Ginger forges ahead up the hill while I catch my breath.

A short Hike, and some musings on being unfit

It’s been quite cold recently — below 20°F (-6°C), so we’ve not been out. Wednesday saw the temperatures predicted to rise over 35° which promised a great opportunity to go hiking . I re-planned my week to clear Wednesday afternoon by doing some diocesan work Friday morning (not forgetting that I’m also working most of the day on Saturday). So I shifted a meeting, and we were free to get out.

We picked the Busiek Silver Trail, because it’s good exercise, with a steep hill and a longish medium gradient climb. It is also quite short at 3.1 miles, and therefore relatively quick.

Ginger’s been going to the gym several times a week for longer than I can remember, so I knew keeping up during the climbs were going to be a challenge for me. I hate fitness centers with a passion, but as a consequence I’m losing my fitness as we are too busy to spend the time going out hiking, backpacking or kayaking. Add in the inescapable fact that the years are passing and it’s not a good outlook. I can eat as healthily as I please, give up alcohol, walk 2-3 miles a day (I’m doing all of those), I’m still unfit. I may be unfit, but I am game to take on a hike on a warm January day.

It was a good hike, and Ginger powered up the hills while I had to stop a couple of times to get my breath back, and then stop at the top to recover. But, I got round. One big surprise on the hike was how soft the ground was. I expected it to be frozen, but puzzlingly it wasn’t. In some places the mud was quite heavy.


Not too muddy considering it got quite ‘squishy’ in places.

All in all it took me 2 hours to complete the 3.1 miles, that might sound slow — and it is — but we are also talking very uneven, rough, and in places downright nasty trails. Especially the part of the trail that is a 1:3 descent on loose gravel, which has to be taken very slowly if you don’t want to slip and fall. I might have been breathing hard in places, and felt like I was close to maxing out my heart rate (I wasn’t, I checked it at 140 bpm on the steepest climb), but it was good to get out in the sun and air.

The chances of my suddenly discovering a stash of money that’ll allow me to retire again, and regain my fitness by going off hiking at any time are nonexistent. I am beginning to accept that if I am to cut out some of the meds I’m currently taking, no matter how much I hate gyms, I’m not left with a lot of options but signing up.

Map and elevation plot of the Silver Trail at Busiek

Silver Trail Map (01-24-2015)

Copyright © 2018 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.