The Klondike Challenge

I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to checklists and challenges.  One of my favorite things about hiking (other than the hike itself) is logging my hikes on one of my websites and seeing yet another trail marked as hiked.  Another checkmark.

Challenges, like other goals, are pretty motivating too.  The Bay Area has a couple of challenges that are sponsored by park districts each year that attempt to get citizens to visit and walk through the large number of natural areas they provide.

Late last year I stumbled upon the Klondike Challenge.  The year 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of Jack London’s life.  Jack lived in Sonoma Valley and he’s left a large impression on the area.  In commemoration of this milestone the Jack London State Historic Park folks have organized a hiking and walking challenge to get people outdoors and channel the spirit of London’s adventurousness.

This time I was ready to really act upon a challenge.  My intention is to meet, or exceed, the challenge’s 500 mile goal.  As of Jan. 4 Penny and I have already covered a bit over 10 miles.  On Jan. 2 that included an 8.5 mile trek through Sugarloaf Ridge State Park.

The 500 mile goal of the challenge is based on the rough distance travelled by London during his trip from the Yukon to the Klondike during the Alaskan gold rush around the dawn of the 20th century.

Overall, I’ve logged close to 1,000 miles on my websites.  But that was spread out over several years.  Five hundred miles in one year will definitely be a record.  Walks around town don’t really have a place on my sites so I’ll keep track of them on something like MapMyHike.  I already have about 1.5 miles there.

Through the challenge Jack London State Historic Park also hopes to raise some money for much needed trail restoration.  California’s parks are unbelievably gorgeous.  But they have suffered severe budgetary cutbacks during the last few years.  Some parks now operate under the control of entirely volunteer organizations which stepped in to avoid having the parks close altogether.  Combined with my hiking goal, I’m also hoping to help raise some money for the cause through a new crowd funding campaign.

I’d appreciate it if you could contribute a couple of dollars to the campaign to help give this wonderful park a needed boost.  I intend to cover all of the credit card costs of any donations and provide a check for the total amount of contributions.

See you on the trails!


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