Since July 2009 Granger has been logging regular day hikes. By the fall of 2015 he had hiked over 1,300 miles on hiking trails in eight different states, and in 2013 Wendy began joining him on most hikes.
Thus far Granger’s favorite hikes have been:
- Oregon’s Saddle Mountain and Eagle Creek
- Colorado’s Piedra River, Williams Creek, and Alberta Peak
- Arkansas’ Mount Nebo
- Oklahoma’s Robbers Cave and Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge
- Missouri’s Roaring River
- Kansas’s Elk City Lake
To read about the day hikes, you have several options. You can click Day Hike in the category cloud in the lower right-hand column to see those posts in reverse chronological order, or get the same effect by visiting happywanderer.us. But if you’d like to see where they have been and focus on a particular spot, you can use the custom Google Map or Google Spreadsheet.
Click on a map marker to bring up the name of each hike and links to any blog posts and photo sets from it. You can drag and zoom the map to your liking.
You can also access a full-page version of the Google Map.
There is a public spreadsheet in Google Docs, tabbed by each calendar year, with entries for each hike and links to each blog post and photo set.
Granger’s Hiking Outfit
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX700 HS
Poles: Leki Corklite Aergon SpeedLock Trekking Poles
Pack: Ascend H1250 Hydration Pack
(Link is to a newer style of that model, picked for its size; we use bottled drinks instead of hydration systems)
Boots: Columbia Fireland Mid Omni-Tech Hiking Boot
Socks: Smartwool Hiking Light Crew Sock
Hat: Tilley TM10
Summer Shirts: wicking T-shirts, such as Under Armour
Summer Long Pants: Magellan Yellowstone Cargo Pants and Railriders Eco-Mesh Pant with Insect Shield
Summer Shorts: Cargo Shorts
Insect Repellent: Cutter Backwoods Unscented
(Cutter doesn’t stink like Off!; applied liberally to bare legs, socks, boots, pant cuffs, hat, etc.)
Hiking GPS: MotionX GPS app on an Apple iPhone
Driving GPS: TomTom GPS app on an Apple iPhone
Audio: Audible audiobooks, The Great Courses lectures, and podcasts on an Apple iPhone
Why Do It?
What attracts us to this hobby? It combines several pleasures into one for us. Granger spent most of his childhood vacations at his parents’ lake home near Roaring River State Park in Missouri and grew up hiking its various trails with family and friends. In his adult life he would go on the occasional hike, but it wasn’t a focus for him. But several years ago, desperate to escape the dreadful heat of summer in Oklahoma, he began a series of summer vacations in the cool and beautiful Pacific Northwest. In 2006 that included forays on splendid coastal trails in Oregon with GPS to guide him to the trailheads, a compact digital camera for photographs, and an iPod to keep him entertained with audiobooks, lectures, podcasts, and music.
When Granger returned to Oregon in 2009 for his fifth summer vacation in the Pacific Northwest, he made hiking trails the focus and posted daily blogs and photo uploads, enhanced by his iPhone’s GPS tracking. The feedback from the posts and enjoyment of the experience led him to seek out new trails in the region around his home. By the end of 2012 he had visited most of the decent trails within driving range. Wendy joined in when they began dating in 2013, although a tough work schedule cut back their hikes in 2016-2017.
They hope that changing their work roles will allow more time for hiking, photographing, and blogging. Thankfully there are several decent trails at the nearby Osage Hills State Park and Bartlesville’s Pathfinder Parkway when they don’t want to take a long drive to a trailhead.