Many decades of participation in multiple sports, including alpine ski racing, cross country ski racing, road cycling, mountain biking, in-line skating, canoeing, waterskiing, swimming, running, and triathlon have taught valuable lessons. Here are two: First, when beginning a new sport, or returning to a sport at the beginning of the season, it is important to pace one’s self. Going out too hard at the beginning is a sure way to cause overuse injuries. Second, the best way to prepare for the rigors of a sport is to be specific in one’s training. The best way to get ready to hike the AT is by hiking! Below are 18 great hikes I’ve done that would be great preparation for your thru hike.
A cool hike in Death Valley California. Robert hikes up a narrow passageway in Surprise Valley on the way to the ghost town and former silver boom town of Panamint City.
Halfway to Chicago Basin along Needle Creek.
HIgh winds resulted in a failed attempt to summit Mt Elbert, Colorado’s highest mountain. Still a great preparation hike assending about 4,500 before turning around in defeat.
Hiking to the Young Lion Castle ruins north of the village of Tallistan, Azerbaijan. The day hike finishes in an almost vertical climb of the overgrown castle walls.
Looking down at our mountain “swimming hole” from the Continental Divide , this time, approaching Chicago Basin from the east.
Ready for a hike from Mingechevir, Azerbaijan to the tops of the mountains overlooking the Kur River Reservoir. From L to R, Robert with Peace Corps colleagues colleagues Iain and Steven.
Campsite above the Kur River Reservoir in central Azerbaijan
Hiking the top section of Elk Creek Trail in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Early October finds winter-like weather.
Rainbow Trail east of Durango, Colorado.
Great views of Death Valley from the summit of Bennett Peak
Cardiac Canyon, Arizona.
Backpacking the Escalante Route in the Grand Canyon. Rated by Backpacker Magazine as the second best multi-day trip in the U.S.A.
Robert near Indian Hollow campground on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Preparing to descend on the Thunder River Trail to Deer Creek Falls on the Colorado River below.
Climb to the top of Grey’s Peak, Colorado for top elevation of 14,278 feet and great aerobic conditioning.
Hiking Down Virgin Springs Canyon in Death Valley California
Descending from the South Rim to the Colorado River on the Tanner Trail to camp near Tanner Rapids.
Climb the James Teachen Trail from the town of Qax, Azerbaijan for sunset camping on the top of Ulu Bash Dag, just south of the border with Dagestan, a semi autonomous region of Russia..
From the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River and back in one day on Bright Angel Trail. Suitable only for well trained athletes and even then discouraged by park rangers.
Enjoying some sun on St. Mary’s Lake Trail near Silverton, Colorado
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Hi! I’m Robert. During an adventure and travel filled life, I have found junctions where Shangri-La, Heaven, Nirvana, and Utopia meet. This is where time stops. It is where the brain blossoms so that the mental, emotional, and physical unify. The universe collapses to finite space and the burdensome manifestations of existentialism cease. I anticipate entering more on the AT in 2015. My hope is for all of you to find similar junctions in your lives. They are not physical locations....... Recently, I entered another while surrounded by the Gulf of Thailand. There was nothing possible to do but run long distances on soft pure white sand, swim endlessly in the warmth of the sea, and contemplate the myriad forms of life’s complexities...... Due to political controversies, my Peace Corps work in the small Muslim country of Azerbaijan, which is in the middle of a very rough neighborhood, ended early and abruptly. I find myself homeless, carless, and jobless. Some would say clueless!. Ironically, an unfortunate situation provides me the perfect opportunity to hike the AT...... Consider this a friendly invitation to follow my hike and read my blog “Mingechevir to Mount Katahdin.” It has two objectives. The first is to help me wrap my head around the verbal, cultural, interpersonal, economic, and political enigmas of my Peace Corps adventure. Second, is to provide a structured writing platform where I can utilize the AT as a vehicle to learn, understand, and to communicate critical aspects of our lives and how to discover mind expanding junctions. I start hiking March 18.