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trekker poles

Just adding my 2 cents about poles.... I have used a regular
found stick for 4 years of hikes (5-8 days at a time).  THis year
I picked up the trekker poles from campmore and my knees have never
felt so good on a hike!  Two poles beats one for knee wear and tear
and I was also hiking faster without any added effort.  Its a nicer
rhythm with two poles, I think.  You can use the pointy end with the
little basked, which keeps the point from going too deep, or use th
rubber end peice on the rocks for a better grip.  I just was a lot more
trusting of these and put a fair amount of weight on them with each
step, thus saving my knees, ESPECIALLY on the down hills.

(sorry about typos -- that was "basket", not basked)

Plus its very handy to be able to adjust the length on steeper inclines.]

I love 'em, and don't care if anybody thinks they're hi tech!  I am
a happier hiker when my knees aren't crying all day!

Have fun you lucky autumn hikers!  I am stuck back at work, and no
more time to hike until May.

Congrats, Gutsy!  I enjoyed following you trip, You are an inspiration!