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: