Dream Hikes --- with Maps

(2008 Dec blog post)

!Preliminary! I may add info on more dream hikes
... and info on shorter hikes ... and more maps ... and
links to other pages and map sources



I ran across an image of a huge Western USA hiking loop that I did not know about --- a trail covering California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Arizona (map below).

I had heard a lot about the Appalachian Trail (AT) --- especially since I live on the East Coast and I know someone who has hiked the northern part of the AT, through Vermont and Maine. (see AT map below)

I even ran across a map (below) of a proposed 'Great Eastern Trail' that would extend the AT.

In thinking about these massive 1,000-mile-plus trails, I got to thinking about how I would like to hike at least some major portions of these trails --- and perhaps even set out on a hike across the United States someday (in retirement).

To help gather information for such a dream hike (or hikeS), I started this page --- to collect maps, info, and links to more info.

At this time (2008dec), the page is just a collection of a few map images of a few major trails --- and a collection of a few photographs that remind me of a few short hikes that I have done along or near the AT --- at locations like

  • several places just off the Blue Ridge Highway in Virginia, to waterfalls
  • Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina
  • the AT in Smoky Mountains National Park near the border of Tennessee and extreme western North Carolina
  • near Max Patch mountain north of Ashville in western North Carolina (see Max Patch on map below)

I also took a couple of memorable hikes, with the wife and kids, in the early 1990's, down into the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona.

And in May-June of 2007, I drove across the USA and up the west coast and saw many areas that I would like to hike, like

  • northern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Gallup
    (beautiful colors on bluffs, especially late in the day)

  • north-eastern Arizona near the Painted Desert and
    the Petrified Forest National Park
    (hauling water would be an issue in these places)

  • Sequoia National Park

  • Yosemite National Park (just north of Sequoia Park,
    and almost due east of Oakland and San Francisco)

  • Lassen Volcanic National park, in northern California

  • Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon

  • Avenue of the Giants (huge redwoods and shade that
    you can hardly believe) in northern California

In my drive across the country, I basically followed Interstate 40, which parallels the famous old Route 66 in the western U.S. Fragments of 66 remain. That drive, and the fragments of 66, caused me to daydream about hiking across the country following 40 and/or 66.

Those daydreams led to dreams for a wheeled, hand-or-shoulder-drawn carrier for tent and other camping gear ... and dreams of how to steer clear of highway traffic and the danger of being hit by drivers who are drunk, striken by heart attack, distracted by talking on cell phone, sociopathic against hikers/runners/bicyclers/motorcyclers, or whatever.

This page is mostly the stuff of dreams --- but hopefully some of them will come true.

Of course, one must make proper preparations. For example, one must be prepared for bad weather --- like rain and lightning. I was once running in hilly Iowa farmland countryside during a lightning storm, and I can tell you that it is not a pleasant feeling. You feel like you are a lightning rod just waiting to be struck.

So this page will probably include info on hiking-camping check-lists. In the meantime, here is a page of links to hiking-camping related web sites.

A Thank-you to some, and Hands-off to others, postscript :

By the way, thank you, dreamers and do-ers, dead and alive and future, for making and preserving our national parks --- and wildlife,forest,etc. nature-preserve areas. And ...

'Freemarket capitalism freaks', leave these national treasures alone. These are treasures that 'freemarket capitalism' will destroy. These lands are symbols of why there are other things in this world just as important as (if not important than) 'freemarket capitalism'.

This is especially addressed to you guys in the all-pervasive 'conservative' media, spouting your 'freemarket capitalism is the best path to prosperity' poison on CNBC (Kudlow, Gasparino, et. al.). I will have blog posts and 'hall of shame' pages on this site dealing with these people.

In driving across country on Interstate 40, I saw first-hand in northern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Gallup, what our parks (Yellowstone, Yosemite, et. al.) would look like if 'freemarket capitalism' were allowed to 'develop' the parks.

Namely, I saw a beautiful red butte with advertising signs painted all over it in white paint --- signs advertising the indian curios shop, decrepit and decaying at the foot of the butte.

There are very good reasons for regulations, you CNBC and Fox-News guys. If that is socialism, then thank God we have some elements of socialism in certain sectors of society that need protection from the worst impulses of 'freemarket capitalism'. 'Freemarket capitalism' is not the answer to everything --- not by a long shot.

Here are a couple of more AT maps --- to whet my/your appetite.
(And there are a few more photos at the bottom of this page.)

Bottom of Dream Hikes --- with Maps page.

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Posted 2008 Dec 24.
Changed, to facilitate better printing, 2009 Aug 25.
Changed file organization (underneath) 2013 Apr 16.

More Appalachian Trail images :