Top 3 Dream Hikes
I’ve always had a passion for nature in all it’s beauty; serene landscapes, picturesque views, wildlife and that good old fresh air feeling. I’ve also always loved walking – and I’m not talking about a stroll to the mailbox or the far reaching corner store – I’m talking about the need to just keep walking, like exploring a new city completely on foot from sun up to twilight. To me the only way to truly see a place or appreciate it is on ground level, by taking it all in one step at a time.
Over the past few years I’ve been craving to do a real hike and the feeling seems to be getting stronger – especially as I learn of new hikes. And so I offer you my top 3 dream hikes. As I’m a true believer in once you put a dream or thought in motion and say it or write it down, that it starts becoming more of a reality and less of a perhaps, the wheels start turning, start moving towards achieving that goal.
My first dream hike is the Camino de Santiago or The Way of St. James. I stumbled upon this pilgrimage, as many call it (though many are not religious who walk it), from a book written by Shirley MacLaine over 10 years ago, The Camino, and have been boarding on obsessed with it ever since, learning as much as I could about it and it’s history and devouring books of other travellers who have walked it.
Name: Camino de Santiago or The Way of St. James
Where: Varying routes across Europe through Spain to the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela
Distance: Depends on where you start and which route you take
Interesting info: The symbol of the Camino is the scallop shell – used as markers, on pilgrim hostels and often sewn on a piece of gear of clothing of walker
My second dream hike is the Pacific Crest Trail and has been lurking in my subconscious and everywhere I look ever since I read Cheryl Strayed’s amazing Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Her determination, strength and commitment really struck a cord with me and made me question myself – could I truly do it?, leave the civilized world behind and essentially live in the wild for an extended period of time? My conclusion – I won’t know until I try, and so another hike was added to my must do list.
Name: Pacific Crest Trail or PCT
Where: Starts near Mexican boarder, up through California, Oregon and Washington to the Canadian boarder
Distance: 4265 km / 2650 miles
Interesting info: Crosses 26 National Forests, 7 National Parks, 5 State Parks & 3 National Monuments
My third and most resent addition to my list of dream hikes is the Lycian Way. This one was inspired by reading Sherry Otts’s journey through her blog Ottsworld of her hike along the Lycian Way. What captivated me was the landscape and hiking through ruins – as if you were walking in the past surrounded by such history – as well as her stunning photographs of her hike, I was hooked!
Name: Lycian Way
Where: in Turkey, around part of the coast of ancient Lycia – from Fethiye to Antalya
Distance: 509 km / 300 miles
Interesting info: Turkey has over 14,000 plant species that are endemic (only found there)
I may only be dreaming about these hikes right now but what are dreams and hopes anyway? Precursors to things you’ll do, if you truly want them. And boy do I want to hike these three amazing trails; let myself get lost in the wilderness only to find myself by putting one foot in front of the other.
Have you hiked one of these trails? If so, how did it change you? or Do you hope to? Perhaps there is another hike you’ve done or dream to.