Blue Zones Principle #1: Move Naturally, says in part, “The world’s longest-lived people … live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it.”
Because we live in a world with lots of sitting, I believe it’s more necessary than ever to add planned movement to our lives. I’m lucky the hills near my home provide different options for movement throughout the year.
Hiking up hills to both condition and prepare animals mentally is a strenuous enjoyable twice a week workout for me now since late May.
Mules and just one big white llama will carry our packs this year on a longer more difficult trip than usual, as we hike 8.5 miles on first day, which is predicted to be 100 degrees even in mountains. We’ll leave early from 4,000 feet and hope that temperatures drop as we gain elevation to 7,000+ feet.
To prepare the animals, a helper and I climb them up a steep 2-mile trail thru what I call Hawks Canyon, then up steep short cross-country portion for a total 1,000 feet of elevation gain to reach a more level last mile along Hawks Ridge before we retrace steps and head back down.
With animals and people both needing frequent rest stops on way up, it takes us 2 hours to get to end of trail overlooking river and just one hour to get back. (Will be 5 hours on actual trail each day, but this is best I can do for training.) Views along way are huge reward for me.
I’m satisfied that animals and myself will be prepared for husband’s Bucket List trip, which will take us and three more family members over five nights to three high-alpine lakes. The prize being a lake off the beaten trail that few people have reached. Unknown if lake has fish.
Parts of trail are said to be very rocky, so I’m hoping that mules hooves will hold up. If not, each family member carries a light pack that will become much heavier and we’ll all gain strength along with movement on this year’s first outing.