January 4, 2015

2014 Measured in Boots and Love

By Stephon Boatwright In ADKs, On the Trail, Reviews

There’s a lot of ways to measure and evaluate a year.  I’ve decided to do it Rent style and measure in love (if you don’t get the reference, stop reading and immediately watch Seasons of Love).  There’s a lot of things I love, but hiking produces a certain kind of love that can be hard to explain, let alone quantify.  How does one evaluate hiking when the unit of measurement is love?  Why, steps of course.  One will average 2,000 steps in a typical mile.  I estimate I hiked around 200 miles this year, giving me something like 400,000 steps, that’s 400,000 footsteps of pure love.  I stepped foot for the first time on both the Appalachian Trail and the Bright Angel in the Grand Canyon, I broke the halfway mark on the way to climbing all 46 peaks in the Adirondacks, and I did it all with a smile on my face, even when isolated or close to death.

Every love story has a downside though, mine coming when I had to dump my long-time pair of boots after my grueling 40 mile hike through the Grand Canyon.  As I took one last shot of them before they were ceremoniously dumped in the trash of the GC convenience store, it dawned on me how my pair of Merrel Moabs had been with me everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE.

I’m talking winter in the Adirondacks:

Spring hitchhiking in the Appalachians:
Early summer in the Rockies:
Later summer in the dessert:
Flirted around with other boots:
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And this summer met their demise at the ripe old age of two:
I feel like I’m getting more sentimental over mostly ridiculous things as time goes on, but a hiker is nothing without their boots!  Other than the love of wandering hundreds of miles, 2014 was an extreme roller coaster with rock bottom lows and nose bleed highs.  I look forward to making 2015 much more of the latter than the former, with new stories, boots and as always, love to share.  Happy New Year!

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