The Blog of Daniel

Just my place to write without any delusions of self-importance.

Gone and Back

I went for a couple hour hike today and it was pretty damned chilly outside.  I forgot my damn camera too!  I'm going to go again tomorrow and it supposed to be about 10 degrees warmer too.

For now I think i'll stick with hiking an Usery Mountain Regional Park until I've done all the trails there.  It's the closest to me and will give me a good place to break in my old hiking gear.  Yes, I have official hiking gear as opposed to those who just casually do it all with nothing buy cheap sneakers and bottled water from the store.

I went with good hiking gear after my first experience with hiking difficult places like some of the Yosemite trails.  The very first time I went on a difficult hike with friends I was completely unprepared for it.  I had a custom tailored but inappropriate denim day pack, a small canteen and I was wearing a pair of $3 sneakers.  What made it even more difficult was listening to bad advice like "don't drink too much water or you will get cramps."    Cramps were the least of my problem and by the end of the hike I was severely dehydrated and was barely able to walk for many days.

After that, I read books and backpacker and hiking magazines, and got equipment that I still have to this very day.  I also took careful note of my own capabilities.  Since I do have a disability, I have to include the variations it may cause.  The next year I went with the same friends and we planned a very strenuous hike.  The giggled about my boots, fancy $400 day pack, water bottles and camel-back water bag.  I was wearing silk liner socks and wool outer socks and this too was laughed at.  Since the weather was weird, I even had my Goretex stuffed into my pack.  When we finally got to the trail head, I got about 100 feet up it and said "screw this, I'm not doing it."  Even with all  my fancy gear, I thought it would be dangerous for me personally.  Going up it I would be fine but coming back down in the evening could go very bad so I didn't do.  They went on without me and had nothing but but really bad mishaps.  I did an alternate trail alone, went twice as far and had one hell of a nice time.  Unlike my friends, I didn't get a single blister thanks to good socks.

Every year after I re-did the original hike that caused me so much pain.  On average it takes me twice as long as anyone else to do it.  Some people snicker at that but I look at it this way:  It takes the average person 7 hours to do Nevada Falls in Yosemite but I take around 14 hours to do it.  That's twice as much stamina (and enjoyment) as the average person.  I would have to say that I'm better off in the end.

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