We are getting on...but not so fast!

posted Sep 2, 2019, 8:52 PM by Paul Wagner
With our deteriorating joints, we've found that we can't hike the same trails we used to hike--or at least, not the same way.  A few years ago, we hiked fourteen miles with a pack on, and felt reasonably good about it.  Now we aim at closer to five miles a day.  And while we have done a number of five to eight day trips in the past, these days we're usually planning for 2-5 days, to limit the total pack weight we have to carry.

What other ways have we adapted to our weakened knees and feet?  We  like the idea of a base camp, where we can set up camp and then day hike to a series of destinations within a few miles of our campsite.  Those work well.  And we've become more focused on finding those remote trailheads that scare away some hikers, but allow us to hike a few miles and still find some semblance of solitude. 

An example of the former was our recent trip to the Lake Sabrina Basin, where we camped above Dingleberry Lake for a couple of nights and explored many of the lakes above that as day hikes.  And our hike to Chain Lakes in the Emigrant Wilderness was an example of the latter--a difficult drive to the trailhead, and when we got there, we were the only vehicle in the parking area.  So was the hike into Thornburg Canyon near Carson Pass. Once we got a mile into the hike, we were alone.

We hope those of you who are younger and more athletic are taking full advantage of your youth and fitness--and hiking to those wonderful destinations that we can usually only dream about now!