I grew up in a subdivision near some timber we used to run around in — my kid brother actually set fire to it one time, but the volunteers got it put out before much damage was done.
There really weren’t any trails, just tall grass to wander through. A train track went through the bottom of a gully. Kids on the other side of it lived in another subdivision that might as well have been in another state. Strangers to the kids on our side of the gully.
I’m pretty sure my first five-miler happened at summer Boy Scout camp at a place called Camp Wokanda.
So how about it, gang, how’d y’all get started at this dirt-walking thing?
The first real hike I can remember taking was way back in the summer of 1962. I was 11 at the time and my parents took us kids to the Grand Canyon. I don’t remember all of the details at this point except that my dad and my brother and I hiked down into the Canyon to a point that overlooks the Colorado River from I don’t know, maybe a 1000 feet above it (just a guess and I haven’t been back since).
What I do remember was that it was easy going down in the cool of the morning, but in the heat of the afternoon we struggled, especially climbing back out. I just wanted it to be over and we didn’t get back up to the top until late in the day. We weren’t in any rush and took it easy on the hike out going at a pace that was comfortable, if such a thing were possible. It was certainly more hike than I bargained for and yet looking back I am glad we did it. The memory of pain and suffering has been replaced with one of accomplishment.
Correction, I was 10. Yay! I get a year back.
First overnight “hike” I can recall was when a German gymnastics coach took some of the kids from the gym club out to the Rocky Mountains along with his family.
That was in K-Country near Banff, Alberta.
I might have been 12-years-old.
I think that the first lengthy hike I can remember is my first summit attempt on Humbug Mountain in southern Oregon in the summer of 1966. I was five at the time and displayed my inexperience by not wearing shoes (I had probably lost them at the beach earlier that week).
I chronicled that first hike on my Clifton News blog ( http://cliftons.es-designs.com/2004/10/06#a340).
This summer, my brother and I finally made it to the top, 41 years later. (http://fluidflow.es-designs.com/?p=1209).
Obviously, I can’t figure out how to get links to work in your commenting system.
My earliest hiking memories are of halcyon summer days in the mid to late sixties in Oxford, Indiana, when my mafia-affiliated Uncle Hugo (Spadafora, my mom’s brother) would escape Chicago’s summer “heat” and come spend a few months living with my grandpa and Nana, who moved to Oxford from Chicago in 1961. Uncle Hugo was a pied piper – every kid in town followed him around from the playground to the ball field, to the swimming pool where he’d pull out his “wise guy” wad and buy every kid there any treat they wanted. Those who accompanied Uncle Hugo on a five-mile hike to Pine Village (yes, THAT Pine Village of Jim Thorpe fame!) would be especially lavished with sugary rewards. I think one summer, maybe I was 13, we hiked the highway – yes the highway – and back country gravel roads to Pine Village a hundred times. It got into my blood early, thanks to the one-and-only (and deceased by now) Uncle Hugo.
When I was a kid living in East Palo Alto, during the summer my friends and I would go on long outings out in the wetlands by the bay. Today there is a preserve called Ravenswood, but that is only a small section of what was a huge expanse of wetlands all the way down to Milpitas. There were some unofficial trails, but mostly it was totally undeveloped. We didn
Cynthia, that Grand Canyon hike was probably Plateau Point via the Bright Angel trail.
Hard to remember my first “hike” as I spent much of my childhood crawling around the woods in PA.
I do remember my first California hike tho- a visit to Yosemite when I was ~22 where we did Yosemite Falls one day and Half Dome the next.
Hi John, You are right! Every once in awhile I see pictures of the plateau point we hiked to but I never knew the name of it. I just searched it and found some pictures and that is the place! Thanks!
I was born in Denver. My Italian side relatives were very big on Sunday drives to the mountains. We would pack up about 4 cars and head out to Estes Park or other nearby site. The breakfast meal was a huge sausage and egg feast cooked on a campfire followed by fun for about 4 hours. After, us kids would trek around looking for tadpoles in the local waters. I don’t recall much of the rides home past the Coors Brewery since us tykes were in snoozeville. We’d also do the same script at Buffalo Bill’s Grave, Mother Cabrini Shrine and Red Rocks. Neato torpedo.
My earliest hiking memory is an overnighter to the backpacker’s camp at Sunol Regional. I was pretty little, first or second grade. It was a father/son weekend with a my dad, and co-worker of his and that guy’s son.
I wonder if there were as many airplanes in 1988 as there when I did the Ohlone Trail earlier this year.