To a seasoned backpacker, this may be a walk in the park. But for me, this is a big challenge!! It is listed as one of the top 10 most dangerous hikes in the world.
What it will entail:
Hiking 11 miles through mountains, hugging a cliff, through rainforests to a beach. This is described as "difficult" terrain with steep inclines and sharp cliffs. If you lose balance and fall off that cliff, you will most likely die. If hiking those 11 miles in isn't enough challenge, try it with 30 pounds on your back.
Then we will camp overnight on a secluded beach. Wake up on the morning of our 6 year Anniversary (awwww), and then do the 11 mile hike all over again.
(I anticipate there will be many mai tai's consumed the night we complete this, and arrive to our hotel. And I've already been warned about this incredible dive-of-a-burger-joint in Kauai we need to hit up afterwards. My mouth already waters....)
So let's just say, we have decided to train for this one. ;) Our schedules are insane and don't really match. After Feburary 1, Ryan works 21 days straight. So finding time to do a 5 hour hike is tricky. So our goal is to do at least 1 big hike carrying weight per month.
*Remember 5-6 days/week we are running, biking, lifting weights. So it's not like we are sedentary.
During the week when we cannot hike, we will use the stair-mill at the gym. That best assimilates hiking.
In May, we are hoping to do a "test run" and backpack the Grand Canyon. Oh darn. ;)
Our 1st training hike:
We did a hike called "Phoneline Trail" - which was a 8 mile out-and-back. It was good practice. Steep enough to make your legs burn. For about 6 miles of it, you are essentially walking along the wall of a canyon.
I plan to gradually increase how much weight I carry - just like you would increase milage while training for a marathon. So I carried 12 pounds on my back.
12 pounds really isn't much, but I will say when you're trying to push up an incline, or pick up the pace: you feel it!
It was a beautiful hike, and the miles few by! We stayed to our goal, which was around 20 min/mile.
Ryan is a "bit" more brave than I. This picture doesn't do justice, but he climbed up a wall to pose for this! He felt on top of the world.
The views on this trail on un-believable! That canyon wall is my favorite. Especially in the summer months, because it blocks that brutal sun! ;)
Our next hike:
We will be going out on February 1 for an 8-10 miler again. This time I'm going to carry 20 pounds, and I'm actually going to wear my Osprey backpack.
If you saw the movie or read the book "Wild", you may remember her bruises. This is a true phenomenon. When we did our Black River trip last May, I had some mad bruises on my hips afterwards.
So this time, I'm going to train to find the "hot spots" on my pack - and hopefully have REI help me out with them before our trip!
**speaking of Wild, I freaking loved that movie!! I know there were some mixed reviews. Maybe it's because I love backpacking so much. It is close to my heart.
I am getting excited! We have our tickets book, and our trip all mapped out!!