Happy New Year. It's 2018, and that means at least 52 more hikes from me. I finished the final three hikes of 2017 sick as a dog, and the final two in the bitter cold of a harsh winter in Northern Michigan. I'm alive, still sick, but working on the plans for the next 52. Here are a few stats from 2017:
Total mileage: about 212
Solo hikes: 19 (which means 33 were with other people)
Canine companion hikes: 25
Unique locations: 29
Number of hikes I truly enjoyed: 46
Number of States (including my own): 9
Number of NPS Units: 4
Number of State Parks: 10
The few hikes I didn't enjoy were most likely due to trails/parks being closed, having a busy weekend, the infrequent feeling that this was more of an obligation than fun, and/or plain old laziness. The mission of this challenge was to get me out on a trail and to encourage me to find new places - which it did. I have a new understanding of the natural areas in Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as the State of Texas that makes living here much more tolerable.
Looking forward to 2018 and the hikes ahead, I want to increase my total mileage and explore a bit more out of my comfort zone. I'm going to shoot for 400 miles in hopes of getting there, but I will not beat myself up for anything above 300. Currently, I'm making plans to find longer trails and/or places with more trails so I can get an average of 5-7 miles per outing. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge of parks in Texas as well as the surrounding states like New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. I'm hopeful for trips to Washington, Alaska, and Michigan. I'd love to include Utah again as well as California and Oregon, but we'll see as the year unfolds how funding and timing go.
Here's to the new year, new trails, and new experiences all over again.