Over the past few months, strong hikers across the U.S. have knocked over speed record after speed record. In April, Jeff Garmire set a new fastest known time for the Arizona Trail, blazing through its 800 miles in less than 16 days. This month saw a pair of New Yorkers break the record for summiting the Adirondacks' high peaks, a New Hampshire hiker wrap up an epic, 319-day quest to top the 48 highest peaks in the White Mountains in every month of the year, and Garmire set another FKT, this time for the Long Trail.
I love to go fast. These days, I trail run as much as I hike: Between taking care of a new baby and working a job that I take home more nights than not, it feels like the only way I can make miles in the handful of free hours I have every week. But this summer, I'm making a conscious effort to go slow.
If going fast and light is like getting a birds-eye view of the landscape as you zoom over it, going slow is like getting the worm's perspective. Details that usually go by in a blur start to stand out: tiny blossoms, butterflies, clifftop lookouts hidden behind the trees. This season, I've unearthed berry patches in the underbrush and watched from my lounging spot under a boulder while a fox stalked mice through the tall grass.
Hiking's a luxury, and having the time to mosey through it even more so. This month, we've got an editor-approved adventure on the Lost Coast, a luxury camp shower review from our Gear Editor Eli Bernstein, and a member story that proves the tough trips can be as valuable as the successful ones. Read on, and find your own inspiration to explore summer's nooks and crannies.