Friday, February 29, 2008

Appalachian Trail info

for new recruits: Feel free to start at whatever point will be most motivating for you. At the beginning is fine, or pick another mile marker -- current walkers have done anywhere from 350 to 1500 miles as of 1 January, so wherever you start, you'll be near somebody -- and we're all together anyway :D

For the first section of this hike, we're starting from Springer Mountain in Georgia and going to Rock Gap Shelter on the North Carolina/Tennessee border, a distance of 103 miles. From there, we just keep on walking ;) You can look here for a list of the shelters we'll pass through. Here's a map that will let us look at our progress until I get our map working*.

This web site includes lots of information about the AT. If you want more detailed information about the places we're walking, you can look in this guide book.

When the last person gets to the Blue Mountain shelter at 48.5 miles, we'll have our first virtual campfire. Virtual campfires happen at the end of the month, for everybody, no matter how slowly you're going.

*I'm not sure when I'll have the map; I've got some family issues going on that are eating into my time and energy. But it's coming along nicely.
I am so far behind everyone I might as well be first! I have spent time helping a friend move, but of course never think to take the pedometer with me, but since we spent the weekend in Kamloops, not many miles have been logged.
Friday we drove
Sat we moved boxes, moved boxes, and then went shopping at the mall - I will give myself a mile, since I know it was more.
Sun we drove back, but stopped in Golden where I met up with daughter who was taking an avalanche safety course, and drove her home since she tumbled down the hill on Sat and hurt her neck and shoulders. Did quite a bit of walking while waiting for her, so will give myself another mile.
also managed to hurt my foot, so slowed down once I got home.
Mon, sore foot, no walking. Tues, went to gym, used bike but no walking. Wed, walked dog, 1 mile.
thurs, hurt foot again, no walking. Friday, met trainer at gym, 1.5 miles on elliptical, now things are getting back on track!
total since last post 4.5 miles,
total to date 27.1

even though I am so far behind, I still like tracking it this way, cause at least I put a bit more effort into it.
hope you all are having a good day.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Since tomorrow is Leap Year/Day/whatever,

would y'all mind if I start the Appalachian a day early? I have to drive to Chicago on Saturday to pick up rain barrels and will likely be in the car most of the day. I'll let you put it to a majority vote and check back later. Thanks!

Day 28

I will be doing yoga tonight instead of walking -- something to do with sore feet from last weekend's extra walking and sore thigh muscles from two nights on the exercise bike. But I'll put up today's post anyway :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Day 27

I walked 1.9 miles today. 44.3 plus 1.9 is 46.2 -- not even a mile to go. I can do this!

How's everybody else doing?

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We're currently (as of 1 March 2008) hiking the Appalachian Trail, which runs from the top of Springer Mountain in Georgia to the top of Mt. Katahdin in Maine, a distance of about 2175 miles, not counting getting off Katahdin at the end. Here's a map and overview of the trail. We'll have a progress marker where we can track our mileage, and periodically we'll have "virtual campfires" where we can roast marshmallows, share progress, and tell ghost stories. this works...

You can count anything that you do under human power, you just have to be able to measure it. This means you can walk, cycle, row, whatever. Outside or on a gym machine. Track your progress in miles; it'll be easiest if we're all working on the same frame. (The information bar includes a pointer to a kilometers-to-miles converter if you need one.)

Every day, whoever's ready to tally up first creates a post with their mileage for the day, and the rest can post in comments. Doesn't matter who. Everyone here has author privileges; it's a group blog. We don't have to check in daily, but I'd guess two or three times a week might be the minimum to keep inspired. I'd suggest we post our progress as today's miles/ miles so far/ total goal.

We're going to post in photos when we can locate ones that show where we are, so watch for those!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Day 26

Wow, I'm first? Did all you Easterners take your pedometers to bed with you? :O

So when I got back to the store this morning, after my walk, I discovered that I'd somehow tucked the pedometer into my waistband wrong and it had counted no steps at all. Being as I've noticed that I'm averaging about 100 steps a minute, I'm calling the morning walk 5000 steps, and with what counted after that, I'm at 6828 for the day, which we'll call 2.5 miles for a February total of 75.6 miles.

Walking at home will be entertaining on the weekend. Our driveway and road are a mud and slush pit, so bad we're back to driving the truck because we keep getting stuck with the car. With the snow plow piles on either side of the driveway, there's no place for the slush to drain away to when it melts. It just sits there and refreezes at night. What a mess.

Next walk

I propose is that we "section hike" the Appalachian Trail. This is a common way for people who aren't up for 8 miles a day backpacking to cover the trail, so we'll still be in the spirit of the thing. It'll give us some longer-term goals to shoot for, but hopefully not be so long that it's daunting. I'm thinking maybe 250-mile chunks, which should take 4-5 months to complete for most of us. (Jean and Val will, I assume, continue to lap the rest of the field :))

I don't think I'm going to be able to get the tracking stuff working for March 1, so maybe we can target just the first 50 miles next month. That will give me time to get the widget working and test it out.

