Out Your Backdoor

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Insta-Trail: Hiking does the Trick

May 06, 2013

I've been getting into trail design in recent years. It's a lotta work. But it occurs to me that hiking doesn't require a clear path. It's easy to *step over* stuff. It's the rolley and slidey stuff that makes me sweat over my chainsaw.

Heck, trail-running doesn't require a clear path, either.

So I've started adding both of those sports more and more to my mix. I can go to some ridiculously developed chunk of geography, look it over, peel my eyes, and just use whatever looks best to me. If I just use me feet I can go anywhere. I like tricky twisty stuff. Easy to do with boots or shoes.

Like Rose Lake. The trails we all use were "laid out" decades ago as mere logging lanes. They weren't planned at all. They're on a grid. The good topography ain't on no grid. Sure, one could kick aside deadfall enough to lay in ski and bike trails over the nice hills and dales, but WHEW that's work. So now I just run or hike it instead. If I get some routes that I really like, who knows, I might tidy 'em up some. (Not without changing anything, mind you. There's a chance that's against policy. If it is, we'd never encourage that.)

Ya know, hiking uses lotsa muscles, too. I'm sure everyone knows this but me, and I do, too, but I forget it from time to time. I tend to like to blast, jam and flow. But hiking is a great workout. And I even notice things more! Plants, flowers...details. It's nice. And I even hear that you don't get injured as often.

I got a pair of running shoes with knobby treads for the first time in decades. Somebody else's old pair of Brooks Cascades. They seem nice for turf work. I hear you're supposed to change shoes every half year or so. I just never understood that. I don't run a whole lot. Seems like as a shoe wears out it makes your feet work more -- and isn't that considered good nowadays? Well, I'm trying to walk around the house/yard barefoot more these days. Gotta toughen up these lillyflippers.

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