On Sunday I needed to be in Girdwood for dinner, but I had just enough time for a short hike on the way there. I decided to go up Rainbow, which is one of my favorites along Turnagain Arm.
The hike was great, with oodles of unexpected sunshine. I didn’t bring a camera, but when I got to the top, I whipped out my phone and took this picture (click and drag the picture to spin 360 degrees):
It took me a long time to succumb to getting a smartphone, but I really enjoy how easy it makes documenting my trips. No longer do I need a camera, cell phone and GPS in my pack (though I still carry a better camera on occasion). It took me about 30 seconds to snap this picture, and it uploaded to the web as I began my decent. The quality is not a good as some of the panoramas I’ve stitched together in Photoshop, but for quick little trips like this it works great.
While we’re on the subject, I’ll share my absolute favorite smartphone app: Endomondo.
This embedded map of my Rainbow hike is very cramped, click here for a full screen version.
Maybe its a hold-over from my years of keeping a training log, or maybe its my fascination with maps, but I love to document my routes. Endomondo makes it easy to map your routes and see all the vital statitics of your workout. It’s as easy as using a stopwatch. There are many, many apps that do this, but Endomondo is my favorite. (In truth, they won me over when I saw that they had both “Roller skiing” and “Orienteering” as workout types.) So now I can keep a record of all my workouts with minimal effort.
One additional cool feature is Live Tracking via the web when you are within cell phone range. So if I get “lost” and my 45 minute run somehow turns into 2 hours (when I am supposed to be watching the kids and cooking dinner), my wife can see exactly where I am (and thus be mad instead of worried). Well, sometimes its a cool feature. Of course, there are privacy settings so you can control who sees your maps.
Oh, and if you try Endomondo, make sure you add me as a “friend.” It is surprisingly motivating to see other peoples workouts. I added this Rainbow hike as a public route, which means you can try to beat my time and become Route Champion! Wahoo!