My mom evaluating potential camping spots. Mile 28 with 20 more miles to go…is it worth it?

I love science, so I’ve developed a deep rating system to help you understand how I rate my hikes. Note: 1/2 star ratings are rare but do occur. For example, sometimes I make good memories, but simply find too many downsides to recommend a hike to anyone else—that would be typical of a 2.5 star rating. Here are the others:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)
I loved it. Proof that God knows what He’s doing. Only positive memories, spectacular scenery, few drawbacks, and lots to do.

⭐⭐⭐⭐☆  (4 stars)
I really liked it. A hike that’s a blast and produces some great memories! It might have some drawbacks, like boring approaches over rough terrain.

⭐⭐⭐☆☆ (3 stars)
I liked it. A fun hike with good memories, but which isn’t competitive compared to other options, or which has significant drawbacks.

⭐⭐☆☆☆   (2 stars)
I didn’t like it. I might have good memories from this, but it’s not a good hike. I will not do it again without a compelling reason.

⭐☆☆☆☆ (1 star)
I hated it. I will not do it again.

If you’re more curious, I also take the following ‘stuff’ into consideration and will generally include specific notes after the main review, though the body of the review itself should convey the heart of how I felt:

  • Difficulty. Some hikes are very strenuous, even if you’re acclimated to the altitude.
  • Fishing. Some hikes have no fish and are very boring in that respect.
  • Camping spots. Some hikes have few good camping spots. It’s not fun to be on a boulder when it’s 20F with 50-kt winds.
  • History. I love history. Some hikes feature interesting historical tidbits. Others don’t.
  • Beauty. Sometimes I think a place will be beautiful and it just isn’t.
  • Crowds. I hate crowds.

If any of the above are especially noteworthy, they’ll almost certainly also be mentioned in the main narrative. For example, the hike to Clear Lake, WY, near Cora, is insanely difficult for the length, has no camping spots, no crowds, and very poor fishing. It is not a hike I will ever do again, and all of this detail will be clear during the main-body description of the misadventure.

In love, always,


Want to know more? Feel free to reach out, and God bless!

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