January + February 2010 » Washington Trails
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Aspiration for Miles
This summer, I was asked to provide my “lifetime miles” for an article in Backpacker magazine. It was easy to tally up the big sets of miles: more than 3,000 miles over the course of two trips on the Pacific Crest Trail (not counting detours made for resup- ply boxes, German restaurants or fresh pies served at 7,000 feet), 500 miles on the Colorado Trail, 273 miles on the Long Trail. But how does one account for all the short day hikes and weekend trips in between? Guess? Round up?
part of the greatest trail stewardship com- munity out there. What a deal.
Volunteer work party goal: 11 days. I’m somewhat chagrined to admit that I still fall a few days short of earning my Trail Crew Saw. I need to get this one under my belt, for my own sense of pride, but also so that I can devote my full attention to the Great New Aspiration recently unveiled by the trail maintenance program: the Full Bench Club. (See Page 12 for details.)
Of course, you can’t really compile a number like that without thinking about what you’d like your lifetime miles total to be. Double or nothing? Add a zero?
The problem with counting is that too much emphasis on numbers will inevitably lead to goal-setting, and from there it’s only a matter of time before you’re making up New Year’s resolutions (another practice I eschew).
So, for the record, here are my resolutions for 2010:
What are your ambitions for this year? Surely, you’ve already got some ideas. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about hikers, it’s that their list of places to visit usually exceeds any compilation of “been there, done that.” And that’s no matter how much math they need to do to compute their lifetime miles.
As you compile your list for 2010, here are a few suggestions. Add to your lifetime miles. Give back to the wilderness. And be grateful 365 days of the year for all that WTA’s members and volunteers do to sup- port trails.
Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Hiking goal: Add to my lifetime miles. (That’s easy.) Spend a few nights sleeping in a tent. Picnic often. Gather huckleber- ries. Swim in a lake. Nap in the sun.
Hike-a-Thon goal: 40 miles in August. It’s a modest number, but I figure it might encourage more people to become mem- bers of WTA. For a pledge of just one dollar per mile, my sponsors will get to be