Wednesday, April 17, 2019

On (not) redlining

"Okay," Ashley said. "Everyone can hike their own pace from here to the rim." She glanced at our twitchy faces. "But no redlining!"

I had been on this otherwise great guided winter guided trip in the Grand Canyon (back in 2013), but the one thing driving me crazy with a guided group was the need to hike at someone else's pace. Don't get me wrong, the other hikers weren't slouches (I still hike with three of them to this day), but your pace is your pace. I eagerly booked it up the trail, free at last.

Not redlining at the Canyon

I've often thought about that comment though. Obviously, Ashley didn't want us to hike so fast that we would collapse and die (that wouldn't look good for their company). But there's a time and a place for redlining (which I define as pushing yourself as hard as you can, staying just on that edge). I tend to try to redline fairly often, though not for the whole hike, or run. And there are definitely days when I take it easy.

This week I decided to do some bike trainer rides and some walks. It's hard not to feel guilty about not pushing it, but a scratchy throat and sleepless nights persuaded me not to be a hero.  In the past, I would have ignored all those things and pushed on regardless. I like to think I am wiser now. It's not like I'm training for anything but life.

Instead, I lumbered along behind the dogs, feeling sort of like a big blimp but also enjoying the chance to just look around. For example, here are some hard core pioneers in the campground:
 And I discovered the joy of an easy run. Back in the day, I wouldn't have been seen dead running this slowly. But you know what? I don't care anymore! I even stopped to take a picture on my running route. The horror!

And wondered in vain what these tracks were from (below).

I can't make every day an easy day, but when I do, I really enjoy it. The redline will return when I'm feeling better.


  1. Beautiful!!!!.....Thanks for sharing

  2. Depending on the size these could be turkey or else grouse.

  3. Funny to see the tent in one of the remaining snow patches. A little large for grouse; I thought goose, but L. said they have webbing. Crane? The Sandhill cranes have just returned to our area.

  4. Yes, definitely Turkey tracks. Oh what I would give to be there camping right now. Peace and quiet refreshment for the soul.

  5. My hiking group's motto is "It's not the distance. It's the journey." I would happily substitute speed for distance. That being the case, there are those in the group, that sometimes feel limited by the lack of speed.

    That being said, I admire you for your determined redlining, stamina and joy to be always 'out there'.

    1. It is a tough one when hiking with others. I really enjoy being with them, but most paces are not mine. I definitely have to balance this with some trips on my own.

  6. Where I come from "to redline" a trail means to hike it for the first time, and "to redline" a region or guidebook means to hike every trail in that region or guidebook. So "no redlining" would have confused the Hell out of me if I'd been there.

  7. Also, I agree. If they were huge, then definitely turkey.


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