Back!

Survived the trip. I’ll post some photo’s in a few days, once I get caught up at work, and get over the leg cramps and blistered feet!

We ended up going in Friday, about 12:30 in the afternoon. It started raining about 4:00, so we set camp for the night.

Saturday we made 10 miles before I was ready to collapse. Up and over “Heartbreak Ridge” was pretty rough with 50 pounds of stuff on my back.

Sunday was harsh. We did a 5 mile “strenuous” trail up out of the valley to the access point to get picked up. Surprisingly, spending twenty years as a programmer with ten to twelve hours a day sitting in front of a computer doesn’t seem to prepare someone for a 5 mile climb with gear.

Fortunately, my oldest son was with, who has already survived basic training. We escaped the clutches of the wilderness intact, and I can cross one more thing off my “bucket list”. Over all, we did 20 miles in 48 hours. Only about 18 hours were actually hiking.

I also learned something. Many fantasy stories feature long, walking treks across hill and dale with nary a thought to the physical strain of actually doing so. I am fairly certain that my main character is going to have quite a bit to say about her trip now that I have a bit more first hand knowledge of what it takes.

5 thoughts on “Back!”

  1. Glad you survived your brush with untamed wilderness, Andrew.

    Funny, I always assumed those fantasy characters were simply made of sterner stuff than us cosseted mouse-pushers. After a hard day’s ploughing maybe a few miles up & down mountains would seem like a vacation.

  2. Nice to have you back!
    And yeah, I was thinking that too – fantasy people walk and climb a lot (especially since they don’t have money for horses) and cities tend to be closer to one another (at walking distance). So I’d think they’d be prepared. Only us modern people grind and whine :p
    Never went hiking, but I hate climbing. Have no problem with walking though :p

  3. Good research 🙂 Yeah, the fantasy people don’t sit at their computers all day. So they’re probably more accustomed to it. Might mention a blister or two though. I’m pretty sure Mir didn’t do a lot of long-distance trekking before she left.

    I love the outdoors, but I’m not much for sleeping out there. I like beds and indoor plumbing. Glad you survived.

  4. 20 miles in 48 hours?! I would collapse! Do they have air conditioning and Gatorade IV’s on those hiking trails? 😉 I’m glad you’re back.

  5. Gatorade IV would have been nice. It was mid-90’s, with 80 some percent humidity the whole time and no air movement to speak of. I drank about 200 oz. of water Saturday. No electrolytes though (didn’t bring any gatorade powder), so it got pretty rough.

    MRE’s for meals though got us some good energy.

    As for characters, I am mixed on this one. Most fantasy stories have the MC as someone who doesn’t start out being very physical. My MC, Mirian, is a priestess in a temple. Not a lot of strenuous hiking involved there. Plus, there isn’t much thought to what they are carrying. I make vague references to a bag of stuff thr0ughout her trip, and I have detailed what’s in it, but the act of carrying a sack full of crap makes the trip that much harder. Plus, without it being a backpack of some sort, it just means it is that much more awkward and difficult to carry along.

    Lot’s to think about, that’s for sure. Thanks for the warm replies from everyone!

    –j–

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