A Look Back on 2016
2016 has come and gone and now is the time to reflect on all that was accomplished or not. I think that many would agree that it was a rough year with all of the musician and celebrity deaths, Brexit, the US election, the war in Syria, the Keystone XL pipeline standoff, and the proposed motel near the summit of Mount Washington. But for me (outside of celebrities, politics and global disaster) it was a pretty good year. Here’s a rundown of my goals for the year and whether or not I attained them:
- I have done more Winter hikes of the New Hampshire 4000 Footers, including Liberty and Flume, Owl’s Head, Isolation, Pierce and Eisenhower, Hancock and South Hancock. I did not do a winter hike of Mount Washington
- I completed the New England 4000 Footer list and made good progress on the New England Hundred Highest
- I was again unable to complete a solo, single-day hike of the Presidential Traverse. For the first time in a few years I didn’t even make an attempt of it, though I did do a loop of the southern Presidentials
- I did an excellent multi-day hike of the Great Range in the Adirondacks with friends. We enjoyed it so much that we’d like to return in 2017
- I didn’t complete any state high points this year even though at one point or another I made plans to do Mount Greylock in Massachusetts, Mount Marcy in New York and King’s Peak in Utah
- I was able to get out to Utah for the National Park Service’s centennial and visited Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park
- Doing some hiking of the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia was a dream that did not come true this year
On top of that mixed bag of completions and missed opportunities, I also completed the following unplanned goals:
- Helped my wife train for hiking Baxter Peak solo, which she did successfully in July (I’m planning on posting about the regiment I set up for her)
- I joined a friend for Seek the Peak, a hiking fundraiser for the Mount Washington Observatory. We took the longest and most arduous path we could think of: up via Davis Path, down via Nelson Crag Trail
- A few coworkers and I started a hiking club at work and have organized several hikes including Tumbledown Mountain
- I did several sunrise hikes that had me waking up and driving to New Hampshire or northern Maine in the middle of the night just to get to the summit to photograph the sun. These included: Mount Chocorua, Mount Major, Mount Abraham and South Crocker Mountain
- I completed the 30+ mile Pemi Loop in under 24 hours (20:10 to be exact-ish), it was a huge feat for me, having never done more than around 20 miles in a single go
A Look Ahead to 2017
Keeping with the themes from last year and in an attempt to complete some of those goals I missed, here are my goals for 2017:
- Hike Mount Washington in the winter. The weather is looking promising for January 2nd
- I get a mandatory month’s paid leave this year and my family and I will be driving across the country to visit as many National Parks as possible. Right now we are hoping to hit: Rocky Mountains, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Olympic, Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Cuyahoga
- Try to complete the New England Hundred Highest list
- Continue to work on some of my crazy, long-term goals: The Grid, Tracing the White Mountains Trails, New England 3000 Footers and section hiking the Appalachian Trail
- Complete some more State High Points. Mount Greylock and Mount Marcy should be doable
- I would like to return to the Adirondacks for another multi-day hike. This time targeting the Lake Colden area to hit some ADK 46ers including New York high point Mount Marcy
- For my annual fall hiking trip with my friends I’d like to pull off the Delaware Water Gap. I’m not sure between the Appalachian Trail and the McDade Trail
- A friend of mine is planning a canoeing trip along the St. John river this Spring. I’m looking forward to the paddling trip
- I want to join the AMC’s Adopt-a-Trail program. I typically volunteer some of my time every year to trail maintenance. This year I’d like to get more serious about it and really give back to the trails that keep me sane
Finally, I want to keep putting out blog posts about my wandering and expanding my reach. My views and visitors have pretty much doubled each year and my visitors have exceeded the previous year’s views. I’m very happy with these numbers and excited to see how they change in 2017.
How about you loyal reader, what wanderful goals do you have for the upcoming year? Have you done the Delaware Water Gap and if so would you suggest hiking the McDade or Appalachian Trail? Are there any National Parks that I don’t have listed above that you would suggest visiting? Give me some feedback and see you on the trails!
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
-Frank Lloyd Wright
“AMC Adopt-A-Trail.” outdoors.org. Appalachian Mountain Club. Web. 31 December 2016.
“Delaware Water Gap.” nps.gov. National Park Service. Web. 31 December 2016.
“Maine’s Upper Saint John.” mainecampsite.com. Mike Everett. Web. 31 December 2016.
“National Park Trip.” roadtrippers.com. Roadtrippers, Inc. Web. 31 December 2016.