Saturday, January 13, 2018

Looking for an Adventure

First, is anyone else getting weirdness on blogspot when they comment?  It looks like my comment is "stuck" and doesn't take, but it really does take (as I can tell when I reload the page and look).

And the real post:  I recently read Cheryl Strayed's Wild (thanks to my Niece, who gave it to me for Christmas).  I know it's problematic in so many ways (who in their right mind starts off on such a hike without at least some short trips to test equipment and get ready?), but it's also a fun read, a story of a sort of grand adventure.  (Yep, there's all sorts of painful stuff there, too, but I connected most with the adventure part.)

Now I'm NOT going to run off and start the Pacific Crest Trail without some realistic prep... which means I probably will never run off and start the Pacific Crest Trail.  For one thing, there's appeal and there's, well, what's the opposite of appeal?  I don't see myself hiking for days on end.  As a friend says, time on task.  For lots of things, I do really well with a task of several hours (biking, kayaking, walking in a museum).  And then I increasingly find whatever it is unpleasant.  So that makes some things (long hikes, full days in museums) pretty unappealing.

And yet, I have a sabbatical coming up, and I want to go on some sort of adventure.  Maybe I could hike on a trip for a week?  (with appropriate training and equipment checking along the way)

Or something.

What are the ethics of hiking to Everest Base Camp?  Here's a guided thing.  (That would take a really devoted year of prep, I'm guessing.)

What about part of the Pacific Crest Trail?  Or part of the Appalachian Trail?  Or ever part of the Superior Hiking Trail?

Or Machu Picchu?

Or other ideas?

or maybe a biking trip?

15 comments:

  1. I am so totally not a religious person (basically atheist), but part of me wants to walk a famous pilgrimage — like, to Canterbury — just to do something that connects to human history. I feel like that would be a cool adventure.

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    1. It would! There are groups that do the Canterbury pilgrimage with stays at B&B type places. A lot of walking, but reasonably flat and such.

      I'm thinking somewhere new to me, though. And while I haven't walked to Canterbury, I've been there.

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    2. What about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela? Camino de Santiago has information on the Santiago pilgrimage, which we study in Humanities. It sounds like another great adventure.

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    3. The more I think about it: Canterbury would be, for me, more a Chaucer pilgrimage. I think I'd be more interested in a literary or historical thing than a religious thing.

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  2. I would also put in a plug for hiking part of the Great Western Trail. Salt Lake City makes a good starting place.

    https://utah.com/hiking/great-western-trail

    I'm not much for camping, but I would like to hike down the Grand Canyon to the Colorado River someday.

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    1. ooo, adding that to the list! Thanks! And yes to the Grand Canyon! I'd love to do a rafting trip on it, too.

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  3. YES about "time on task." There are many things I love doing *for a while* and then I want to stop doing that thing. It was a big moment when I realized that it was okay to leave a museum after an hour or so instead of "getting my money's worth" by staying until I was so damn tired.

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    1. That was one of the most important lessons I learned for really enjoying museums and galleries! It's SO much easier if you're a member and can enter free any time. Or if the museum/gallery has free days and you can go then. (I don't mind paying, but if I'm really going to enjoy an hour, then paying a bunch of days doesn't feel good.)

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    2. Usually if I'm in a city big enough for a good museum, I'm also at a conference, so the issue resolves itself: I only have a session period (90 minutes) to get there, look, and get back. I enjoy these shorter sessions so much more than back when I used to start with whatever was closest to the door and be exhausted by the time I left, as WN says. An hour in a museum is better than an hour not spent in a museum at all, if that makes sense.

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    3. It makes good sense to me!

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  4. Anonymous10:36 AM

    I think you enjoyed birding in Scotland, so how about West Highland Way from a suburb of Glasgow to Fort William? That takes about a week.

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    1. I so so enjoyed birding in Scotland! So it's tempting, and I haven't been to Glasgow... another adventure to think about! Thanks!

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  5. I'd suggest going somewhere from which you can do day hikes and other things you like. Acadia National Park is lovely for that. Or Scotland: in Edinburgh you could look at manuscripts all morning and hike up to Arthur's Seat in the afternoon. It's been 20 years since I was in Glasgow but it sounds like you could do some nice hikes there (plus there are good museums, especially if you like Charles Rennie Mackintosh).

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  6. That's a GREAT idea, Dame Eleanor. And I've heard that Acadia NP is incredible. I've actually hiked up to Arthur's seat (in 2011), and it's beautiful.

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    1. Acadia is gorgeous! (I do have a bit of a problem with the ocean being on the wrong side.) You can camp or stay in a hotel with plenty of hot water, and the towns generally have art galleries with interesting stuff interspersed among the twee shops that I don't think you'd like any more than I do. I bet there are birding expeditions, too. Glasgow probably has a wider range of accommodations than the US. In the US, you could consider a suburban hotel near a big city with both museums and hikeable green belt, and take public transit to city stuff or parks.

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