Monday, September 8, 2014
Two Walk North
I'd like to introduce myself and say I'll be posting periodically on the ICT Blog as Leo was gracious enough to give me permissions. My name is Mike Ingram and I live in Mountain Home, ID. I'm 55 years of age and retired from the Air Force in 2008 after a 30 year career. I'm hoping you won't be able to tell from my writing, but you certainly could if we met in person, that I'm originally from Georgia. Even though I left there at the age of 19, the accent is still distinctive and ever present. I got involved with the ICT after meeting my lady friend, Cindy Miller, who lives in Sweet Home, Oregon. Cindy and I both like to hike and I have a good bit of experience with long distance backpacking. Even though I'm retired, Cindy works as a pharmacy technician. While she has a significant number of paid vacation days each year, our backpacking has to be done in smaller chunks of a week to 10 days duration. So starting back in 2011, I mentioned we should backpack the Idaho Centennial Trail, attempting to do 130-150 miles per year, with a goal of finishing it before I turn 60. We started that first year at the Nevada state line. It didn't take long to realize we weren't as prepared as we'd thought. After getting the truck stuck on the first day, we began our hike on the 2nd day and made approximately 20 miles before my feet were so blistered from a poor choice of shoes that Cindy had to call a friend to extract us. We were determined though and came back the following season to hike from where we'd left off the first year, across the Owyhee Desert, over the Bennett Hills and to the Castle Rock road. It seems like a long time and distance ago now, but we've just recently completed a section from Thunder Mountain to Dagger Falls and next week will do a short section from the MacGruder Corridor towards the Selway. I'll have to do my end-of-year calculations later this year, but I know we'll have somewhere between 350 and 400 total miles at the end of this season. We've completed the southern portion up to Thunder Mountain and are now working on the middle section. Luckily, we've been keeping photographic and written records of our trips and I'll also add some of those as I have time over this winter. We're both feeling healthy and energized at this point and it's five more years before I'm 60, so I'm expecting we'll pull it off. I'm looking forward to sharing our story on this blog.