An Extreme City
Day Hike My First Blister
While this pales in comparison
to other important personal milestones such as "my first gray
hair", "my first speeding ticket", "my first
wife." This is when I got my first blister
didn't even leave my home town.
It was 30 miles total in about
10 hours of "extreme sidewalk day hiking" (Pt Loma to
Poway) that finally did me in. This was my 4th extreme
day hike of this type a few years ago within the San Diego and
adjoining communities. The hot spots on my foot were obvious
after 20 miles but, being an idiot, I didnt stop or apply
anything. Slight foot movement due to loose shoe lacing on the
trail running shoes probably caused it. Lesson learned: Tighten
the laces even on level ground, and fix the hot spots immediately.
The insidious problem with a germinating
blister - a hot spot - is it is easy to ignore because the pain
is not bad at first. By the time it becomes painfully obvious,
not much will help and the blister is often beyond repair; you
will be suffering through the remainder of the hike and, most likely,
for several days later. Here is a forum that talks ad nauseam
about blister prevention
and care detailing many possible cause and solutions.
Enough of the blister talk. Being
easily entertained, I find this extreme hike from home activity
fascinating. While this is not exactly a walk on the wild side,
hiking (I guess its called walking when you are on concrete) from
your home saves all the travel logistics of getting to and from
the trailhead. No question about it
real hikers do the Sierras,
the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Alps, the Himalayans,
the Andes, and all the other nature-blessed points in between.
Planning and executing a day trek from your home, however, can
be a good substitute while you await the real thing.
TIPS FOR AN EXTREME CITY DAY HIKE
1. Route - Select a route
to minimize car exposure and maximize the scenic beauty of your
locale. If you dont have scenic beauty find something else
thats interesting. San Diego is a perfect place for an extended
city walk due to its hills and canyons, the Pacific Ocean, two
bays (Mission Bay and San Diego Bay). For the ultimate hike planning,
drive it first to discern the safest and most interesting route.
2. Timing - Start out before
sunrise Sunday morning to avoid traffic, at least for the first
3. Safety - For a more quiet
and safe walk, stay off main thoroughfares, even ones with sidewalks.
Absolutely stay off main roads with no walking paths
hazardous enough for bicyclists, but pedestrians (not sure I like
being called a pedestrian while hiking) are at an even higher risk.
Its fun to find shortcuts through canyons, parking lots,
over fences, and other paths accessible only by walking.
4. Equipment - Assuming
you are in a typical community with a McDonalds and Starbucks every
800 feet, the Sierra
Club's ten essentials are not needed, except for the sunglasses.
Also going light allows you to blend in with the normal people
who are walking or running short distances. If people find out
how far you are going, words like "crazy", "nuts",
and a "walking Forrest Gump", will be directed
5. One-way Hike - If you
can arrange a ride back by private car or public transportation
you can go longer one-way and not be bored with backtracking. And
best of all, an extreme hike-from-home results not only in an interesting
adventure, but you return to your own bed and familiar indoor plumbing.
On this blistered-walk, I strolled
the length of the Pt Loma peninsula in pre-dawn hours, joined the
joggers at sunrise along the east side of Mission Bay, was passed
by bikers along a dedicated trail parallel to Interstate 5, navigated
the innumerable upscale condo complexes of La Jollas Golden
Triangle, traversed an the empty University Towne Center shopping
center, took the pulse of the local economy represented in the
Miramar industrial parks, moved quickly through the bedroom communities
of Mira Mesa and Penasquitos, passed in the shadow of Black Mountain,
and then shortly connected with my ride home. It was fun seeing
a variety of communities in a slow, continuous mode
a curious cat exploring a new environment.
Has anyone else done this sort
of thing? Post your own extreme city trek experiences on the Forum.
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