Tag: Hiking

Challenging Myself to do more Hiking!

Hey Everyone!

I love hiking, I really do, I just don’t do it often enough to really be building up my endurance. I am trying to change all that.

There is something about being out in the woods that I love. I love listening to the birds chirp and sing. I would love to be able to know what birds I am hearing by the sound they make.

I have also thought it would be interesting to learn some of the basics about botany so I can better tell what plants I am seeing while I am out and know what is poisonous and what’s not. For instance I know I saw poison oak out there today but to be able to see it quickly at a glance I cannot tell you where all I saw it on that mountain.

There are plenty of hikes that I would love to do, but I am not able to do them yet, without a ton of exertion and having it take all day. That is why I am doing a lot of the same hikes over and over again right now, they are still challenging enough that I can start getting into shape on these easier courses, and work up to eventually doing other trails.

My Danner hiking boots are finally getting broken in to the point where I am not getting blisters every time I hike. I also tape my toes and use moleskin on my heels.


Girls Who Hike

Hey Everyone!

I am back from yet another great, any by great I mean the first half was awesome, and the second half I was just ready to be done. At one point I thought “and people do this for fun?” Then I reminded myself why I was out there.

I had mad respect for the women who can hike 10+ miles in a day, and those who go backpacking, at which point they section hike long trails or even through hike trails like the PCT and the AT. That takes mad endurance.

I would love to be able to work up to having the endurance to hike the whole 7.2 mile trail of 10 falls in Silver Falls state park as well as section hike parts of the PCT and John Muir trail through the Sierra in Northern California. I would also love to do the hike at Lake Louise to the Lake Agnes Teahouse.

I keep watching some of friends hiking adventures as well as vlogs from other women hikers like Cat Gregory, who have helped inspire me to get back into hiking and that I do enjoy hiking and being out in nature.

I am pretty much still in the newbie stage, where a 3.37 mile hike has more than kicked my butt at mile 2.

If I let the whole Trail – 1, Erica – 0, and the whole my boots are still in the process of being broken in get me down, then I will for sure give up I my dreams and not get into shape and not build up the endurance I need to make my dreams of hiking certain trails happen.

I don’t expect to through hike the PCT in the shape I am in. I know that I need to keep doing these smaller hiking and mastering them and continue building on the progress I am making.

I had also taken Winnie the Pooh and Tigger with me on this adventure. I had considered leaving them home but ended up taking them.

Today had turned out to be a beautiful day, which is why I went out for a hike today. I went back up to one of my favorite spots – Mt Talbert. Coming down from the summit trail, I decided to go the long way back all the way around the mountain to get to the parking lot where I left my car. This added an extra mile and a half to my hike and a lot more ascending. On the route I usually do, once you have come off the summit, it’s pretty much all down hill from there. Going the other way on the park loop after doing the summit, and then going back the west ridge trail means descending and then ascending half way up the mountain again a couple more times before you get to where the summit trail takes off from the west ridge trail. Once I was back to that split it was all down hill from there. I will be doing that route again in the future, but I think I will have to start earlier in the day and not wait until the heat of the day, in the middle of the afternoon.

The Lull Between the Storms

Hey Everyone!

I am really trying to get back into hiking. I hadn’t really hiked in almost two years, so all the progress I had made went out the window. So I am starting all over working on building up my endurance. The hike I went on today was only 1.86 miles / 3 km hike and it kicked my butt. My hike gained 417 feet / 127 meters in elevation over the course of the first mile from where I started to the top of the mountain.

It was such a gorgeous day out. The trail in parts was a bit muddy, and other parts were dry. It had rained so much over the weekend (like 2+ inches in about 36 hours). Today was partially sunny and warm, so the woods smelled amazing and the birds were chirping. So besides the blister I got while hiking, it was an amazing day.

Like I said earlier I am trying to work on build up my endurance, so I can knock out these shorter hikes with ease, and start taking on longer and more challenging hikes.

With starting to build up my endurance, I am still working on breaking in my new boots. While I am still getting a blister here and there, one that I got on the way back down is a lot better than three that started forming on the way up on my first hike with my new boots. Overall I love my Danner boots and they fit so much better than the last pair I had. I have also put the fatigue fighter footbeds (ie insoles) back in now that I have started breaking them in and they are loosening up a bit. I think that was part of the problem with the new blister. With the insoles, the backs of my boots were rubbing a different part of my heel than they had previously, so I hadn’t thought to put moleskin on that spot.

Breaking in new hiking boots it a pain, but in the long term will hopefully be worth it if I can get the wear out of them, and have them last for a while. After I got home and got the leather cleaned up, I rubbed in some more boot dressing to help keep them from drying out, and to help them break in more.

Hiking Season is Well Underway!!! Mt Talbert

Hey Everyone!

Today turned out to be another beautiful day, with highs in the upper 60’s, or reaching 70.

While I had been wanting to go for a hike at one of my favorite spots today, I really didn’t want to spend the gas to go there and back today, so I went to Mt. Talbert instead.

While this his was not as long as the hike I went in last week, there was a greater elevation gain (367 ft vs 313 ft) over a shorter distance going up. The paths are also a bit rougher.