Does that sound okay with everybody?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Day 25

Not a bad day today. 9223 steps and 4.1 miles. 3422 aerobic steps in 32 minutes.

How was your day?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 24

We walked around the pond today, 2.5 miles. It was tough walking; although lots of dog-walkers had beaten a path, the snow was still deep and soft and shifted underfoot. But the sun was out and the temp must have been at least 37-38F.

36.8 + 2.5 = 39.3

Today I learned that it is an estimated 5 million steps to walk the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Day 23

Did my regular loop twice today -- the nice thing about snow in February, as opposed to snow in December, is that now the sun is starting to come back and shines down with enough warmth to melt the ice on the roads. So no problems with footing.

33.6 + 3.2 = 36.8

Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 22

Pretty routine day today -- almost the same as yesterday, it turns out.

7500 step for 3.3 miles. 3428 aerobic steps in 33 minutes.

Total distance? 73 miles

The guy still hasn't come back to finish the tree job, which means my fence is still down. Tomorrow, I'm going to drag the fence out of my neighbor's side yard and into my back yard. I'm not happy that the guy left the fence parts sitting in my neighbor's yard. I'm tempted to reassemble the gate myself. I'm tired of having to have Hershey in the house (he's not complaining, of course.).

Hoar Frost

Written in second person, just for the fun of it!

Since you started walking to somewhere, you've been dropping off your husband at work every morning--you start an hour later than he does--and, once you've parked the car behind the shop, you head out for a brisk walk. You pull your knitted headband low over your forehead and ears and tug on your fleece gloves. It's a cold one today, and you're glad you grabbed the coat that goes to your knees. It will help keep your thighs from going numb.

A damp fog settled over the valley last night, and the visibility is still low. It's not dangerous to walk, though, so long as you watch out for patches of ice. Yesterday's temperatures got several degrees above freezing, and the resulting melt-off was shocked to a halt overnight, icing over wherever it happened to be.

The air is crisp, smelling of wood smoke and frost, as you hike north on eleventh avenue, up the hill. Hoar frost graces every strand of nature. The shrub on your right has feathery fronds that reach heavenward, each minute hair delicately crisped with white. The cedar up the block, the pine across from it--each needle accentuated.

This chain link fence is utilitarian and normally slinks in the background. Today you marvel at the precision of the stark white grids, blazoning its presence. The wrought iron on the fence down the block is also covered with white crystals, giving it a fuzzy appearance.

Your cheeks and chin and nose are burning with cold, but when you cover them with your gloved hands, your glasses fog up, rendering you blind. You pause a moment, unsure of your footing until you can see again.

Your attention is caught by birds fluttering and chirping, so you hurry around the corner to see what they're excited about. You stop in awe at the sight of a mountain ash tree, delicately painted in white frost, every twig, every clump of red berries frosted over. A bird feeder hangs from a branch, and the LBBs* are having the best time swooping from ground to feeder and back again, chittering with each other as they go.

Intended walking route forgotten, you catch a glimpse around the next corner and head over to see what new marvels await. You're so glad you did, for a majestic weeping willow stands streaming with tails of frost, hundreds upon thousands of them, each delicately outlined. In the corner of the yard, a clump of ornamental grasses at least ten feet tall has never looked as festive as it does today.

Beauty is all around you, and even though you can't wait for spring, you can't help but treasure this morning walk.

*LBBs are otherwise known as Little Brown Birds.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Day 21

I did my usual loop, 1.6 miles, for a total of 31.1.

Bright moonlight with a few hazy clouds drifting across a sky that was the definition of midnight blue. Temperature around 20F and dropping. Definitely brisk.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 20

The only way to reach parts of the Pacific Coast trail is
by seaplane. Did you see one today?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Day 19

Busy, busy. The weather is holding for now so maybe I can make a little more progress.

Today and yesterday: 2.5 miles
Total: 32.65

How long is this thing? 47 miles?

measuring progress

I'm looking at a couple of tools that might let us have our own progress markers on a separate map. That would make it seem more like we were walking together even though we aren't all doing the same mileage. (Googlemaps might do the trick, but I have to refresh a lot of creaky old web programming knowledge.) If that works, we'd each have a progress marker for our current position on the trail. I *think* but I'm not positive that it can save the intermediate markers as well. But that would mean we all need to walk the same trail.

Anybody have any input for tracking features they want, or don't want, or anything like that? I'm not saying it will turn out that way, but it's easier to think of possible features now while I'm designing than to add something later.

If I can't get the maps idea to work, we can fall back on individual progress bars, but I think it would be cool to have something we could all share.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 18

I'm doubling back on the trail. I think I dropped something.

Today, I walked for 5200 steps and 2.3 miles. For aerobic steps, I logged 3537 in 33 minutes.

Total distance: 59.6 miles

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Day 17

Several short walks today netted me 8647 steps/ 3.2 miles for a February total of 51.1

How was your day?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day 16

How's the weather where you are? We've got freezing rain. Again.

Today: 2.25 miles
Total: 28.65

Friday, February 15, 2008

Day 15

I forgot to put on my pedometer today, but based on how busy we were at work today and past mileage on similar days, I am calling in 1.5 miles. That gets me to 26.4 total.

