Homer's Travels: Four Days Of Walking

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Four Days Of Walking

This week has been dominated by a lot of walking.  I ended up walking four times this week, the most in one week since my Camino.

The first walk was my usually scheduled urban walk on Tuesday.  This week I walked around Bellevue, NE, a suburb of Omaha.  It was a nice pack-less and pole-less walk.  It was windy but the temps were warming up as spring finally start asserting itself this week.  The walk took me through some nicer neighborhoods up in the hills near Fontenelle Forest.  At one point I was admiring the houses when I saw two concrete deer in a house's backyard.  I thought this was a bit cheesy for the nice neighborhood until I noticed the ear of one of the deer twitch.  They weren't concrete.  They were real and were watching me attentively.  Not so cheesy after all.  The hike ended up being 12.42 miles (20 km).

The second hike was the Hawk Walk charity event for the Wife's school on Wednesday.  You donate money for tuition assistance and get to walk with 700+ students from the school to lake Zorinsky, around the lake, and back to the school.  This was the second time I've done the Hawk Walk, the first time being the last hike before I left for my 2011 Camino.  I'd used that one to be sort of a dress rehearsal for my Camino and I walked it with a full pack.  This time I walked pack-less and pole-less (Last time I got some strange looks).  The weather couldn't have been much better - sunny with a cool breeze.  I ended up walking it in just a sweatshirt and jeans.  Spring is definitely here.  The distance ended up being 5.27 miles (8.5 km).  This was the first time I've done back-to-back hikes since the Camino.

The third hike was my normally scheduled Friday hike.  This year it fell on Arbor Day, a holiday that was first observed in Nebraska, and the tree lined Wabash Trace was the perfect place to celebrate.  I started in Silver City and headed south with a full pack and poles.  I also used an hydration bladder instead of a bottle this time.  I'd been using a one liter bottle on the last few pack hikes but I found it a bit difficult getting it in and out of the side pack pocket.  The one liter bottle was a bit too big for easy access I think.  The bladder, with it's attached drinking tube, is much easier to access while walking.  The hike was a bit tougher than I expected but I was able to counter the tiredness of my legs with more frequent rest stops.  I tend to not stop for rests or I keep them limited to one or two.  This hike I rested at the 4, 6, 8, and 11 mile marks or about twice as many times as normal.  The distance ended up being 12.18 miles (19.6 km) despite the internal debate about shortening the hike to 10 miles.  I guess that extra five miles I did on the Hawk Walk took its toll.  Surprisingly my legs felt better than usual after the hike with the strength recovering in a few hours.

The fourth, and last hike, was a Backwoods hosted/guided hike in Indian Cave State Park.  I'd been trying to attend one of these Backwoods' hikes since the beginning of the year but the last two have fallen on the same days as Trek Up The Tower and Curling.  I hoped to meet some like minded hikers and, perhaps, discover some new hiking trails in the area.  We met at the trailhead shortly after 9:00 AM and the ten or so of us (including the two Backwoods people) hiked trails 10, 11, and 9, stopping to rest at the Indian Cave.  I would say a third to a half of the people were new to hiking.  The remainder had same experience.  I'd walked most of these trails before but we did follow an alternate steep descending trail from an overlook to trailhead 11 that I'd never done before.  It was one of those trails that if you tripped you would have had a hard time stopping.  Fortunately we all made it down without incident.  The final distance turned out to be 4.18 miles (6.7 km).  It was also the first hike I've done with both a pack and elevation.  It went well.  I like to hike alone but I enjoyed having people, including two interested in doing the Camino, with me this time.

All four hikes this week were very satisfying and I like how my body is recuperating after the hikes.  I've been experimenting with a few things to reduce the stress on my feet but these will be shared in another post.  I will say that my feet feel pretty good after 34.05 miles (54.8 km) this week which, I hope, will translate into a more comfortable 2013 Camino.



  1. So incredibly jealous of you right now. Spring has sprung here, and everything is blooming, so my allergies have kept me mostly indoors for the past week. Awesome that you're getting out there and adding to the mileage!

    1. GH: Sorry about your allergies. I get fall allergies starting around mid August and lasting til the end of the year. They suck.

  2. You are going to to kick this Camino's butt this year!!! That is a LOT of stomping about! I'm glad for you! :)