This is the first of several interviews we'll post with Abby Austin, creator of the wonderful hiking blog, 1,000 Miles on My Own Two Feet. Originally from Maine, Abby lives in El Paso while her husband is stationed with the military at Fort Bliss. We LOVED her blog, and were excited to meet her recently...and get her support as a volunteer with the Peak Fitness Challenge! (We'll announce the challenge on Thursday, but you can join the facebook community of the challenge now, at www.facebook.com/PeakFitnessChallenge ) Abby will be leading a "Couch Potato Hike" in Franklin Mountains State Park on Saturday, June 23. Make your reservation by calling the park at 915-566-6441.
|Lazy Cow Trail, Franklin Mountains. Abby will lead a "Couch Potato Hike" |
on June 23rd for anyone wanting to get out in the Franklins, regardless of experience!
Abby Austin: My husband will be retiring at the end of 2012 after twenty years of service in the military. That means we’re in control of our future, and we have backpacking dreams. Fitness was absent in my life—I was a couch potato!—and I was fearful of the trails because I wasn’t in shape. I challenged myself to hike 1,000 miles that year to get conditioned for our future backpacking. What better of a place than the Sun City with three hundred days of clear skies every year?
One Foot in Front of the Other: Why do you enjoy hiking?
|Prickly Pear, Franklin Mountains|
One Foot in Front of the Other: What's your favorite hike?
|Scenic Trail, Franklin Mountains|
Abby Austin: Enjoy the sport you choose. I love hiking. Even on days where it feels like a chore to get out the door, as soon as I see North Franklin Mountain towering over the North Hills, I fall into pace and wonder, why did I want to sleep late?
One Foot in Front of the Other:What advice do you have for folks who are just thinking about getting started with hiking or fitness in general?
Abby Austin:Enjoy the trail. There is only so much of America that we can see from the highway.
|McKittrick Canyon Trail in Guadalupe Mountains National Park|
One Foot in Front of the Other:You’re going to be leading a “Couch Potato Hike” in Franklin Mountains State Park as part of the launch weekend for the Peak Fitness Challenge. Can you tell us about that hike, the trail, and what participants can expect?
Abby Austin:The Lazy Cow Hike and Bike Trail will be the trail we hike for the Couch Potato Hike. It’s located in the northeast section of the park, and it’s a favorite among mountain bikers, so the trail is well worn and comfortable to walk. The hardest part of the hike is at the very beginning as we will hike to the trailhead which has a slight uphill grade. The rest of the trail is flat, meandering through yucca, prickly pear, ocotillo agave and barrel cacti. The entire loop will be a six mile hike, but for those hikers who wish to hike less, there are loop backs to shorten their hikes.
All photos courtesy, Abby Austin!