Age doesn't keep hiker off the trails / 83-year-old woman celebrates birthday hiking Strong's Canyon

Nov 4 2009 - 10:12pm

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(Courtesy photo) Ruth McKain of Ogden blows out a candle to celebrate her 83rd birthday while on a hike. She has been active all of her life.
(Courtesy photo) Ruth McKain of Ogden blows out a candle to celebrate her 83rd birthday while on a hike. She has been active all of her life.

OGDEN -- Ruth McKain has been active all of her life, so it seemed natural to her to go hiking up Strong Canyon above Weber State University for her 83rd birthday.

She completed her hike with her family by her side, including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She said she has hiked to the top of Ben Lomond Peak six times and to the top of ount. Ogden at least six times. She has hiked the Targee and Teton areas in Jackson Hole and has hiked in Logan Canyon, around Causey Reservoir and Snow Basin. She has also backpacked up Timpanogas and has hiked Tony Grove and many trails around Sundance.

McKain said Strong Canyon is her favorite because of the water along the way. She said the trails have recently been worked on and have nice little bridges.

"We hiked and had the best time! It was a beautiful day," said McKain of her Oct. 10 birthday this year.

They stopped along the way and enjoyed some snacks while her daughter, Becky Mecham, read poetry by Robert Frost to the hiking group, then they took pictures of this special day and continued on. The trail branches off and hikers in the area can choose to continue on up Waterfall Canyon or Strong Canyon. McKain says she hopes the children in the group will always remember this special hike.

"I've been hiking all these trails for years," said McKain.

McKain moved to the Ogden area in 1958 from Green River, Wyo., with her husband and has enjoyed the beauty of the Ogden area.

She said on her 40th birthday all she wanted to do was go on a hike and told her son Larry she didn't want a gift, she just wanted him to hike with her and so they hiked up Ben Lomond that day.

"When you're up on these mountains you can see forever," said McKain.

She said other members of her family have accompanied her on other hikes up Ben Lomond.

McKain has always enjoyed physical activity and in addition to hiking she has enjoyed ice skating, bike riding and camping.

She has taken yoga classes and has hiked and skied with the Sierra Club.

"I've skied off the top of the Teton area and the Jackson Hole area, I've hiked and backpacked in Wyoming and up in the Wind Rivers."

McKain has many happy memories of camping and hiking with her late husband Clark.

"I love the outdoors," said McKain, "Oh yeah, I've always got my boots on."

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