DO YOU LIKE TO HIKE? Or just walk? My wife and I do. I had an eloborate introduction constructed in my mind for this post, but decided to trim it down to a more manageable statement. Which may still run to verbosity before I am through. I spent the 40 years of my mining career driving large trucks and sitting in the seat of a piece of heavy equipment. And eating and snacking. And gaining weight. Now that I am retired, and have been for some time, my wife and I decided to do something about our weight. Mostly mine. We started eating better, and less, and cut out the cokes and candy bars and chips. And we decided to walk. So, last spring we started a walking schedule, walking every morning, except Sunday, for at least 1 and 1/2 miles, up to 2 and 1/2 miles before we ate breakfast and started the day. This winter, as it has gotten colder in the morning, we wait until later in the day and then walk to the post office, which is nearly two miles there and back. Since we live in a "retirement" community, there are no stores here at all. We need to drive into the City for the little shopping that is available there, and 2 to 4 or 5 hours to get to any major shopping at all. However, there is a Chevron station on the out skirts of the city where I go and buy a paper from time to time. On that note, and on a joking comment from me, My wife and I decided to walk to this station and get a paper and then walk back. My wife, being the crafty person she is, has a craft project in mind that uses the pop top from beer/soft drink cans. Have I sufficently set the scene yet? I hope so, cause here goes.
On new years day, we watched the Rose Parade and then at 11 o'clock, set out for the Chevron station. I had a ped o meter on my hip to measure our distance. When we reached the high way, which is a 4 lane divided highway, we chose to walk facing the on coming traffic. Also, my wife stopped at each aliminum can to collect the pop top. Man, we didn't realize how many kinds of beer there were. Just a miniscule number of coke or pepsi cans. Lots of little shot size whiskey bottles. It took an hour and a half to reach the station and get the paper and then another hour and a half back to the house. Walking on the other side of the road, in order to face the oncoming traffic again. The ped o meter said we had walked 10.1 miles. While my wife, tough woman that she is, did fine, I had a sore, not a blister, on the ball of my left foot. Looks like a big callous. Maybe it is, as it is fine now. Now, we wanted to know how accurate the ped o meter was, so yesterday I drove the route that we had walked in a small car we have that will measure the miles, including tenths, on the ode meter.
So I recorded the mileage when I left the house and when I got back and the car said we only walked 9.1 miles, one mile less than the pedometer had said. The problem, though, was driving on the wrong side of the road, facing on coming traffic. Had to make it accurate, you know. Since we had walked on the shoulder, the small car fit on the shoulder ok. It was a problem holding it to the three miles an hour that I assumed was our approximate walking speed. Sure got some funny looks, though. Fortunately, the law enforcement officers were other wise occupied, as none stopped to see what I was doing. And stopping to see if any of the can's were new since we had walked that route got to be a hassle.
On a final note, on the return walk home, while my wife was collecting pop tops, I found a penny, a dime and two quarters at different places on the shoulder of the road, which paid for the paper and 11 cents over.
Well, guess that pretty sums up our experience of our first long hike. Not the last, by any means, so there may be further posts on future hikes. Or not. Most of this is true, and if there be any thing that is not, I will leave that up to you to decide what. AND THAT'S THE VIEW FROM THE DITCH BANK.