Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Some thouhts on yesterday's post

In re-reading my post from yesterday I realize many of you have read a similar post from me for several years.  Every now and then I get backpacking fever so badly I just can hardly bear it.  And as every year goes by the likelihood that I could even try it again is reduced.

I went back last night and read the blog for my Appalachian Trail (AT) attempted thru-hike in 1997, and it all came back to me - the joys, the pain, the people, the rain, etc.  When I came to the last section I wrote years later about my wonderful companion, black lab Smoky, I just cried.  

I still intend to have a go at it again, but at this point with my health issues on this side of the horizon, I don't know how I'll manage it.  Maybe when I get back from NY I could try some overnighters here in CA, and I'd definitely like to be in decent enough shape to day-hike a couple of trails in the Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge on my way back in the fall.

I drove back to REI today to pick up the book I had ordered and have already picked out a couple of campgrounds along the route I'll be traveling across NY state.  Whether there are any available campsites in late August is another story, but if I hit them during the week I might find someplace to overnight.  

In the meantime I'd like to find a suitable hiking partner or two here in my area - someone not too much younger than I am. 

I thought I was so smart and the compass I bought would be a piece of cake!  It is slightly different than most I've seen, in the area of the pointer.  Most pointers are red on one end, and that's the end that points north.  My new one has a pointer with a circle on one end and a "fork" on the other.  I figured the forked end would be the pointing end and indicate north.  I knew something wasn't right, but as I've explained, the streets here are on the diagonal, and the houses are on the diagonal on their respective lots.  Finding north accurately isn't easy but I have a good general idea.  I got frustrated when I could't get it to work, and even found websites telling how to work with a compass.  

Finally in total desperation I pulled out the instructions that came with the compass and found a list of and explanations of features.  Turns out the circle end of the pointer goes to North.  Well duh, Marty.  When all else fails, read the instructions.  Once I had it properly aligned and everything was where I knew it to be, I'm confident I will get a lot of use out of this little device.  It doesn't require batteries or recharging, doesn't send you messages, doesn't beep or flash or have apps, but is just a plain and simple survival tool.  If I'm hiking a mountain trail and wonder what is the name of a mountain I'm looking at, I just orient the compass to the map and get my answer.  (And I wouldn't think of being out on a mountain trail without a map that doesn't require batteries, need recharging, etc.)  I think I take a perverse pleasure in knowing how to do things the old fashioned way, although I certainly appreciate technology at times.  When I'm driving I can use my GPS to determine direction.

I feel so good in the morning, but now that it's up in the mid 90's I'm all washed out.  I took a nap which is probably a mistake because I don't feel revived at all.  I am continuing to walk and did the entire circle around the park last night, which is +/- 2 miles.  I need to get out of this park to a place where I can vary the route as well as the mileage, but I'll have to overcome my laziness first.


  1. Sounds about like me I will try and figure it out first and make myself so angry, But then if all else fails yes read instructions.
    I really like your new picture.

  2. You are very courageous to be thinking about hiking. For me...just thinking about it makes me tired :-) I love to read about it though. Much easier. Good luck to you.

  3. It is good that you are getting some walking in but don't over do it. I sure have found that I can't do as much as I used to. I think it is just because I am lazy, but old age is getting to me, too.

  4. "but I'll have to overcome my laziness first."

    haaaa... oh, sigh.. you got yourself any kind plan on how to do that? and will you share said plan?

  5. When I used to walk the same place every day, I'd just listen to my MP3 player, with a good audio book. That way I'd be listening to something interesting and wouldn't even notice how far I was walking. Otherwise I'd get bored.

    I remember backpacking with pleasure, too. It was a challenge and so much fun. I guess I could still do it, I was always a really light packer, so that would help. :)

  6. I love to camp, but have never been much of a hiker.

    We do live [right now] about 30 minutes from the Shenandoah National Park and I know my daughters would like to hike through there.

    I just read the best book about a woman who hiked the AT [she was in her 30s I think] but for the life of me I can't remember the name. When I think of it I'll email you. Silly me. :) Have a great day!
    xo JG

  7. H Marty. Remember me? I started reading blogs on my iPhone as the computer is still in the shop. Urrrrrrrr. We get it back next week. It is great to be able to depend on oneself to survive. I good compass great idea. Planning trips is 1/2 the fun. Just hope you get to enjoy them one day. Take care.

  8. Didn't you use take Lady for a walk on a trail behind the park? Or don't you want to walk that one without a dog?

  9. LOL at your comments doesn't need batteries or recharging orsend messages or beep or flash. RIGHT ON! With you all the way. You could advertise for a hiking partner on Craig's list. Specify someone retired and you should get someone your age. Hope you can find someone. What's this campground book you bought and like?