So I dream a little bit about long ocean voyages, hikes to the wilderness and other outdoor adventures, in fact I believe I have always been a soul longing for adventure. Somewhere I heard there may be some genetic component to this urge to see whats over that hill, but in the end does it really matter?
As my son’s have gotten a bit older we have planned new backpacking trips to stretch the envelope so to speak. This coming summer we just arranged for a trip to Yosemite. It took a bit to get a wilderness permit and the original trail we tried for was full for multiple days, but in the end through perseverance and flexibility, we got another one and now have the final planning, preparation and dreaming before we go. Joining us will be my brother and his three sons and my nephew; a great crew to spend time with.
Yosemite is a beautiful place and I camped there a few times as a child and teenager, but now its out of Yosemite Valley and into the backcountry, away from retailers, restaurants, facilities crowds and into, pack it all with you, obtaining clean water, watching out for bears and Leave No Trace.Here’s where we’ll be going in to the backcountry at Cathedral Lakes Trail.
Well now that its scheduled, I want to be in the best possible shape to ensure that the trip goes well. Especially as we’ll have a bunch of young and teen boys and who knows how much they can carry over multiple days. From my home in Florida, where the highest points are no more than a few floors above sea level I will have to acclimate to above 9,000 and possibly 10,000 or more feet. Additionally we will be hiking up and down in elevation, something hard to do in Florida, except for taking the stairs at the office.
To prepare, I am increasing the amount and duration of my workouts to include longer hikes, time on a stair climbing machines in addition to the treadmill and elliptical, taking the stairs daily at the office and lifting weights targeting the lower body. The recently started Lewis and Clark walking challenge offered in The Prevention Plan has also provided motivation and a way to monitor my activities. In just a few weeks I can already feel a difference in my stamina and hope that come summer the trip should go easy.
So while you may not be a person seeking an adventure, go ahead and schedule some new and interesting activity for yourself and then use it as a motivator to improve your health now. Maybe its a trip this summer to see your grandkids who like to play outside, or a visit to a new city where you’ll be walking around a lot, or a summer soccer league, the possibilities are endless.
By the way, I am currently reading Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. My wife is getting nervous that a trip to the Himalayas is coming next 🙂 What an adventure that would be!
Here’s where you can Plan Your Own Big Adventure at the National Parks.
You can learn more about backpacking and hiking in Yosemite here.