These are my hikers, my winter runners, and my casual tennis shoes. I use them for day hiking with a loaded pack, running in snow, and general knocking around town. Water stays out and the outside sheds dirt and grime well. They are getting beat up because I wear them all the time, but the tread has held up. If you’re just going to have one pair of shoes, know that charcoal goes with everything.
Urban hiking in Chicago isn’t happening for the Steffen’s in January. We could, but we’ve found that it’s best just to hole up in inside during the winter and recharge/recover.
So, Gail and I used a perfect Friday in January during a visit to San Francisco to take a little walking tour. It gave me an opportunity to learn Google Maps and practice how I’m going to map things when we get down to it in Chicago. Check out the map below. If you click on each marked location you’ll get comments and maybe some insight. The Chicago maps will be much more robust because I know this city.
We’d been to San Francisco before so we had a few destinations in mind but mostly wanted to get acquainted with some neighborhoods and have a bite to eat. We had planned to go longer but cut things a little short in the end. We officially went about eight miles, but this could easily be made longer or shorter because the area is so dense in sightseeing options.
Our starting point was the Fairmont Hotel in Nob Hill and we ended the day a few blocks away at a great little restaurant called Aliment. My original plan had us going to Corona Heights Park just west on 16th Street in The Castro, but we ran out of time/fuel.
Valencia Street in the Mission had a bit of everything – gritty urban hipster mixed with boutique food and retail. Hayes Street in Hayes Valley was more of the same, but smaller and residential. If I were to go back, I’d get some hill climbing in and maybe carb up at Tacolicious on Valencia and Schulzie’s Bread Pudding on Hayes.
So by the end of August 2014, I had planned and urban hike for a group and done a GORUCK Challenge. I immediately followed things up in early September with a new hike for just my wife and I because I was consumed by this idea of urban hiking and still high from the GORUCK. Here it is:
It was a gray Labor Day morning and Gail and I started off early with an eye to getting done well before noon. I wanted to revisit some of the places I was on the GORUCK and get some training in for our big Xtreme Hike in late September. It’s here that we really began formulating the idea of being more organized with urban hiking.
What were we thinking? Well, we were in the throws of raising money for our CFF Xtreme Hike, so we saw it as a way to potentially raise funds and awareness for CF. Also, we’re doing these hikes anyhow, and having a website could make it easier to publicize it so more friends and family join and such. And with our own website, we wouldn’t have to clog up people’s Facebook timelines (I’m very sensitive to that, for some reason). And finally, in general, I really enjoy this tech and website stuff, so it’s somewhat of a creative outlet.
It was this very evening, I think, when I went on line and grabbed this URL.
I volunteer occasionally for cystic fibrosis and I was in charge of a few training hikes for their annual Xtreme Hike every September. This was my first mapped-out urban hike and it was very well received by a pack of about six people who were signed up for the Xtreme Hike. I loved it and I’m excited to do more of this in 2015!
I mapped it in RunKeeper then used Skitch to annotate it. It has all sorts of issues.
I need to improve a bunch of things. First, I completely mislabeled “North Avenue Beach,” which is a breach in proofreading that I can’t tolerate. Second, I need to highlight restrooms because you kind of need those. And finally, this just needs to be a little more robust and fun, with miles and calories and more notes on tourist sites.
That’s just a start. We’ll get there.