Hike-a-Thon Recap

Today is the last day of August and the last day of Hike-a-Thon.

I'd set out with a goal of hiking 40 miles and raising $200 for Washington Trails Association.

I did meet my mileage goal, I just barely made it! For the month, I hiked 40.1 miles. The last 8.1 miles were yesterday and until late that night I had no idea what the mileage on that trip had been. I was prepared to get up early this morning and hike another mile in a park if I had to.

Unfortunately, I did not meet my fundraising goal. I've only raised $90. I know one of my friends was challenging me by not donating until after I made my mileage goal, so I think I'll have at least one more donation. The hike-a-thon paper work isn't due for another week, so it's not too late to make a donation. I am not good at fundraising. I hate asking my friends and family to make donations, so I don't really bother. In a way, I wonder if I shouldn't sign up for things like this because I'm not really contributing much. But really, my effort has yielded $90, which is better than nothing, right? And a few of my friends might be more aware of WTA, which is the first step toward wanting to help out in the future.

In all, the hike-a-thon experience has been fun. It was a great way to challenge myself to go hiking even more often than I normally do. In order to make my goal I had to find ways to fit hiking into less typical situations, such as stopping for a short hike at Lewis and Clark State Park while driving home from the Puget Sound area and finding a place to walk on a business trip to central California. I had to find a way to hike on weekdays, so I explored Forest Park much more than I ever had in the past and found a couple routes that I plan to keep as part of my regular routine as long as there is enough daylight.

When I started the hike-a-thon I knew of WTA because I frequent their website to learn about trails that I want to hike. I knew they did lots of trail maintenance work, but hadn't ever put time aside to volunteer. This month I finally volunteered. The work party with WTA was by far my favorite outing of the month. It reinforced to me why this fundraiser is important. I feel very happy to have contributed my "sweat equity" to the cause of safe trails, even if I wasn't able to contribute much money. As I said in my post about the work party, volunteering was a very fulfilling activity.

I really feel like I accomplished something today! And I'm sure I'll have sore muscles to show for it tomorrow. I learned about how trails are built on steep terrain and how to use various trail-building tools. I had fun and met cool people form all over the northwest. I caught some impressive views of the mountain. And I gained a healthy new respect for the work that goes into every trail I hike on. Most importantly, we made the trail safer for other hikers.
I highly recommend volunteering for trail work and plan to sign up for more in the future. Check out WTA's volunteer page for sign ups.

Hike-a-Thon Stats:
  • 40.1 miles
  • 18.7 miles hiked in the after-work hours
  • 11 hikes
  • 9 other H-a-T hiking blogs discovered and added to my feed reader
  • 8.1 miles - longest hike
  • 4 days in a row hiking
  • 3 states
  • 2 bird-watching expeditions
  • 1 volunteer work party with WTA
Here is a list of other hike-a-thon bloggers that I'm aware of. If you know of more, feel free to leave a comment.

Amanda from Seattle
Blue Needle
Crzydazy's Hiking Blog
Ellensburg Alpine Runner
Lost in the Mind of a Tiffany
Angella's Hike-a-Thon 2009
Feasts on Scraps

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