Lessons learned, Glacier National Park My first hiking trips were 'luxury heli-hiking trips'. They *were* hiking trips, but suitable for novices like me. We could split into groups by ability, and novices had the support of guides to help us learn how to negotiate a steep hill, remind us to stay hydrated, etc.
Up to that point, all the 'hiking' I had done was walk the hilly streets of Arlington. We got some good hills here, but that's not hiking.
In Glacier National Park, with the help of The World Outdoors (http://www.theworldoutdoors.com/) planning and their expert guides, I had the chance to appreciate breath-taking natural views, be awed by the wonder of this planet --and I hiked.
A Little Blister Prevention AdviceI always learn things when I travel--about the places I see, history, natural growth and vegetation, wildlife... I also learn some 'useful tricks'. One bit worth sharing before I close out this trip--how to manage blisters.
Most surprising to me --the guides use duct tape. It 'slides', preventing blister-causing friction. If you already have a blister, put a thin layer of padding over the blister so the tape won't adhere to it, and put the duct tape over that. Before you start, consider using tape on areas of your foot that are prone to blistering... you know, those places that your favorite shoe tends to rub.
More general knowledge for blister prevention:- Break in your shoes before you go. If you use your own inner-soles, break those in, too.
- Wear a wicking sock layer next to your skin. Not cotton or wool. - Wear a double layer of socks--the added layer reduces friction. You can buy double-layer socks or you can wear a thin 'sock liner' under the regular one. - Use lubrication (there are some made just for runners and hikers, and there's always petroleum jelly) At the other end of the spectrum, especially if you have sweaty feet--keep your feet dry. From anti-perspirant to corn starch, if you can keep you feet dry, they're less likely to blister.
------ This was the most challenging trip I've ever taken, and one of the most beautiful. I keep trying to find words to describe how I feel when I look at--when I walk in--mountains that are many millions of years old; when I see how nature can rebound; when I see what untouched wilderness has to offer. I keep coming up with 'awe'. So I'll close out this trip to Glacier National Park with thanks to my travel friend Linda, to The World Outdoors and their guides, and some pictures.
Thank you for following Tales from the Trail and Places I've Been. Back in a week or so with the start of a series on hiking on volcanoes and in river gorges (yes, volacanos. Active volcanoes).
earth meeting the sky...clouds descending and peaks rising above them...
Picnic by the Iceberg Lake Boat trip to Goat Haunt
view from Highline Trail
Most of the wildlife I saw was trying to get away from us--maybe not the Bighorn Sheep or the Columbian Ground Squirrel. But the bighorns and the deer below were definitely going the other way.
As for the warnings about bears I (thankfully) did not run into any. But to close this blog I have to include this sign (not one of my photos). I've seen a few versions of this, taken in spots with notable bear populations, online including the Fort Steele Campground in British Columbia. After all the advice and the warnings, I especially appreciated the laugh.
Will be back with a new trip blog soon.
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