Tuesday, February 03, 2009


It's a challenge living in New Orleans and preparing for hiking the Appalachian Trail. There are no forests, no mountains, no hills.

At least not any natural ones. What I do is, I hike up and down the levees. Up one side, down the other, up, down, up, down, zigzagging the length of the levee. Here's one of them, with Journey at the bottom for scale:

I think I posted about climbing the levee before. I took our hand-held GPS and measured the distance from bottom to top (about 50 feet) and the elevation change (18 feet). This works out to a 36% grade. Fifty feet isn't very far, but to go 50 feet up, 50 feet down, up, down, up, down, enough times to make a mile.... next day I can tell I've done something.

After I've traversed the levee, I keep on walking alongside Lake Shore Drive, the lake being Lake Pontchartrain. Lake Shore Drive is very pretty; it's here that I find my "forests."

I should have a picture of the lake shore for you, but I don't. Next time!

I do occasionally have to ford a "creek," though, on my way home, if it's rained recently:

So I don't have any wilderness paths to follow, but I make do. I'm hiking 5 - 7 miles at a time, with a backpack. I started with 10 pounds of stuff in the pack and have worked up to 20. I'm aiming for hikes of 8 miles every other day with 30#. I'm still watching my Achilles tendons closely. Sometimes they feel a little sore but they're fine later on, and there's been no swelling. In fact, swollen knots that the podiatrist told me were scar tissue and would never go away..... hav gone away. One of my tendons (ironically, the one that was torn) is now completely smooth, and the other one nearly so.

I hope they stand up to day-after-day mountain-hiking with my home on my back. I start 8 weeks from tomorrow.

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

Cute photo of Journey & your backpack. Glad to hear you are making hills out of nothing :-)