The problem with long distance hiking is that after walking a trail of a few hundred or thousand miles, shorter trips like day hikes and weekenders seem to loose their luster. I’m fully aware that this is a spoiled brat point of view, but it’s reality, folks. It’s like drugs….er… so they tell me.
Weekend trips are nice. There’s a night out under the stars, a tough climb or two, hopefully a worthwhile view, then it’s back in the car and headed for home and a shower; maybe pick up a bacon cheeseburger and hot cup of coffee on the way (always my first choice!). Nice, but give me a month on the trail any day. I want to hear my stomach growl all day and get completely filthy. I want to hitchhike, get in killer shape, and enjoy every bit of food like it’s my last meal. I want to cross state lines, meet fellow journeyers or see no sign of people for a solid week–give me the life!
Someday again. But for now, April and I are getting ready to move out of apartment living–get our own place and get a few things incubating. The phrase “settling down” gives us both a few goosebumps; it sounds too static, too lazy. So we’re going to call it something else; how does “sinking our roots” sound? I like it. The hiking bug still bites and bites and bites us, so, as they say at my job, we’ve developed an interim plan.
We’re going to climb all the 4000-footers in the White Mountains. Day hikes and weekend trips, yes, but there’s a long term aspect, an accomplishment, a goal in mind. It’s an adventure, but also an opportunity to really get to know a place, which is something often lost in true distance hiking.
There are 48 peaks that officially comprise the White Mountain 4000-footers. As humans tend to crave recognition, there’s even a club that offers official recognition for finishers. I’m going to post as we climb each one, so by the end there should be a pretty good description of all the climbs.