion, 80% one hundred percent of the time is better than 100% eighty percent of the time.

Greenhorn Mountain Trail

Krister and I walked about 2.5 miles up the Greenhorn Mountain trail. The trail was mostly clear, but there was some snow in places. There is a nice campsite off to the north of the trail 1.7 miles from the trailhead. It would be a good place to go on Friday night if we leave after work.

The uphill sections did not seem as steep as they did last year. The scary parts did not seem as scary.

See you down the trail,


End of day

TransAmerica Trail Virtual Hike

Friday, March 30, 2012

Miles 480.3 to 487.3

Total Miles: 480.3
Miles Today: 7.00
Map waypoints: G to H

Google Map
Picture of the day

I snagged another state today. Alabama. Next it is off to touch Florida.

Last night I started to sleep outside on the hammock. I also tried a different sleeping bag which lays on top of the hammock. I find that very inconvenient as it's hard to get all the way into the hammock. I prefer to slide the sleeping bag over the hammock like a sock. Then it's easy to pull on and off. Back to the Alpine 20 sleeping bag next time.

In this book Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide To Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail (Volume 1) it says to make a list of how you would feel if you quit the trail. This is a more difficult list for me as I'm the type that just moves on to the next thing. I guess that's one of the was I would feel, but that's not going to help me complete the 48 states.

One thing that draws me away from this virtual hike is another more interesting virtual hike. That's what happened with the TransAmerica trail which I log each day. It's kind of cheating doing two at once, but I like the motivation from other walkers on the TransAmerica trail. The 48 state thing started because a friend was thinking of actually doing it. Then he decided he doesn't like hiking on the roads. I don't think I'd attempt it for real without a support system so I didn't have to stealth camp.

Well, on to the reasons:
1. I'd always wonder if I could/should have completed it.
2. The empty states would show everytime I refer to this blog.
3. I'd have to start a new blog as this one wouldn't make sense.

Not too many good reasons. Right now, I'm just looking ahead to Florida as the next intermediate goal. My short term goal is always "Get 7 miles today." The weather is good and should be good for a long time now. I'll have to be careful to watch it so I don't get derailed by an evening hailstorm or something.

Energy Deficit Syndrom (EDS)

This is a term I coined. It describes long term fatigue from trying to do too many miles daily. This is why I'm currently limiting my miles to about 7 miles a day. It's like a bathtub with the drain open and water running in. As long as the water doesn't drain faster than it runs in, there will be no drop in the level. But if I don't walk the equivalent of the water that runs in, I'm not using my full potential.

It's normal to feel a little stiffness in the morning. As long as it disappears quickly when I start walking in the morning, it's not a problem. However, if something hurts all day it means it can become a chronic problem. The only thing that can cure that is a long rest.

For a hike of 3 or 4 days, it's fine to push through a bit of discomfort. But for an "eternal" hike of 7,000 miles, I feel it is critical not to experience EDS.

Realistically, time doesn't allow me to go much more than 7 miles a day. However, I can do a little more on the weekends. For an actual long hike, there is nothing to do but hike. I'd be careful not to let my enthusiasm push me into EDS.

End of the day

See you down the trail,


TransAmerica Trail Virtual Hike

Today I added some more partners. They will show up on the map tomorrow. Gradually, I'll add as many as the program allows. That increases the odds of having someone being near me most of the time. This will add to my motivation.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Miles 472.9 to 480.3

Total Miles: 480.3
Miles Today: 7.49

Map waypoints: F to G
Google Map

Picture of the day

I'm reading this book on Kindle: Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide To Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail (Volume 1).  So far it is pretty good. In it, the author suggests we need to make a list of reasons to hike the trail. After a couple of months, people tend to get fed up with the difficulties of the trail. This is a virtual hike, so I don't have a lot of the difficulties of trail life, but I expect there will come times when my interest wanes. So here is my list.
1. I like to walk.
2. I'm a numbers person and I like to track things.
3. It keeps me in shape for backpacking.
4. It gives a reason to go out in all kinds of weather.
5. I meet a lot of people along the way.
6. It gives me a reason to visit different parts of town.
7. It gives me a reason to take pictures.
8. Blogging each day gives me something to do besides aimlessly surf the internet.
9. It gives me time to think. I am more creative when walking.
10 The blog gives me places to save pictures.
11. The pictures from Google Street view give me a general idea of what different parts of the country look like.
12. It keeps my mind off worries that really are not that important.
13. It gives me a break from important concerns so I can come back to them with a fresh outlook.
14. As I invest more into logging the hike, it makes it harder to quit walking.
15. I have some nice boots to wear out.
16. It gives me a reason to take walking breaks during the day.
17. I get to try out my backpacking clothes in bad weather.
18. I notice the passing seasons more.
19. It gives me something to do while I put off doing more important things.
20. When I hike in the woods, it will give me a place to save the trail maps, descriptions of the trails and pictures.

Krister and I tried going to the desert this morning again. But I got confused on the dirt "roads" and we ended up in a different place that wasn't interesting. We decided to just come home.

After an all you can eat lunch at the Mandarin, I went for a walk up to the univeristy which is a little over a mile away. I saw Anthony practicing on the outdoor stage and asked if I coul video him.

The reason I went to the university was to take a picture of the fountain, so here it is.

Stopping Location


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Miles 465.5 to 472.9

Total Miles: 472.9
Miles Today: 7.41
Map waypoints: E to F
Google Map

Picture of the day

This morning my son Krister and I went for a short walk in the desert to watch the sunrise. It was about 40 degrees. It was a great view. The fence is old and stretches a long way. The barbed wire is laying on the ground. It would have been a great day to hike to the horizon. But I had work to do.

Last night after washing my cheap Bear Claw shoes, I noticed the heel was worn through to the mid-sole. This afternoon I went out and bought a pair of American made Red Wing boots. They have a lifetime guarantee on the top. Free polishing and leather treatment anytime I want. They can be resoled for $75. I'll see how many miles I can get on them.

It's afternoon and I still have four miles to go thanks to the time spent shopping this afternoon. I may end up a little short on miles. Hopefully I can work it in.

This is the new playground built in the nearby park. The kids are really enjoying it a lot.

I finished the miles and then some. I walked 5 miles in the new Red Wing shoes averaging 4 miles an hour according to the GPS. They seem real easy to walk in. No problems with the shoes. Just a couple minor hot spots which will disappear as they break in.

I like the idea that people are spreading out with some ahead and some behind me. It makes it like a friendly race. I'll just stick to my miles and see what happens. Nice to see so many people out walking.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Miles 458.2 to 465.5

Total Miles: 465.5
Miles Today:  7.27
Map waypoints: D to E
Google Map

I'm developing a standard format to use from now on for the introduction. After a bunch of entries, it should be standardized and easier to follow.

I'm having fun at . It is a very easy way to keep track of mileage. The hike is a virtual hike, run or bicycle ride on the TransAmerica bicycle trail. In the past few days, I figured out how to get walking partners. It has proven to be motivational. For now, I'm planning to do 7 miles a day and let the others go ahead or behind. Still....if I am ending the day and someone is a short distance ahead of me, I may walk a little more. The group is starting to get spread out even after a few days. Hopefully, I can find someone who keeps about the same daily mileage. Then we can motivate each other. It's going to be harder to skip a day knowing someone may pass me. Those miles would be hard to gain back. I have the feeling consistency will be very important. Those who skip the fewest days will forge ahead even if their daily mileage is a little lower.

This morning was kind of clear and 56 degrees. The air felt more like Oklahoma early in the morning than Colorado. There is the feeling of a hot day ahead. I love the early morning walks before sunrise. It was quiet, so I could hear trains and distant trucks. 

This morning, I found a way to color the states I've been in. So in the future I'll add this to the top of each blog entry. Here is the site the map is made.

After yesterday's dust storm which made the front page of the paper, the air is clearing up. I could still see a residual brownish haze. But at least I could see Pike's Peak which is about 40 miles away. Unfortunately, it didn't show up in the picture. The trail marker is from the Front Range trail which runs from New Mexico to Wyoming. Lots of it is not planned yet, but at their website, the general route is available. It's more of a city trail and the only camping would be stealth camping.

