52:September

31.35 miles 65,541 steps +5,241 elev

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32. Spruce Pack Trail, Sierra Prieta: 5.35 miles

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33. All of the Sierra Prieta trails I’d not done before…and a nap: 9.5 miles

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34. Pott’s Creek Trail #327. Because, rain…and forests: 5.29 miles

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35. T37 Purgatory: 7.48 miles, uphill both ways

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36. Abandoned fort, location classified: 1.62 miles

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37. Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, Prescott: 2.11 miles

Efforts & Expectations

I’ve been self-evaluating heavily this month, dwelling on that ever-evolving concept of excellence and striving to purge anything that doesn’t make the cut—such things become ritual when your religion is “curator.” The latest mass culling has included things like unused gear, designs that lack that “pop,” photos that are only “good enough” (I carry the heavy DSLR on hikes now), poor vendors (oh, hey there Wells Fargo), and any perceived slothfulness in the day-to-day. That last one is tough to measure using less-than-excellent gear: I’ve been hiking harder and faster to push past unexpected exhaustion on recent hikes: hikes with cumulative elevation gains supposedly in the mere hundreds of feet. I mean, I live a mile above sea level, and started out this 52 Hike Challenge thing with hikes featuring thousands of feet in gain…the fuck is wrong with me?

My inner nerd was screaming “Is the cable plugged in?” so I decided to do some testing. Low and behold: MapMyFitness has been “recalculating for accuracy,” supposedly from USGS source data, and cutting the cumulative elevation gain from my routes by an average of 40% (my last hike was logged at a whopping 20% of the actual gain). Sorry MMF, but your super-accurate “correction” method sucks.

What doesn’t suck? The results achieved when you bite the bullet, put the point-and-shoot away, and haul that heavy DSLR kit ten miles up the mountain in the rain:

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