Sunday, September 05, 2010

Around the Chiwaukums in a Day

This past Wednesday marked yet another 20-plus mile day hike I have engaged in this season. In fact, at 24.5 miles--it was my longest day hike of the year. Why so many miles in so little time? Why, I must admit that I do enjoy the challenge and I am doing all that I can to stay fit as I slide into a major milestone next year (Gasp, will I really be turning 50!?)--but the main reason for the serious hiking is that my Backpacking Washington book deadline is moving in on me! A two year project encompassing 70 hikes ranging from 15 to 50 miles (most in the 18 to 35 mile range) from around the state--this project has been my toughest and most challenging writing project ever. It would have been hard enough completing this work just alone on the magnitude of the hikes and the geographical range of them-but then add in all of the foreseen and unforeseen obstacles that can slow me down-actually frustrate my progress. Things like incessant rains, lingering snow packs, washed out roads, forest fires, unmaintained trails, other nagging deadlines and just plain being wiped out!! So here I am with 5 weeks left to finish Backpacking Washington. I have 61 of the 70 hikes completed and 50,000 words of the 75,000 word manuscript written. This all coming off of just completing (and now editing) my Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge Book. It has been one heck of a hiking season for me-and it will indeed be a record year for mileage. Of course there is no resting once this project is complete, for Day Hiking Eastern Washington is due next summer! By the time I turn 50 next spring I should be in pretty damn good shape-or totally wiped out!!! Hope you enjoy the books when they come out-I've worked hard to get them to you!

(photo- 24.5 miles is easier to handle with hiking partners, Don and Barbara-two hiking machines!)

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