I'm sitting up at Lake Blanche, BCC UT, the day crystal clear, the trail ice mixed with sessions of mud. My thoughts are surrounded by goals of next year. I can't isolate how many miles I want to hike nor where I want to explore. I think I've pushed into 40 days on the trail in over 400 miles. I've grown to know and love SLC's tri-canyons, Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, and Millcreek, over the last 4 years. I've seen then in all kinds of crazy weather to perfect days like this one that draws many into the mountains. This is my first year that I've not taken off to another hiking destination for a week or so of camping.
Where to next year? How far next year? When I worked in Yellowstone NP for two summers over 20 years ago, I hiked over 300 miles one of those summers. Another summer of work, I hit Shenandoah NP where I met a young fellow carrying a lawn chair, he said it was worth the weight at the end of the day. The Appalachian Trail runs parallel to the road their. A couple I'd worked with in a different park showed up too, but they'd bailed out from the AT citing to much rain made for great reason to get off the AT. Since returning to Utah near a decade ago I've been hiking in my own region.
Memories of those summers hiking in the Parks and other places around the world leave me longing, longing just to take off and go for a very long hike without a daily destination. Without a concern as to trying to get back by a certain time or worrying if I need to be presentable at the days end. I want to just see how far I can go, how much I can see, how freeing life can be when my worry would be water, warmth, and food. Were the worries are few and the experience is shared and real.
From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network