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The Day I Walked 500 Miles

Updated: Mar 23

At some point earlier this year, when it became obvious that 2020 was going to dole out disappointment after disappointment, I got it in my head that I was going to try and walk/hike 500 miles this year. I'm not really one to set goals, but I mean, I didn't really have much else to focus on that was fun and a healthy challenge for myself during a time when it would have felt pretty good to curl up in a ball in the corner. Instead, in March my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to Garmin watches. And maybe that's when my obsession started.

I started tracking every hike, every walk I did and watched with excitement as the miles increased every week. On October 14, my husband and I decided to take a walk up Relay Peak road before it got too dark, which was happening quickly. I knew if we went for just a few miles, I would meet my 500-mile goal, so I was pretty pumped. We walked 2 miles up the road and then turned around and headed back to the car as it got darker and darker. My eyes obsessively checking the distance on my watch and about 3/4 of the return route...

Finally. I hit it. I made it to 500 miles.

I actually dialed this video up on my phone to play out loud as soon as I hit my goal, and of course, I was dancing (and laughing at myself) while walking. It felt like a really big deal. Las Vegas to Los Angeles is 270 miles. Minneapolis to Chicago is 400 miles. Salt Lake City to Denver is 500 miles. Dallas to Kansas City is 500 miles. Nashville to Tallahassee is 500 miles. It did feel like a big deal.

Oh, and I also took a few photos as the sun was setting. One of them happens to be among my favorite sunset photos of all time.

A smidge of fall colors still hanging on.

This one. This is one of my favorite sunset photos.

Tahoe's east shore. A lot of wildfire smoke is in the atmosphere, which intensifies the red/orange hue along the horizon.

Here you can see the smoke plume from the Creek Fire, a wildfire that started burning on September 4 down near Fresno, CA.

A glance back down the Relay Peak road, looking toward Carson Valley. Layers of sunset colors.

Same pic as earlier, but now with an alpenglow and defined silhouette.

Even though this walk wasn't anything notable, accomplishing my 500-mile goal made it so. Take that, 2020.

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