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And his legs are five inches long.

August 27, 2010. Sure, he’s got four of them, but still … if Deacon can do seven miles up and down a very steep mountain, so can you. If you don’t think you can, we have to get you started on a walking program. Check out these views. I bet you want to go here. Or someplace a lot like here.

We – Kathy, Deacon and I – did this hike yesterday in Maine’s Acadia National Park. It’s just beautiful – from the walks along the definitively rugged, rocky coast to the tops of the mountains.

To the Top
Sargent Mountain goes up – quickly and steeply – to 1379 feet. The elevation’s not much compared with the mountains out west – but the hiking can be as challenging. This one starts out, steeply, through lush cedar and birch forests. We headed north on the Sargent South Ridge Trail – from sea level to the top of Cedar Swamp Mt. (950′) in 1.4 miles.

Then you give back 100′ of your elevation gain on the steep, windy, cut-from-solid-granite trail segment down to Birch Spring. Across the stream and back up another 300′ in a little over half a mile until you emerge from the trees and out onto sheer – but not steep – pink granite.

From here, it’s a mile out and a couple of hundred feet up to the summit. The views are endless, out over the summer green mountains of Acadia and the hundreds of tiny and not-so-tiny islands along the coastline and then out to sea over the Atlantic. Miniature white sailboats everywhere down there. For us, it’s 3.5 miles on foot – with a really nice breeze.

That was yesterday. Tomorrow’s San Francisco. Deacon doesn’t fly, so it’s just the two of us. Deacon’ll be happy to rest.

Every Thing Is Everything
Here’s another BetterCheaper three-for-one: when you walk, hike or run in a beautiful place, you get the health benefit of exercise; the added health benefits of being in green, natural environment; and, a free shot of Vitamin D. Don’t suffer from LSD (Lack of Sun Disorder) – get outside.

… exercise has a benefit of reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, beyond that produced by weight reduction alone.” (from the National Institutes of Health. Their Guide to Physical Activity lists many examples of “moderate physical activity”, including “Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes”.)

While you’re walking, sip water frequently to stay hydrated and fresh. Avoid expensive, environmentally unfriendly bottled water; filter, fill up and carry your own. When I hike, I wear my CamelBak backpack with its built-in water reservoir and conveniently in-my-face water “bite valve” that never drips or leaks. Check out these handy 50-ounce and 100-ounce packs and this kid’s 1-liter Pack.

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