I definitely enjoyed my hike today, and I love seeing how the scenery can change in such a small area, with different types of trees, and it being more wooded (with more Douglas fir trees) versus sparser tree grouping that are deciduous trees.

I had gotten a container of the Danner boot dressing and had applied some to my boots over the weekend. That has definitely seemed to help my boots soften up and not be so stiff. While I am not going to say that my boots are 100% broken in, they are definitely more so this hike than they were the last hike.

I also used moleskin and bandaids on the areas where I got (and still have remnants of) blisters to give them a little extra cushioning.

I have definitely missed going hiking and I am glad to be getting back into this activity that I love so much. I am also glad I invested in some new hiking boots that are working out better for me than my last pair.

Hope to be out Hiking again soon!

Hey Everyone!

After my hike the other day, I knew the chamberlain’s leather milk wasn’t strong enough to really help me get my boots broken in without completely tearing my feet apart.

Wednesday, which was the day after my last hike, I ordered some of the clear Danner boot dressing. Beings that it is from the same brand my boots are, it’s been designed for my boots and to help break them in.

I got it in just a bit ago and took the time to get my boots rubbed down with the dressing. Beings that it is supposed to be dry and warm (for this time of year) between now and sometime Tuesday morning, it is the perfect time to let them soak in the dressing over the weekend. I will check them over the weekend and see how they are doing.

I hope to get out and go for another hike on Monday, and see how the Danner boot dressing helps. By then, I am hoping my blisters from the last hike will be better. I will definitely bandage up the spots where I got blisters the last time really good, to protect what is left of any existing blisters and help prevent further damage.

This is turning into a lot of time, money and effort to get my boots conditioned and broken in. I am really hoping it is all worth it, and I can get them broken in (and soon) and have my boots last for years. Beings that they are the stitch down full grain leather boots, if I can keep the uppers conditioned and in good shape, they should hopefully be able to be resoled when the time comes.

Hiking Season is Here!!!! Cooper Mountain Nature Park

Hey Everyone!

It has been a beautiful day today, here in the Pacific Northwest. I have been dying to go hiking for a couple months now. Between being sick and being rainy and cold it just wasn’t conducive to going out.

I also wanted to continue working on breaking in my new hiking boots. I did pull out the insoles I had put in, and they did fit a lot better, but still need breaking in. Even though I covered up the blisters I got the other day really well, they are still sore, and I got another couple that aren’t so bad. Like I said in another post, I am learning where I need to put tape and such before I go hiking again, and I also want to let the blisters I have get better.

I haven’t been hiking in about 9 months, and I only went about three times last year, so I really haven’t been hiking regularly since the end of summer 2016.

I am trying to ease myself back into hiking and keep at it. My Goal when I was hiking was to try to get to where I could knock out these 2.5 – 5 mile hikes easy without needing to take breaks in the uphill portion. That is what I want to work toward again, especially since I never accomplished it the first time.

While I have no real goal to doing anything like hike the PCT or the AT, I definitely want to be able to take on longer and more challenging hikes with a bit more ease. Like I mentioned, I want to say in my last post, I definitely want to section hike through some of the PCT thorough the Sierras in Northern California.

Today I did about 2.75 miles at Cooper Mountain Nature Park, which is one of the local hiking spots in the area that I liveZ it is currently one of my favorites, especially since I am very much a beginner hiker. The trails are more maintained, which is nice. It’s nice since I haven’t hiked for a few months and I also have old injuries that like to rear their ugly head whenever I start any sort of exercise again. I am hoping that with time, and keeping at hiking, it won’t be so bad.

I also like Mt. Talbert. The trails are not as maintained as Cooper Mountain, but it is another good one for someone who is getting back into hiking and isn’t super difficult.

As a kid I hated hiking. As an adult and being able to go hiking on my own, at my own rate or with a good friend who also hiked at a similar rate, hiking became one of my favorite pass times. I love being outdoors, especially in the woods. What I didn’t know as a kid, was how much of a country girl I am (I was raised in the city), and how much accepting that fact would help me come into my own and be at peace with who I am.

Breaking in new Hiking Boots

Hey Everyone!

Today was just one of those days where I just needed to get outside and get moving. It also helped that I have new hiking boots I am trying to break in.

I went for a roughly two mile walk, to get a feel for my new boots and how they wear, and the areas that rub and are blister prone. I did end up with a blister on the back of each of my legs from where the top of my boots were rubbing. Even with socks on, I got blisters. I also have a couple of spots that it also wouldn’t hurt to use moleskin on in the future.

I also noticed that with the fatigue fighter foot beds and socks that have a little padding on the bottom, my toes were pretty squished. I am going to try going for a walk a little later in the week with a pair of regular thickness socks and see if it is any better, as I really don’t want to pull out the insoles and go without them. Though if it ends up being taking out the insoles or potentially losing a toenail, I will ditch the insoles, as the boots felt fine without them when I tried them on.

I am feeling like I won’t be having the issues that I did with my old pair of (cheap) boots, with my heels slipping around and my feet sliding forward in the boots causing blisters on the side of my heel.

I am definitely hoping I can get these boots broken in, sooner rather than later. I would love to be building my endurance back up and be able to take on longer and more challenging hikes.

Now that I am home and cleaned up, I also put some blister bandaids on my blisters and trying to drink more water.