Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Does one week make a streak?

Yesterday we completed our first seven consecutive days of day hiking.  The first week of a streak is always the toughest.  Since it's not really an official streak yet, it would be easy to be a slacker and say, "Ah, hey, I don't feel like hiking today."  You know how that goes.  Actually, neither of us feels a week makes a streak.  It takes at least two weeks to jump start a streak.  Once you get past the 14 day mark, you can almost figure you have a new habit formed.

We've been real busy each of the past few days--too busy for my liking.  Aren't we supposed to be retired?  That's why we've hiked the Long Canyon Hill five out of the last 7 days.  It's one heck of a workout and it's a short turnaround from door-to-door here at the straw house.  We can almost leave home, do the hike and return within 90 minutes.  We are figuring 2 hours by the time you get your hiking clothes on, load up the packs, sticks, water and a snack.  However, that's 60-90 minutes LESS than the equivalent time it takes to go hike the Bell Rock-Courthouse Loop.

The Long Canyon Hill is a classic "workout trail."  We both slacked off on the pace a few days ago but I remained under 30 minutes while Susun's time grew to 34 minutes.  The last couple of days, I have tried to break 25 minutes only to fall short at 26 minutes each time.  Hopefully, I will crack the 25 mark soon.  I don't anticipate getting much under 25.  Maybe next winter.  Forget about getting under 20.  Not in this lifetime!

Actually, if I can stay solidly under 30 on that hill, I will be a Happy Hiker.  Neighbor Gary says the hill is 700 vertical feet.  We think it's more like 500.  It would be nice to know the real number.  It's rootin', tootin' rough and tough hill, that's for sure.  The trail tread is all SOB rubble.  (SOB="Same Old Basalt").  Some switchbacks on that hill seem steeper than the classic "angle of repose."  Some portions of the trail tread have these little basalt spheres that are like ball bearings.  It's slicker than snot on those sections.  You can fall in a heartbeat.  Susun has already fallen once and I've come close quite a few times.  Thank gawd for hiking sticks with shock absorbers!

Actually, the downhill hike is harder than the uphill hike.  It's not as strenuous, by any means, but it is a lot more hazardous.  This is a good thing.  Hiking "reps" on the Long Canyon Hill will definitely get us in better shape a lot faster than any other trail we know.  That said, it's time to take a break.  Today we're going back to the BRCT over in Sedona.  Hiking a leisurely few miles will be a hoot compared to working out on the LCT.  Last time we did the BRCT, we both came in under 90 minutes.   This time, we're going to hope to stay under 2 hours.  I might even bring the little backpack stove and cook a hot brunch out by Alien Rock.
It's a blustery cool/cold day today.

Well, I'm procrastinating.  I'm actually supposed to be making art bench selections right now.  Guess I better shift gears and go do my duty.  Anyway, we're happy to have logged seven consecutive hiking days and hope we can keep this streak alive and well as long as possible.  It will be interesting to see how it gets perpetuated when we are traveling north at the end of the month.  Cheers!  jp

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