Let's talk about future plans

How are you all feeling about this group walking challenge? Is it working? Is it helpful?

Is there anything we can do as a group to make it more satisfying? For instance, should we do the little progress graphs on here we'd once talked about? Is there some other way to keep visual track--a map with little pins for example? I can't think of a way to do so that doesn't make one person responsible for moving the *pins* daily, but perhaps someone else is smarter than me!

I've popped a couple of you-tubes in--was that a good idea? Bonnie popped in a couple of photos. Should we do it oftener? Should we spend more time looking for props like that? Should a different person be responsible for finding and posting something up every week, for example? Any other ideas for helping out the visualness of the walk?

Would you prefer to have us all upload a photo from time to time to show where we're walking in actual fact?

When do we start the next walk? As you know, Jean's already finished her celebratory dinner in Port Renfrew at the south end of the West Coast Trail.

I'm wondering if we should start the next official walk on March first. Is there any point in pretending that we're walking together? If we're going to keep the pretense up :P , where are we hiking next?

I've heard the Appalachian Trail mentioned (over 2000 miles, so 2-3 years.) We've talked about carving a route across the USA and north into BC to *visit* everyone's hometown. EJ figured that to be over 5000 miles. Somebody mentioned the Cumberland Trail. I'd really like to see some input on choosing this, especially as regards the length. Do we want to do more *short* hikes like the West Coast Trail, or embark in ambitiousness?

Does anyone want OUT? Does anyone have a friend who wants IN?

Let's talk!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

wow, I love a sunny day, though the melt, freeze, melt cycle can be a bit dangerous. Missy (my dog) & I walked 3 miles in the community forest (she was actually closer to 4 with all her running around) and I also walked 1.65 miles at the gym. I am still trying to get the pedometer to work for me with the outdoor walking, so I have had to use the highly technical skill of "guestimating", but I have measured this out before so I am pretty certain of it, and may even be a bit on the low side. At the gym, the pedometer is right on with the treadmill, so I am going to go with it.
2120 steps = 1 mile for me.

total today 4.65 miles
total to date 12.95 miles

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Day 13

How'd y'all do today? I was busy at work, and the weather improved for a minute, so I took advantage of it. I did 3.5 miles today, which gets me to 21.4 total. Tomorrow should be very similar. We're doing our Third Annual Valentines Dinner at The Day Job so I'll be hopping for several hours.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Day 12

I don't mind posting first every day. I was just worried that people thought they had to wait for an "official" post or something.

I got 2.3 miles today, for 18.5 total.

Monday, February 11, 2008

The 11th Day

I know...I'm bad keeping up my totals here. 3.5 miles today. Total 24. There's a day I forgot to mention. Probably 2 days. Sorry about that.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day 10

To save Bonnie the trouble. :) How'd we do today?

West Coast Trail Cable Cars 1

Just in case you thought there was only WALKING on the West Coast Trail, you were wrong! Sometimes the creeks are too big for wading through.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Day 9

I went skiing today. Downhill. I know this is covering the miles by human propulsion, but I think I need to take a discount for the gravity-aided thing. Even though my legs are tired and shaky.

So, I'll say about 3 miles, to put me at 13 total.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Day 8

I'm out of wise and witty things to say for the day, so I'll just start.

I walked my usual 1.6 mile loop today, bringing me to 10 miles total.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

slightly off topic

I couldn't resist posting this, considering how much walking we're all doing :)

generate electricity while walking

Day 7

I think we're all past the Pachena lighthouse by now. Nice in the summer, isn't it?


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Day 6

The weather on the West Coast Trail today was 3C and rainy -- just about identical to the weather in Boston. How did we do?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Day 5

So did we walk today?

Here's what we might have encountered on the trail: so steep it takes a ladder

Monday, February 4, 2008

Day 4

I thought you might enjoy a glimpse of the trail and the sights along it, so I hunted up this You-Tube clip. How has Day Four been treating you?

Pachena Bay

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Day 3

I didn’t get any walking done yesterday. Life just happened. Today I was up early. I can’t say bright and early since the sun wasn’t even up. 2.5 miles complete. Oops forgot to mention my total is 5 miles.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Here we are: Day 2!

I was able to make up for a slow start yesterday. Hershey and I got a walk first thing. Then I picked up tree branches in the backyard from the storm earlier in the week and moved them to the curb. Then I had to go to Lowe's to buy materials to patch a hole one branch had put in my roof. On the way back, I shopped for groceries. Then I did other sundry walking and managed to get 7612 steps in today for 3.4 miles.

Still not 10k as recommended, but I'm usually comfortable with getting that many steps in.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Wow, I'm the first?

Hmph. Not sure how that happened. I barely got a mile in today, but I did half of it outside in 7" of snow. Do I get extra credit for that? ;-)

West Coast Trail Weather

I've added a link to the sidebar for weather in Bamfield. This morning it is foggy and freezing (0 degrees Celcius, 32 degrees Fahrenheit). The humidity is 100% and the visibility is about .8 km (half a mile), but there's no wind.

Happy hiking!