Saturday, October 8, 2016

Grand Canyon prep part II, and more local trail news

Posted By on Sat, Oct 8, 2016 at 10:40 AM

click to enlarge BOB FALCONE
  • Bob Falcone
As you may recall from my previous blog, I am hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon at the end of the month, spending a couple of nights at the historic Phantom Ranch, and then hiking back up.  

Here's a progress report:  I've only hiked about 12 miles since last week, and not with as much elevation gain as I would've liked — blame it on being busy with other obligations.

By the time you read this, I should have hiked 12 more miles on a new trail. 

I saw an orthopedist about my chronic knee problem, too. He agrees it's again time for hyaluronic acid (rooster comb) treatment. Of course, we have to wait for the slow wheels of the insurance company to approve it — as if a 10-year successful history of treatment isn't enough to convince them. Hopefully we can get this done before the hike.

I've tightened up on my diet, after unsuccessfully "winging it" for a few months. I need the discipline of keeping better track of what I'm doing and wouldn't mind losing a few pounds before the hike.

When looking for a backpack for the hike, I found that there are lots of packs in various sizes up to about 25-liters, and lot more at 45-liters and above — I have both a 25- and a 50-liter pack — but not in the 35-liter range. To make matters worse, as a guy with only a 17" torso, finding a 35-liter pack for my size was difficult, not to mention also finding a comfortable one. The good people at Mountain Chalet had what I needed, and made sure it would fit me well. 

Overall, I'm still feeling very confident about doing this hike. As I check things off of the checklist that was provided by the organizers, and my own list, my level of anticipation increases, too.

I'll have more updates in a future blog.

Some Local Trail News:   
The U.S. Forest Service announced earlier in the week that road work that closed Mt Herman Road in Monument had been completed. The road has re-opened, allowing access to the very popular Mt Herman Trail.

Also, as of earlier this week, work was still on-going on the popular 7 Bridges Trail (Trail 622), but the trail is open up to the sixth bridge.

The Beulah Hill Fire in Pueblo County has caused significant damage, and as of this writing is being brought under control. The nearby Pueblo Mountain Park reported on their Facebook page that they had not been touched by the fire. I wrote about the park last year — it's a gem of a place, especially this time of the year. Once access to Beulah is re-opened (hopefully by the time you read this) you may want to take a ride down there and check out the fall colors and great trails.

Happy Trails!

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, college instructor, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for 25 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website (Hikingbob.com). E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob: info@hikingbob.com.

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