I Love Hiking

Guest Post by Stud Muffin

When I lived in New York, I loved running.  I used to run in Central Park in the middle of Manhattan or in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side along the Hudson almost every day.  There was something about running in the middle of a busy city listening to music on my headphones amidst all the whirlwind of activity that was very appealing to me. 

When I moved to the Bay Area, I kept up my running.  The good thing about living here is that we are blessed with beautiful mild weather almost year-round.  No more running in ice and snow or in hot humid weather!  I used to run 5-8 miles after work every day.  But the years of running, mostly on streets, took their toll on me.  After one broken ankle, three knee operations, and two procedures on my spine, I had to hang up my running shoes.

To remain active, I took up hiking instead because of the slower pace, and (usually) more forgiving footing.  I started hiking 16 years ago, and have not stopped since.  I love it even more than running.  There’s nothing I like better than getting away from it all and going for a nice all-day hike in the wilderness – no telephones, no Wi-Fi, just fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Since I began my new hobby, I’ve made many friends and we usually go hiking together every weekend. All told, we’ve hiked almost 150,000 cumulative miles – that’s equivalent to going around the Earth six times.  Most of our hikes fall in the category of “extreme hikes” – over 20 miles, and usually with a lot of elevation gain.  The most distance I’ve done in one day is 44 miles and the most elevation gain in a day is 12,000 feet.

My hiking has taken me to State Parks and National Parks all over the western United States including Death Valley, Tahoe, Sierras, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, Bryce, Canyonlands, Glacier, Rocky Mountains, Mauna Loa and Haleakala (Hawaii), Denali (Alaska), and many more.  My favorite hikes include Half Dome at Yosemite (which took me four separate attempts to go all the way to top because of my fear of heights), Mt. Whitney (highest point in the continental United States at 14,500 feet which sounds like a lot until you realize that’s only half of Everest), and the Rim-to-Rim hike in the Grand Canyon (23 miles from the North Rim down into the bottom of the canyon and back up the South Rim.  The biggest challenge is the heat.  We started at 3am and in our army t shirt to beat the heat.  Even so, it was 110 degrees at 10am when we started to climb up the other side.  Four groups of people from other teams had to be airlifted out that day).  

*For next year, my goal is to hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.  If anyone has experience in doing that climb, I would love to hear from you.


  1. Hi!

    I'm Shar! Your newest follower from the blog hop!

    Come visit me over at: http://sharmartinez.blogspot.com

    I've yet to visit out west! But it's on my bucket list for sure! But wow! Y'all have sure done a great deal of hiking!


  2. Thank you for the wonderful blog post Stud Muffin! I love hiking too! The best parts about hiking for me are the company, the breaks for beer and jerky, the nice peaceful surroundings, the goals to meet, and the outdoors. I guess that is just about everything. I can't wait to be hiking seriously again. I have some fond memories of the hikes I took before.
    I have not experience that climb, but I have a client that hike a new place every year, and she did it. She has the most positive attitude and confident like you wouldn't believe, but she is all that and more.
    Anyways, I hope you LIVE to TELL. Just kidding.
    Thanks again!

  3. Your hiking experiences sound like fun. I enjoy hiking, too, in New England.

  4. WOW! How beautifully inspiring! I love how much easier it is on your body and the surroundings are often breathtaking. I bike ride for the same ease on my body. I just finished riding my bike across the state of Georgia. It's no 50,000 miles, but the 400 through the north georgia mountains were stunning! :)

    happy seeing beautiful!

  5. Wow, jealous Stud Muffin. You are truly blessed to be able to do this. I'm trying to do the same thing with bike trails within and a bit out of the state. So. Very. Cool. Love that you have guest posts, SS.

  6. thank you for sharing your experiences I nice post ;-)

  7. I cannot deal with the heat either. I prefer short hikes in the morning or all day hikes in the fall :)

  8. I'm also a fan of hiking! I haven't been in so long now and there's not as much to choose from for trails around where I live :(

  9. How nice to be able to hike almost everywhere like you! I'm glad you meet your goal and enjoy what you're doing..

  10. You must love to hike, that is a lot of miles!

  11. Wow I really admire your spirit to keep up after all the injuries. The bay area does have some beautiful hikes and sweet weather for keeping cool.

  12. Wow--good for you! Stop by and link up http://peekababyny.com/wordlesswednesday/post-1409

  13. i love hiking too, and like you, used to be running too, but i did not stop from running because of injury, but rather, i find hiking more therapeutic and allows me to really experience nature deeper, into seeing the gifts around.

  14. Mountain climbing... something I have never done in life. Wish you the very best in your adventure.

  15. Your hiking adventures have taken you to some very interesting places. Continue to have good times as you go on future hiking expeditions.

  16. I like to run too! YOur picture was a beautiful place to run (even though because of the altitude most hike it)!
    My favorite runs were 1) Big Island, Hawaii, along the west mountainy coast; 2) Honolulu, Hawaii; 3) Memorial Park, Houston; 4) around our college track and up and down the bleachers and do it all over again, over and over; and 5) neighborhoods in the rain.
    I quit running at the age of 68 a few months before my first back surgery.
    Now I walk but get nowhere very fast.

  17. Stud Muffin, I lived in New York for 16 years and one place we avoided was Central Park. There was entirely too much happening there and most of it not good. lol I admire your dedication to staying fit though. There are so many benefits to exercise!

  18. Sounds great bet you get to see wonderful things :)

  19. Wow that is some awesome adventures!

    My husband is a frequent traveler to Tanzania. I'd love the see the place and the mountain too.

    Good luck with your travels!


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