Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Hello America! I am coming to you today from aboard the Crystal Cruise ship, the “Serenity”. We are in the Mediterranean now between Rhodes, Greece and Ashdod, Israel. This voyage reminds me of the old movies about Jason and the Argonauts. We are traveling about in the same waters looking at the classic civilizations. After Athens, we visited Santorini. It is a spectacular crescent shaped island that literally sits on a caldera from an ancient volcano that blew a couple thousand years ago. Many think the culture that was here may be the fabled Atlantis. Fun to use your imagination on that one. Anyway, I am teaching Nordic Walking and we have 10 pairs of poles on board for guests to use. The interest is very high and so far it looks like we rang the right bell with this offering. If you are not familiar, Nordic Walking was thought up by the Finns in the mid-1990’s as a way to keep their cross country ski team in shape during the off-season. The motion is similar and by involving your arms in the walk (by using lightweight poles), you get a work out with they lats, triceps, and core muscles – leading to up to a 40% increase in caloric burning over just plain walking. (Data from the Cooper Institute in San Antonio.) In contrast to trekking poles, Nordic Walking Poles are very light weight (<8 oz per pole) and are used in level striding. It’s estimated the about 1/3 of all Finns use them! It is a fitness activity that is migrating to the USA. I hope you all use trekking poles for your Half Dome hike – they will greatly aid in the 1,000 ft vertical up and will really save your knees on the downhill.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” – John Muir
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com