I threw my Bear Claw shoes in the washer tonight. They have 500 miles on them. I try to wash them every 100 miles. After, I'll put Shoo Goo on the soles and repair a few little things on the top with Shoo Goo. I got them on sale at Super 5 for $25. They have lasted well and are comfortable. But they do not do well in the rain. They get wet and stay wet. So I just use them around town.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Miles 450 to 458.2

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to present the information. It will change along the way.

Total Miles: 458.16
Today's miles: 8.18

Just a note: The mileage is measured with a GPS.

Today goes from C to D

To see pictures, click on "print." Then click on "street view." Today's pictures will be in the last section.

The morning started out nice and cloudy. Most of my walks were just .69 miles at a time around a couple blocks near home. I work at home, so I'm able to work in 10 or 15 minutes at a time a few times a day to go for a walk.

By the afternoon, it was sunny and 77 degrees. The winds were about 35 gusting to 55 mph. It was dusty enough so I couldn't see the mountains in the distance. Usually, I can see the mountains about 20 miles away.

States I've visited so far. (This will be updated whenever I cross into a new state.)

Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi.

The hardest part is to stay motivated. Weather doesn't bother me. I enjoy all kinds of weather. But it's easy to get "busy" doing other things and not work in the miles. For as long as I can, I'm going to try to do 7 miles a day. The exception will be when I go for a hike in the mountains.

Miles 438 to 450

This is the final catch up. Point B is where I will start with the next post. That's where I stopped last night.

Google Map

Miles 0 to 438

For the first 438 miles, I'm catching up to my current location. Click on the link below to get the information.

Google Map


I'm not so good at this blogging thing. I'd rather have a website where I can topically move pages around and put them were I want. But hey, this site is free and it is easy to make posts.

2 or 3 years ago, I got the idea to ride my Yamaha Majesty 400 through the 48 states in 10 days. I had the route all planned, but life and money got in the way, so I did not do it. This fall, I got the idea to convert it into a walking route in 10 months. A year is more realistic. So, I converted the scooter route to a walking route.

The idea is to step foot in the lower 48 states, walking the whole way. It took me a long time, but I finally found a route under 7,000 miles that appears doable, except for Nevada. Nevada presents some water challenges, but I think they can be overcome with one of those fancy baby running things to carry water just for that portion.

Well, if I couldn't afford 10 days on a scooter, I certainly can't afford a year on foot. It's not as out of reach as I think. I just need to really simplify my life to make it happen. Plus I'm a little afraid of law enforcement and stealth camping along the way. The only big city I go through is Atlanta and I think I can do that in one or 2 days, so it's probably doable.

I've been working at it since October and I'm about 460 miles into it. Not exactly burning up the pavement. But I've learned a few things about consistency and I am getting in better shape.

There have been some motivators along the way. The American Discovery Trail for one. It would be fun, but has some very difficult challenges in Utah and Nevada. Besides, people have done it before. Then there is the Appalacian Trail. Maybe some day, but I don't care for the "white blaze" attitude which I have a bad case of. To me, it's not a thru-hike without virtually touching every white blaze. But I know realistically, things come up and parts have to be skipped. Hurricanes, etc.

Then I ran across a great website for a virtual hike on the Transamerica Bicycle trail.

This is the best website I could find for virtual hikes. It has a real map and pictures. Still, it is not the 48 states.

My plan is to eventually put up the map for te 48 states as I hike it. I'll play catchup for the first 50 some days or about 438 miles. Then I'll add the rest as I walk it.

My intent is not to keep the route a secret. If anyone is intending to hike the 48 states, I can send the route in Streets and Trips format. I'd post it here, but I think there are copyright restictions and you know how Microsoft is.

The links to the route are on each page. Click on the link. If you want to see pictures, select print. It will go to another page. Wait a few seconds and select street view.

In order to motivate myself, I've kind of committed to 7 miles a day. At this rate it will take about 3 years to walk the trail. I'll add each stopping point to the map as I walk to it. Since google only holds 25 points, I can't get the whole trail in one map. I wish I could.

Well, let's see what happens. I'll blog each day as if it's a trail journal. Many will be short as they are repetitive. I'll include pictures if I see something interesting.

See you down the trail,