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Archive for January, 2012

Recently,I got trained as a Walkabout Leader with NS Heart & Stroke Foundation, and found out about the many benefits of walking as well additional information on the 10,000 steps a day program. Once you registered on their website, you have the opportunity to track your progress and steps. All you need is a pedometer.

One of nice features of the walkabout program is that it allows you to participate in other activities ie. cycling, hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing etc.   and provides a conversion table to help you convert into steps. Claire MacLean, our instructor indicates that some walkers have gone on to walk 1-5 million steps a year. By joining a walking club you have the opportunity to meet other people and learn more about the great routes you have around your neighborhood.  I was fortunate to meet and walk with  Emily Forrest, who walked the coastline of Nova Scotia , over 3000 km in 88 days.

So take a look at this program, it may inspire you to greater things and keep you life active and healthy.

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Loon, St. Ann's Harbour

Something told me that day to take my DSLR camera with my zoom lens and teleconverter (1.5x) ,which made my zoom go to 405 mm. Off I went for my walk. It was a grey, overcast day not to cold at least I thought, so I took my hiking gloves. About 30 minutes later I switch to winter gloves, there was definitely wind chill factor in the air (-14).

Loon drying its wings

I heard a loon so I focused the camera to see if I could find it.  I did..It was out quite far in the harbour but my zoom brought it in. I stayed for 25-30 minutes watching it.  It was amazing experience…the loon caught a fish and ate it. Later it came in closer to shore…then it got up and dry its wings…. Then I saw a grey jay, squirrel and a seal on my walk.  An exceptional day for photography and nature. Now I want a bigger zoom.

Squirrel

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Sun reflecting off the ice

As new year begins, many hikers take time to reflect on the past year,2011 and what it was for them. Hikers remember the trails they hiked, the people they have meet, those incredible photos taken and those special memories.

It is now time to plan and prepare for the 2012 season… 1) One of the first things I like to do is review my equipment & its condition, do a complete  inventory and see what is needed to purchase for this year. Looks like it will be a new pair of boots and daypack,  2)  Develop a fitness plan for the winter and spring as well set kilometre goals for 2012.  I know that to stay in shape I need to do so many kilometres each year but I am careful not to become a fitness hiker where I miss those special moments with nature & photos. I have set a lofty goal of 1000 kms in 2012, 3) Improve my photography & creative skills  with the camera and take more 5 stars pictures.

Ice in the brook

And finally, 4) Develop a wish list of a new trails and challenges to explore. These include a) the hike a 100 km  for the Hikers Distance Award at the Hike the Highlands festival,  b) Complete the Cape Breton Highlands 3 Peaks Challenge ( hike 3 mountains in one day on Saturday, July 21, 2012,  c) hike Snowdon Mountain, Wales, the last of the UK 3 Peaks Challenge mountains to hike, d) East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and Labrador, and e) Cape Chignecto.  Other challenges on my list include Ride for Diabetes in June at Little Bras d”Or, , Cycling the Confederation Trail (300 km) in PEI and doing the Not Since Moses 10k/5k Walk & Run event.

Wow it certainly plans to be a busy year….Have you started planning your schedule for hiking in 2012 ?  I wish all hikers happiness, good health and lots of hiking in 2012.

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