QOTD: Got Any Great Hiking Trails and Tales to Share with Us?

Yes, that is indeed RuPaul you see there. Now 51, he hikes all over Los Angeles (he seems to favour Franklin Canyon), where he now lives.  He also cycles, swims, dances, roller-skates, beach-walks, threadmills and does yoga. At 40 he quit smoking, part of his realisation that if he wanted to be around for the long haul, he’d better start working on keeping fit.

At our house, hikes go by the more reasonable name of taking a walk. It’s really hilly here and I (whiny voice) hate hills.

However, when we lived in Ottawa we hiked all over Gatineau Park, just over the river in Quebec. It’s full of long, mostly level woodland hikes. Beaten earth underfoot and dense trees to either side. Autumn was indescribably beautiful, with the yellow-orange-red leaves overhead and covering the trail (careful: slippery).

Does cross-country skiing count?  Oh sure, why not.  When we lived in Nova Scotia we lived on a 16-acre patch of land out of town. On New Year’s Eve we skied our own back 14 at midnight through a light snowfall and saw animal tracks in the soft, smooth billows of snow.  Magic. (I remember a big full moon, which may or may not have actually been so.)

One of my favourite books about hiking is “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail”, by Bill Bryson. The Appalachian Trail runs 2,184 miles from Maine down to Georgia. Bill only did part of the trail, but he did enough to meet quite a few interesting, and sometimes crazy, people. And a couple of bears. Bryson is always worth reading, and if you’re wondering if this hike (in all! or in part) is for you, it’s a must-read.

My brave and only-somewhat-insane BFF did one of the most difficult hikes in the world: the Inca Trail.

Three days.  Straight up.

Yes, ok, with porters, but still, it’s admirable, yes? She was not a spring chicken when she did it. She was elevation-sick the whole time, ate nothing, climbed all day every day, and did not lose one single solitary pound.

In his book “Travels”, Michael Crichton talks about, among other adventures, climbing Kilimanjaro, another world-famous hike. This was interesting reading, and IN NO WAY tempted me to try it.

So what about you? Where have you hiked? Is there a good hike starting just down the block from your house, or is there somewhere you travelled many miles to get to?

Info on socks and boots also welcome.

photo source: Wiki Commons. Photographer: David Shankbone.

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