Friday, April 17, 2009

Hiking the Wild Country


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

It's the middle of April. While we juggle our bills and file our taxes, isn't it about time we figured out what we're going to do in the warm times coming, when the snow melts, when the mud dries, when we're feeling small? How about hiking the trailheads? Here are directions to some.

Park in the old Williams lot on the edge of town. (Everybody else does.) Exit vehicle and plod 56 steps north and sit on the bench in front of the Chapter One Bookstore. Watch traffic for about 20 minutes. Then, continue north to the curb. Grab a red flag, wave it and ford across. Put the flag in the correct resting place and continue north, passing Rico's. Wave at the outside diners and press on 63 steps to the Casino Gulch Bar Railhead. Turn right and proceed. Don't panic. You're really not in a tunnel. You're in a hallway by the barber shop. Seventeen more steps and you've arrived at the Bar Railhead, ready for adventure. Play with other hikers for a while and then move on to the next trek.

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Head out the front door 17 steps through the tunnel, hook a right outside and go north to the Roosevelt Memorial Overhang, where you'll spot friends hanging off the eaves. Ignore them and advance to the curb of the Main Street/Sun Valley Road Confluence. Push the button on the post until the voice stops talking and cross the river—uh, street—and walk 71 steps past the old Jack Lane General Store and arrive at the Pioneer Peaks and Booze. Turn right, enter into the maddening crowd and play with the animals until thirst is gone. Forget about returning and call cab. Leave vehicle at lot. Live another day for more hiking adventures.

Thanks for joining me. Hiking is fun.

Nice talking to you.




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