From the Dutch/Afrikaans … trek – to travel or migrate, especially slowly or with difficulty. In fact, its original meaning referred to travel by ox wagon. Whether it be trekking, hiking, tramping or walking … whatever you prefer to call it, it involves travel on foot and we’re hooked on it (no oxen involved).
Perhaps the length of the journey might help define it. We walk every morning … sometimes around the golf course, sometimes to the gym and back with a workout in between. We’ve hiked many trails … short and long. The longest trek we’ve taken to date is the Thames Path … 184 miles from sea to source … not all that difficult, but definitely slow and longer than any of our previous perambulatory undertakings.
I’m a thrifty girl and I hesitated for months before originally purchasing a Fitbit back in 2016. I was hoping it would provide some incentive to walk regularly, but I was also concerned that I wouldn’t really use it and it would be tossed aside. It turned out, however, to be a great purchase and it did provide the incentive we needed to walk more and more. We found we parked further from the entrance to the supermarket because ‘we needed steps’. When I lost my Fitbit, I replaced it with a Garmin Vivofit, mostly because the Garmin has a one-year battery and doesn’t require recharging every week and it’s waterproof. I wear it like a watch and rarely take it off. It’s been suggested by several sources that 10,000 steps a day is a healthy exercise plan and that’s our daily goal. As I’m writing this, we’ve managed to reach this goal for the past 120 days straight. It’s become a habit.
We like keeping track of our steps. We like feeling healthy. But now, we seem to be addicted to walking. A day without walking just doesn’t feel right. The 10,000 step a day goal was originally tough to achieve, now it’s a minimum. We just enjoy walking … the more, the better.
Why walking? Over the past 20 years, we’ve traveled by sea and circumnavigated the globe. We didn’t walk much when crossing an ocean. We’ve traveled on land, criss-crossing the United States, but there was more riding than walking. There’s something about walking that delights the senses. You see things you’d otherwise miss if you whizzed by in a car. You smell the earth and the forest. You hear bird sounds and animal sounds. You hear and feel the crackle of leaves or the crunch of rocks and desert sand under your feet. Your mind can wander. You feel tired, but exhilarated and satisfied at the end of each day. You feel healthy in body and spirit.
So, what’s next? Well, if you’ve read some of David’ recent blogs, you’ll know walking a ‘long’ trail, i.e. more than 1,000 miles, is on his ‘bucket list’. He’s been narrowing down the options and trying to determine our next big trek. You’ll know when we know.
In the meantime, we’re planning to do some smaller hikes, perhaps along the Arizona Trail (AZT) in the next few weeks. Not the whole thing, it’s an 800-mile trail through Arizona from Mexico to Utah, and it’s too late in the season. It might be a consideration in the future, but this time around, maybe we’ll tackle a small section to get a sense of the trail and try out some new gear. It’s that ‘Just A Little Further’ philosophy kicking in once again. Stay tuned … you’ll be advised where we’re heading as soon as we figure it out.
We’ve also just created a ‘Trekking’ page on our website which includes all of the Thames Path blogs in one place in case you missed any, plus a few other related blogs you may not have seen along the way. Give it a look-see.