Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Hello America, Where’s Waldo? Today I write from Egypt. We toured the Luxor complex yesterday. You know, the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple etc. Even popped in on my old hiking buddy, Tutanhkamon. He’s a bit stiff these days but hangng in there. The day before we were at Petra to see the giant stone carvings. The “Treasury” is awesome. You can google to see images of all this. The bandwidth on the ship is too thin to allow fast downloads for images. So what does all this have to do with Half Dome? Well, if I stretch it, a lot. You see, I’m teaching the passengers about Nordic Walking. Never heard of it? Well you must be American. The fitness craze has taken over much of Europe with an estimated 6 million doing it. Hasn’t taken off in the USA yet. Since I promote the use of trekking poles for hiking, I’m a big advocate of Nordic Walking. In a nutshell, you use similar poles (but more optimized for NW). You simply drag them behind you and then push them slightly into the ground (when they are behind you) to involve your upper body. Kinda like micro thrusts to propel you forward. The benefits as measured by the Cooper Institute of Aerobics in Dallas: 1. Up to 46% more calories burned since you are now using 90% of your muscles instead of just dangling your arms; 2. Heart rate goes up about 8% due to pumping blood to the lats, triceps, and core; 3. Oxygen intake goes up about 20%. And a bonus is increased stability and balance and NO joint impact. After a brief orientation, we go around Crystal Cruises 1/3 mile elliptical Promenade deck. By the way, Crystal is the only cruise line offering complimentary Nordic Walking on all their cruises. But then they are the #1 rated cruise line for the past 16 years. While not the same as trekking, the use of poles really makes a lot of sense for walking. In Europe you will see groups of people Nordic Walking around in parks. It’s still in its infancy in the US. Let me know if you want to know more. And use trekking poles for your hikes.
Yosemite is still putting together their calendar of Half Dome public scoping sessions and are trying to schedule one in the Bay Area (Berkeley, probably) in mid June.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “When you come to the fork in the road – take it.” – Yogi Berra
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com