It’s incredibly likely that whatever plan I come up with will be tweaked, shifted, or completely chucked. Still, gotta have a plan. Or at least the semblance of one.

Step 1: Get the book – DONE!!

Ah, it’s always nice to start off with something easy. Such a confidence booster.

I don’t remember how, but I came across “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Los Angeles” (for reference only, not trying to make you buy it) during one of my countless Amazon browsing sessions in December. After checking out what I could of the book online, I knew this was something that crossed my path on purpose. Since I had been going on hikes with my friends, I had a pretty good idea of what I could handle, and most of the hikes in the book were right up my alley, as well as a reasonable distance from my house. Some of them were even pretty close to each other, perfect for the inevitable doubling-up! I dropped the very subtle Christmas-gift hint to my husband in the form of an email.

“I want this book, so that I may conquer it in the year 2017.” So, so subtle.

Christmas morning, he did not disappoint! It’s a good thing, too, because I was already mentally planning my next steps.

Step 2: Get the gear

This is sort of a work-in-progress, but I got the most important item crossed off my list: new hiking shoes. Remember those boots I went and bought specifically for my new-found joy of hiking? No? That’s ok. Well, knowing any new pair of boots will likely have a “breaking in” period, I was a bit nervous wearing them for the first time ever to our first group hike ever at Runyon Canyon. If you’re familiar with Runyon, most people start at the bottom, and hike up the dirt and rockiness (or so I’ve heard). We started at the top, hiked down dirt and rockiness, then back up the paved road. Boy, was that steep, at least for a newbie such as myself. However, I was so pleased to find that, besides my feet being a bit of the achy-type tired, they felt pretty good! I loved my new boots! I also decided that day to never clean them, and they would collect dirt from every hike they ventured on. What a short life they lived.

Hopes, they were high.

Unfortunately, during our very next hike, I got a monster of a blister on the back of my heel, and despite sock liners, bandages, moleskin, etc., they kept giving me problems. I even got blisters on the insides of my pinky fingers from trying to tighten them enough so my foot didn’t move around too much. There was no way I was going to hike my way through that book nursing blister after blister. So, after consulting some other hiking friends (shout out to Brian and Kim!), and referring back to advice my friend Lyndon had given me earlier in the year, I decided to change the style and brand of my shoes. After seeing what I got in Christmas money this year, I went with these Merrell’s (again, not trying to get you to buy them), and wore them on hike 1/60 this past Sunday. So far, I’m pretty happy with them, but I remain cautiously optimistic after remembering how my boots broke my heart. And my skin.

The other two things on my list will have to be acquired with time: good pants/leggings, and a day pack with more pockets. These things aren’t crucial to me completing hikes, but would make my life easier and more comfortable. I usually hike in capri leggings, my go-to workout pants, and while they are by far what I’m most comfortable in, I don’t always care for the feeling of branches against my legs, mostly because I haven’t learned to spot the difference between what will and won’t give me a rash. But I got $25 to TJ Maxx for Christmas, so I’m sure I can find something that will work there, lol. I currently have a simple HIKPRO day pack that I still really love. It’s fairly small, lightweight and comfortable, but as I’ve learned of things I want to have with me on my hikes, like first aid/bandages, bug spray, extra snacks, I want something just as small and comfortable, but with more pockets and storage space. Not to fear, Brian said he’d hook it up, so I should be good there 😉

Step 3: Get a schedule

This one is tricky. I know what I want to do, I’ve completely thought it out in my head, but getting it out of my head and in front of my face never seems to be a smooth transition. I’ve read the bullet points on each of the hikes, I bought a personal planner (for our house schedule, but it’s really handy for this, too) and a small journal for note-taking. I made a spreadsheet of every hike that includes the trail length , sun exposure, Randall’s difficulty rating, and mapped each one to know how far I’ll have to drive to get there (the farthest is 80+ miles. Better be a good one.) My final planning step is to schedule most, if not all, of my hikes throughout the year. I got a big yearly calendar so I can see every month on one page, and mini post-its to write the trails on, so I can move things around if I need to. Scheduling the hikes is both the most important and hardest to execute step. Over the next few months, Chris will be busy with tax season, which not only means he won’t hike with me, but he also won’t be able to keep the kids while I go out (it also presents a different set of problems with my 5K training, but we’ll tackle that another day). My daughter could handle most of the outings, but my son and his short little legs get worn out fast, so he just won’t make it. I could, and probably will, do most of my hikes during this time on Sundays, when he doesn’t work, but then it’s likely I’ll be skipping a lot of church, which is something I’m trying to make more of a priority. I want to have a good idea of what I’m doing every weekend, so that I don’t get caught in a situation where the weekend is approaching and I have no idea where I’m hiking (or who I’m hiking with), and wind up not going anywhere. That might fly for a weekend or two, but without a plan, I can get so far behind that it would be impossible to catch up. Also, I know me, this can very easily happen. I gotta stay on top of me.

Step 4: Get hiking buddies

This is the another reason why scheduling is so important. I don’t want to do these hikes by myself. I’m sure I could, at least some of them, but I just don’t want to. I feel it will be unsafe and quite boring. But I can’t exactly ask people “Hey, wanna go hiking with me?!”, and have them say “Sure! When and where?”, and tell them “Uh, I’ll text you.” No one wants to hike with that girl. I need a schedule, because I respect and appreciate my potential hiking buddies. So, if you know me and you’re interested, you know how to get in touch with me!

Step 5: Get hiking!

DONE! Hike 1/60 was completed January 1st at Corriganville Park in Simi Valley. I don’t want to say too much and then repeat myself in the post I have yet to write, so I won’t, haha. We have plans this Saturday (Go Kings Go!), but hopefully I’ll get another done on Sunday. We shall see 🙂