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DanL

Newbie again from TX

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DanL

Hello all, I'm 62 years old in the Dallas, TX area. Many years ago, 25+, I used to do a lot of long backcountry hiking but had to give it up because of knee injuries as well as family obligations. But I have missed spending time alone in the wilderness. Now physically I feel great and am happily divorced. I will be retiring soon and want to get back into what I consider my church, the natural outdoors. I am not going to try to get back into the long backcountry trips right away but want to do some overnights or may 2 - 3 day trips.

The first of these trips will be mid May in the Canyonlands area of Utah. I have been making some "practice" hikes lately and can do 10 - 12 miles with no discomfort. These "practice" hikes however have been with only a water bottle so it is time to get some gear and see if I can handle it fully loaded. I have a RIE near me and am going to go check out some equipment but of course in the store is nothing compared to the trail. Since I don't plan on doing any long trips I don't need the biggest of packs but my other interest, photography, is not lightweight so small day packs won't work either.

Anyway, I have been browsing this forum and thought I should introduce myself and say hi. Any tips, comments or guidance is always welcome. I just hope you don't tell me to "stay home old timer".

Thanks

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Aaron

Hey Dan and welcome to TrailGroove! I've done a few trips in and around Canyonlands...one of those areas where it's tough to fit it all in on a single trip, and speaking of photography is a place that seems to fill up memory cards quickly. Definitely a great destination if you're looking to combine hiking with photography. I've had a trip or two in May that were getting a little on the warm side but sounds like you might be used to that - have a good trip and let us know how it goes!

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DanL

Thanks Aaron.

Yes, I know it will be starting to warm up in May but should be about the same as we will have here in N. TX so I should be ok. I will only have a week for this trip so I know I will not be able to see everything, but it is more or less a shake down trip for future longer trips. I have been browsing through trail and topo maps of the area but haven't decided yet where I will and will not be able to see.  I have in the past backpacked all over this country but the Canyonlands area is one that I never made it to so I am looking forward to it.

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Aaron

Something to look forward to for sure. If you need to check out some other UT trips ideas you can find a list here from our past issues and articles:

https://www.trailgroove.com/trailfinder/

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alcap

Hi DanL,

Glad to hear you're getting back out on the trail.  I'd like to suggest taking a few shakedown hikes when you do get your gear.  There is plenty of room in the Davy Crockett National Forest (maybe a two hour drive?) and much of southwest Arkansas is N.F. land and close enough for weekend trips. You can make a base camp and day hike with your gear or actually backpack from point to point. Since this is almost all "dispersed" camping land, you can tailor your trips to your needs and comfort level.  I live near Tyler and have done several trips to Utah. I love it, but it's a looooong drive!

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DanL

Thanks for the reply alcap.

Because of the current events the outfitter stores in my area are closed for at least a couple weeks so I haven't had a chance to get gear yet. Yes, it is available online but I would like to look at and try on a pack before buying. I definitely plan on doing some shakedown hikes before heading to Utah. One area that I have done several photo trips to is Wichita Mts. in southern OK. Hiking trails there are short but will give me a chance to try out my legs on rocky terrain.

About the only thing that I am really concerned about the Utah trip is the altitude. In my younger hiking days I have done several mountain trips but I have been a flatlander for a long time since then. I'm thinking that my first day, possibly two, will be in the Arches area doing short photography hikes to get use to the altitude before I go to Canyonlands back country.

By the way, we are practically neighbors. I have property near of Mineola that I will be moving to in a few months.

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alcap

Well, I'm also a photo-hiker, and live just about an hour south of Mineola. Once all this Corona stuff blows over we'll have to try and get together. I can show you a few places in Arkansas that I've been to several times. _DSC3154_Cossatot.jpg.1df07afa251023638401d21c1f46db08.jpg

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