Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grand Canyon Update!

I got my Grand Canyon permit in the mail yesterday, and I'm excited!  I hike in on November 2nd and hike out on November 7th, which means I'll be driving up anytime between October 30th and November 1st, and driving home on November 8th.  I can't wait!

I was planning on doing a lot of training hikes anyway, but now that my dates are official I'll be kicking it into full gear.  I'll make sure to post thoughts and pictures from my hikes as I train.  For my first training hike, this Saturday I think I'll fill up a decently weighted pack and hike up Pima Canyon to Pima Saddle.  It's 5.7 miles one-way, starting at an elevation of 2960 and going up to 6320.  It should be a good place to start training for the hardest part of any trip to the Grand Canyon... getting out of it!

This is also an interesting time to think about my personal health.  I think I will be in better shape for this Grand Canyon trip than for any of my previous trips.  If I keep on the pace that I have been going, I'll weigh no more than 210 lbs, which would be about 10-12 lbs lighter than I was for my last trip.  However, since I'm riding my bike, running, doing pushups, AND hiking to get in shape for the Grand Canyon, it's possible I'll be even lighter. Maybe I'll even be in such good shape that I'll have already reached my goal of 200 lbs for the year.  Since hiking the Grand Canyon for a week requires a backpack that'll weigh at least 50 lbs, every pound less that I weigh will be that much less impact on my body as I'm hiking.  If I were to lose 20 lbs between now and then, and I carried a 50 lb pack for my trip, it'd be the equivalent of carrying a 30 lb pack today, which is pretty typical for a brief overnight trip, and a weight that I feel like I could carry forever.  I'm excited by the idea that a 50 or even 60 lb pack plus my body weight could eventually be no heavier than my current body weight plus a daypack.  When I am that in shape again, backpacking will be even more amazing than it is now!

Do you have any upcoming trips that you're excited to take?  Have you spent any time in the outdoors recently that you loved?  Share your trip stories in the comments!

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