Monday, November 16, 2009

Hiking In Style to Round Valley


When I watched Ken Burn's special about the National Parks I was quite impressed by how people used to dress while hiking, exploring and camping. Men wore coats and ties and the ladies wore long flowing dresses. Going to the parks was not a time to get grubby but a time to celebrate the wilderness and to dress in finery befitting the occasion. By comparison, today's hikers are slobs.

Walk up any hiking trail and you'll come across a motley assortment of poorly prepared and ill dressed tramps wearing T-shirts, baggy shorts and cheap shoes. It didn't used to be this way. People cared about how they looked and today I decided to follow their example. I put on a pair of Zanella trousers, an Emenegildo Zegna coat, a Neiman Marcus dress shirt and a Brooks Brothers tie and went out for a little hike. Of course, with a wool coat and trousers, there was no way I'd be hiking in the desert so I headed up to the Tram for a little walk to Round Valley.

One of my hiking heroes is John Muir. He thought nothing of hiking 50 miles in two days without anything but a wool blanket and a pocket full of hard biscuits. He did numerous first ascents in the Sierra Nevada Mountains including Cathedral Peak, Mount Ritter and the Mountaineer's Route on Mount Whitney. This man was no daisy sniffer. He was also quite a snappy dresser. Before going hiking with President Theodore Roosevelt, he went out and bought a new wool suit. There's no way he'd go hiking in a T-shirt. He had way too much style. I've really got to get a hat like that...and grow a cool beard, too.

The weather at the Tram was perfect for my little five mile hike. I needed to get a permit for my hike tomorrow so it was important I come up here anyway.

There are a couple of new signs up here. The two bottom signs are new.

There was a little dusting of snow last weekend and some of it remains in the shaded areas of the trail. Winter is on the way and I look forward to breaking out the woolens more often.

There's water still flowing at Round Valley but it won't be too long until there will only be ice and snow in this area.

Tomorrow I'll be back with the hiking slobs but for today, at least, classic style takes the day.

I'm not the only dapper dandy out on the trail today. This guy, Ron from Indio is sporting a real snazzy set of braces, or suspenders for those of you not up on your GQ vocabulary.

On the way back I come upon two deer cruising along the creek bed.

That reminds me that some deerskin gloves would be a nice addition to my wardrobe.

Even though it is after noon there is still ice in some little pockets along the trail. Next time up I'm going to have to remember to get a proper hat to complete my ensemble.


darlene said...

your quite the comedian! are you looking to start a stand-up act as your 2010 new year's resolution?!
seriously, i liked the variety of today's entry. very cool.
have fun on your big hike tomorrow!

Florian said...

Interesting the new "Round Valley Loop" signs.