2021 Review

2021 Review

As we near the end of another chapter I thought it would be a good time to do a 2021 review. I think around the new year people often focus on resolutions and goals of what they can do better next year and don’t take enough stock of what they did well in the previous year. So with no further ado, here is how I did in 2021.

The Stats

Math people love to say that numbers never lie. They haven’t seen my scale lately. Those number are all lies and I’m running out of white-out to fix them. But the stats from Alltrails app can’t lie. A great part of Alltrails is that it will keep the stats for you!

Stat2021Lifetime (2020 & 2021)
Miles Hiked539 miles1141 Miles
Elevation Gain94,823 feet203,445 feet
Moving Time241 hours 40 min508 hours
Calories Burned125,766264,623
Hikes115201

So it looks like I hiked more often but did shorter hikes. Unofficially, I also went through about one and half pair of boots and 5 cans of sunscreens as well!

National Parks

One of the reasons that I did more hikes but they were a bit shorter was I did a couple of trips to some National Parks. In order to see as much as I could I often chose a shorter hike that would give me a chance to see more.

The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon was one of the coolest things that I saw in 2021. The canyon itself is almost too big to comprehend. Making my first trip to the worlds largest hole in the ground was made even better by seeing it for the first time at sunrise. I watched as the sun slowly revealed the grandeur of the canyon. Each ray stretching to show another few feet or another rock feature. Truly amazing.

The Sun rising over the edge of the grand canyon. There are just outlines of the canyon with the bright sun in the background as part of my 2021 review
The sunrise over the Grand Canyon as part of my 2021 Review

What made the Grand Canyon so special to me was that I actually hiked down into the canyon. Not to the bottom because I was short on time but I hiked down to a place called Ooh Aah point. Since I only started this journey less than a year before my trip the fact that I was hiking in the Grand Canyon was so special to me.

Me kneeling next to the sign for Ooh Aah point in the Grand Canyon.  Behind me is the painted rim of the canyon as part of my review of 2021
Me hiking down to Ooh Aah Point in the Grand Canyon as part of my 2021 Review

The Utah Parks

In the spring I made another trip, this time to the national parks of Utah. If you have the chance to head to these parks I highly suggest it. I made it to Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon. I left Zion for another trip!

Delicate Arch is a perfect 3/4 arch sitting at the edge of ledge. A painted rock formation is in the background as part of my 2021 review.
Delicate Arch at Arches National Park in Utah as part of my 2021 Review

It was amazing to see the different hoodoos and rock formations that stretch across the southern Utah desert. The different geology and unique features at all of these parks made it one of the most amazing trips I have ever taken.

The sunrising over the hoodoos at Bryce Canyon National Park. The sun is hitting the hoodoos and making them glow orange while the surrounding cliffs are still in shadows.
The Sunrise over Bryce Canyon in Utah as part of my 2021 Review

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is my homefield park and was lucky enough to make several trips to this park this year. One of the prettiest places in the country for sure!

A lake that leads into a series of mountains at Rocky Mountain National Park as part of my 2021 review. The camera is low making the lake look like an infinity lake all the way to the mountains.
The Beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park as part of my 2021 Review

I also made visits to Petrified Forest National Park, Great Sand Dune National park and the Colorado National Monument over the course of 2021. The National Park system in this country is amazing and I hope you all get a chance to make it to one or two of them!

National Recognition

As many of you know I am kind of a big deal. At least that is what I keep telling myself so it must be true. In all honesty I was extremely honored and humbled that I was interviewed by two of my favorite brands this year for feature stories on their websites.

Kuhl – My favorite clothing brand, KUHL, was the first to speak with me. I had such a fun time doing the interview especially because I wear KUHL clothes on all of my hikes. You can see that interview here.

Osprey – Osprey is one of the most well known backpack companies for the outdoors and the packs that I use. That made it especially fun to have them talk to me about my hiking as well. You can see that interview here.

I also made my television debut this year. It was on an old friend of mine show and it was still so much fun to do.

The Extras

Podcast

I did some fun extra things that were more on the perimeter of the hiking world but still pretty fun. First off, I started a podcast. At first the podcast was just an audio journal about my road trips to the some of the National Parks but expanded to include interviews with some really amazing people that I have met along the way. I already have some interviews lined up for next year so I am hoping to have a great year with the podcast.

Helping Hand

One of the things that I am the most proud of this year was when I found bicyclist injured on the side of the road and was able to give them some assistance until the ambulance came. You never want to come across someone in a bad way out in the woods and I was really glad that I was able to provide some basic help. I will say I restocked the first aid kit immediately after this incident though!

Hiking with Mom

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I went home to visit my family. While I was there I got to go on two hikes with Mom. These were the first that I was able to do since I began the Fat Man Little Trail journey so that was really special and fun! She is still convinced we climbed Mt. Everest but is now willing to concede it was “her” Mt. Everest!

My Mom and I standing on a lake overlook with a fall colored leaves on the other side of the lake.
Hiking with Mom was one of the highlights of my 2021 Review

The Good with the Bad

While it is important to celebrate all of the above victories it is also important to acknowledge some of the not so good sides of 2021.

Sliding Scale

I continued my battle with the scale and lost some ground. When I started the hiking journey the only thing on my mind was losing weight and getting in shape. As I got into it more I realized that the mental health benefits of the hikes were as important if not more important than the physical benefits.

While I continue to struggle to lose the weight I continue to see huge benefits from getting out onto the trail and into the woods or mountains as often as possible.

We all pay the toll

While it may seem like I hike everyday with clouds as boots and slide down a rainbow to the finish line, the truth is I still get sore. My feet and legs get sore from hikes. I recently did 6 hikes in 9 days and had to take about a week of recovery days.

The reason I mention this is because I think I show all of the good sides of hiking. I don’t want someone who follows me to be sore after the first hike and think there is something wrong. My blog and social media are designed to show the accomplishments. I don’t post to Instagram the times that I am resting on the couch or soaking my feet in a tub of warm water. But I keep going, and keep trying to spend as much time as I can on those trails. The “Screw it, I’m Trying” attitude is alive and well in me!

Final Thoughts of 2021

What a year it was from a hiking standpoint. I found some amazing places and got to spend a lot of time in the trails. One thing I have found is that I have already tried a lot of the trails near my home so I have to step out of my comfort zone and explore a bit more to get to some new hikes.

I have really enjoyed seeing new parts of the state and the country and hope that 2022 can have as much adventure as I enjoyed in 2021.

I think I should put down some goals for the new year as well. It would be great if I can hike a 14,000 foot peak this year and Yellowstone is definitely on my list.

Happy New Year and I wish you great 2022!

More from the Fatman

If you enjoyed this post you may enjoy more of the posts on my Fatman’s Rambling page. Blogs such as “Hiking Alone not Lonely Hiking“, “Winslow, Arizona” and “Screw it, I’m Trying” as well as many others may interest you there. If you have any comments or topics you would like me to cover, feel free to email me at fatmanlittletrails@gmail.com. Or you can keep the conversation going by following me on any of the below social media platforms

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