Exercise so the Adventure Can Continue

I do love to take off on a strenuous backpacking or hiking trip most anytime of the year with most treks concentrated during the warmer months. However, as a 65 year old man with 2 artificial hips, a suspect back weighing in over 200 pounds, I have to be careful not to overdue it. That means staying in relatively good shape year round which is only getting more difficult as the years pile on.

Hiking on the Chegwyn Farm

Hiking on the Farm

This translates into a push for daily exercise which is primarily accomplished thanks to my dog, Brook’s, need for exercise. We are fortunate to live on the outskirts of town next to a farm that provides ample routes for interesting dog walks. Brook and I probably average 4 miles a day of flatland hiking but that is not enough to keep me ready for the hike we went on yesterday. 

Every week, typically on a decent weather day, I motivate myself to take on a hike that includes a vertical climb.

Trappist Abbey Hike

Trappist Abbey Hike

Many times that may be a 5 mile loop up and around the Trappist Abbey which gives us a 1000 foot vertical. Yesterday, 12/26/2019, we took on Elk Mountain in the Tillamook State Forest which is only a 3 mile round trip but the 2000′ vertical over such a short route is punishing. One of those hikes where you do have to stop many times to let your heart slow down. A hike where an old guy does think about turning around before the summit, but that cannot happen. Of course the reward of making the vista summit is worth it, but the true reward comes from your sore legs that confirm that your body can still perform.

ElkMtnSummitYesterday was a beautiful cold sunny Oregon day in the coastal range which was ideal for the Elk Mountain climb. The trail was in excellent condition partly due to the frozen ground.

The views are better in the winter when vegetation is at a minimum. Overall, Elk Mountain is a great hike that will challenge any physically fit hiker. So I feel good that I only have some sore legs which tell me that I am still able to participate in my passion.

(See previous backpacking Elk Mountain Post – Mountain Top Experience)

What is the correct prescription of exercise for an old guy like me. I have had 65 years to learn what my body can handle. I have paid the price for being out of shape and then over exerting myself which might typically lead to back problems. I was young enough to recover and learned to be more cautious but I was able to cheat on staying in shape. Those days are over, My greatest fear is that I will injure my back causing me to become out of shape which I know will severely impact my ability to pursue my passion. Thank God, I have avoided these back injuries for many years but only because I know that I must keep my overall body strong. A back is protected by all of your muscles working in harmony. Routine exercise is a requirement for living my dream so the Adventure Can Continue.

About ghsmith76

Backpacker, Grandfather, Volunteer, Advisor, Mentor and still Technologically Aware. Greg retired as a technologist who served as a Chief Information Officer in Higher Education at various universities. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard. Other early jobs included IT activity in the oil shale and coal mining industries along with owning a computer store in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Posted on December 27, 2019, in @AussieBrook, Backpacking, Brook, Health, Hiking, Oregon Coast, Wilderness and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Great article… I’m right there with you trying to get/stay in shape!


    On Fri, Dec 27, 2019, 11:57 AM The Adventure Continues wrote:

    > ghsmith76 posted: “I do love to take off on a strenuous backpacking or > hiking trip most anytime of the year with most treks concentrated during > the warmer months. However, as a 65 year old man with 2 artificial hips, a > suspect back weighing in over 200 pounds, I have to be ” >


  2. Hey Greg, I’m the guy who just sent you the tip on “windy.com” for your coastal adventures (re Lost Coast). I like your writing style, looking at other of your many adventures, this post on Exercise For Old Guys caught my eye. I am 63, new to backpacking. I was an elite water polo player until I was 25, but I got badly out of shape between 40-60, cycling between getting fit and then fat, over and over… not good. Two years ago I said “enough”, lost 100#. I started kayak camping last year, and now I’m determined to do some “real” backpacking… not PCT/AT length… the 3day to 1month kind, but lot’s of them. I suspect you and I share similar philisophical views… If you ever want to come down for a Baja Mexico adventure, I live in one of the best places on earth. If you come down my wife and I have a nice place for you to stay… let’s do a week of kayak camping/ hiking/ spearfishing! Old Guy style. Small tastes:


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