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I Hike At 1 MPH. . .Seriously

May 17, 2021

When I say I’m a slow hiker, I’m not just being self-deprecating. I really am the slowest guy I know. And I don’t even really like hiking. It’s hard on my knees.

But, there I was Friday afternoon hiking (if you can call it that) up Grove Creek Canyon just east of my home in Pleasant Grove. It was hot; high 80’s but felt hotter on the exposed southern face of the canyon. My backback weighed 41 lbs. That’s a little heavier than I normally carry.

There’s a formula for what the “correct” backpack weight is. You divide the weight of your backback by your own weight. You should shoot for a 25% ratio. The problem with this formula is suppose you’re a big fat guy? I mean, I’m a little heavier this year than when I made this hike last year (thanks COVID quarantine.) But, suppose I put on 100 lbs, I would then be able to carry a backpack that weighed 80 lbs. I’m not sure who came up with this formula, but it wasn’t a guy that weighs 300 lbs.

This was our annual “Baldy” hike. We are thinking of renaming it since we actually never set foot on Mount Baldy. It’s a hike that goes up Grove Creek canyon for 5 miles to The Springs. Then, it’s a mile across The Meadow to our campsite. Literally the prettiest campsite I have ever camped at. Then, Saturday, we hike another 4 miles down Battle Creek Canyon. And we hike the 1.5 mile from Kiwanis Park at the base of Battle Creek to our house.

The hike was originally a hike that we did with the Boy Scouts every May. The boys often did summit Baldy, but about half the time weather kept us to the shorter route.

Now it’s me and my kids. This year, we had my oldest boy, who has been with me the last three years on this hike. We also had my daughter who went with us two years ag and her slightly younger sister who had never been on this hike. My older daughter also brought along her boyfriend. You learn a lot about a guy when you literally walk in his footsteps for a mile. . .or ten. He’s a good guy.

Last year we had clear skies, gorgeous views and freezing temperatures at night. This year, we had cloudy skies, gorgeous views and mild temperatures at night.

My son and I left the Grove Creek trailhead at 1:00pm Friday afternoon. Five miles lasted we arrived at The Springs at 6:00pm.

Don’t mind me. I’m slow. I’m old.

If you can walk up this mountain you’re not old. Old people don’t make this hike.

I love my son.

Fortunately, I do a little better on level ground and even better going downhill. So, I managed faster speeds going downhill. After a couple of days of sore muscles I’m almost ready to decide to continue the tradition next year.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2021 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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