A Quarter of the Way Through

March 31st marks the end of the first quarter of the 2012, and I’m using quarters to provide an encapsulation of what I’ve done throughout the year. So far, I have:

– hiked 356.3 miles, for an average of 118.75 miles per month, or 3.91 miles per day. This is roughly equivalent to walking from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Cruz. If I can maintain that pace, I will hike 1,425 miles this year. It’s unlikely that I will be able to maintain that pace, since,.from August to October, when the heat will make hiking unpalatable, I will be working full-time, going to school full-time, and working for free as a trainee 20-30 hours per week. Don’t think I won’t try though.

– climbed approximately 51,820 feet of hillside, which is approximately 9.7 vertical miles, or twice Mt. Everest from sea to peak.

Well, when you put it like that. . .

Really, cumulative stats sound impressive, but really aren’t. Consistency, persistence, and a little boundary pushing accomplished all of this. It’s a simple fact, but easily forgotten: put one foot in front of the other, and there are few limits to what you can do.

Here are a few highlights:

1. Palomar with Kelly, New Year’s Day. 

Great new tradition is to start each year out with a good hike. Last year, it was Sandstone Peak. This year it was my first trip to Palomar.

2. My first trip up Mt. Wilson

What I thought might be more than I could handle turned out to be something I handled fairly well. As a yardstick, I’m way past this level of difficulty, but at the time, the distance and elevation were new lengths for me. This was also the first peak on my “twelve-pack of peaks.”

3. My first trip to the Laguna Mountains

Along with Palomar, this is my favorite hiking spot in San Diego County. Lovely pine forests, vast, rolling meadows, expansive desert views – exactly the sort of place to catch a respite from both the chaparral and the swollen urban landscape.

4. I moved.

From LA to Oceanside. Now I live with Kelly, the love of my life.

5. And I started school.

It’s hard to believe that I hiked all those miles between full-time work, full-time school, and all the other obligations. I’m gonna be an MFT, and I’m thrilled about it.

6. High Point, Palomar Mountain

The longest hike I’ve ever done and the most elevation I’ve ever climbed. Throw in the fact that I did about half of it in the snow, and it was a pretty neat accomplishment. It may not have always been a pretty hike, but it certainly was fun.

7. Backpacking in Santa Anita Canyon

I finally got a chance to backpack at Spruce Grove. Loved the whole experience, which also featured another visit to Mt. Wilson and 17+ miles of awesomeness in the front range of the San Gabriels.

8. Boney Mountain from the Sea

Another long term goal. I climbed Boney from Sycamore Cove, and managed not to fall apart. Just a hair shorter than High Point, this was another epic stretch-out.

9. Santiago Peak

I drive by it twice a week on the way to class, and I wonder, “What’s it like up there?” I found out, scaling Orange County’s highest peak.

A lot of other great hikes occurred, as well as a lot of laughing and loving with Kelly and exploration with school. Great start to the year.

Now, bring on the mountains!

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