January 7, 2014

Looking to the Future

A view of the Tennessee River from Snooper's Rock on New Year's Day 2014. 

Happy New Year. January is when most of us make resolutions, establish goals for the year, or resolve to improve our health and well being. Why not? After all, January is named for Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in ancient Roman religion and myth.  Janus is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past.

Let's look to the future and think about some hiking resolutions for 2014. Here is a list of my hiking resolutions as well as some of my hiking dreams. 

1.  I want to hike at least 20 miles in one day in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It may take combining several trails to accomplish this feat, but it is something I hope to do in 2014.  Here is a great website which lists trails by location, feature, and difficulty rating. 

2.  I want to "Discover the West" and have a hiking trip planned to Park City, Utah.  Below is the iconic Delicate Arch located in Arches National Park, Utah.  If you are interested in hiking out west, here is a great website which provides information on hiking trails in 12 states including California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.

(Photograph courtesy of "Discover the West")

3.  I love waterfalls and want to hike to five new waterfalls.  My dream is to return to Oregon some day and see the beautiful  Multnomah Falls pictured below.  According to Oregon.com.,  it is a must see.  

(Photograph courtesy of Scott Allan Photo Art) 

For 2014, the Virgin Falls Loop Trail  near Sparta, Tennessee is on my waterfall list. 

(Photograph courtesy of AllTrails.com) 

4.  I want to hike the Fiery Gizzard Trail, one of the most diverse and beautiful in Tennessee.  The section which starts at the Grundy Forest Natural Area and climbs the plateau to Raven Point is possibly one of the most rugged and difficult trails in Tennessee.

Blue Hole Falls on the Fiery Gizzard trail.  (Photograph courtesy of AllTrails.com) 

5.  I dream of hiking in Glacier National Park in Montana.  It made the Discovery Channel's Top 10 Most Amazing Places to Hike in North America.

(Photograph courtesy of Wikipedia.com) 

6.  I want to hike all of the Georgia sections of the Appalachian Trail.  Here is more information on Georgia's trail sections and how to access.  Being a member of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club makes this goal much easier to attain. 

Plaque at the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail at Springer Mountain.   (Photograph by Ed Peterson of View from Inman Park) 

7.  I want to hike to the summit of Gregory Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, world famous for its flame azaleas which bloom each summer in mid to late June. Learn here why Gregory Bald should be on the list of any self-respecting hiker or nature lover. 

(Photograph courtesy of www.knoxnews.com) 

8.  I want to learn more about Trail Dames (Hiking for Curvy Women) and attend Summit 2014, a hiking and backpacking conference just for women.  Learn more here

(Photograph courtesy of Trail Dames) 

9.  I want to stay physically fit by hiking, exercising, and eating healthy.  I like to track my progress by maintaining a spreadsheet of the trails I've hiked, mileage, and my weight. Yes, my weight has been changed to protect the innocent.  If you're interested in tracking the calories burned while hiking, here is a calorie burn calculator.

10.  Lastly, I want to continue to share my passion for hiking and the beautiful outdoors. Here is one of my favorite blogs, Appalachian Treks.

Hope this post has given you some ideas on how you can improve your health and well being in 2014 and provided some hiking inspiration, too.

For the time being, better get busy on my list, so I can "Keep On Hiking."


  1. Nothing wrong with high expectations, right Don?

  2. Just looked over this post. I am in the center of the Trail Dames pic:-) Linda O'Neal is on the bottom row near the end. Fun time at this seminar.

  3. Yes I recognize you, Reggie. Think I located Linda. I've heard you talk about this conference and I've always wanted to go!