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So because of my love for landscapes and plein air painting, my mind has been swirling a lot recently with ideas for places to go and subjects to paint. Of course, many of the best sources will probably be off the beaten path along some 24 mile trail. This realization got me thinking about the idea of hiking and camping again.

Look, I’m an Eagle Scout. I spent the better part of my young life in tents somewhere, camping and hiking in every type of weather you can imagine. That said, I haven’t been camping in years, and I always hated hiking. I used to call our hikes “forced marches” because I was fat and completely out of shape. Our leaders would keep us going when all I wanted to do was sit and nurse my blisters. Hiking was not my bag.

Now I’m watching Youtube videos of people hiking these historic trails all over the US, and the views they are seeing along the way are breathtaking. I want in on that in some small way.

As a part of my trying to lose weight before the wedding, the idea of picking up hiking again has become more enticing. Getting onto the trail to help strengthen my body is gaining a lot of momentum in my head. Finding locations to paint has actually come second in terms of why I want to do this.

I plan on buying a pair of hiking shoes/boots early next year, and I’ve started looking at trails I want to try out as weather permits. I’m starting slow though. I’m in no way ready for anything other than the “bunny slopes” of trail difficulty. With any luck, I’ll be doing 3-5 miles by summer.

December 18, 2017