Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Miraculous hot sauce packets pretty much encapsulate this whole project



I’ve never bought a lottery ticket, but I sure should have last week. I’ve gotten so much support, some lucky breaks and one outright miracle in preparing for my Pacific Crest Trail hike, which starts 27 days from now.

There was a point at which I’d decided just to do the hike without any big hoopla. But then I realized that there was no way I wasn’t going to share my experiences, so I may as well set up available media – YouTube, my blog, Instagram and all that rot – for trail access. That’s because in a  way, it doesn’t seem like something has really happened until I’ve told someone about it.

When I announced that I was going on this walk across California the long way, folks began asking how they could help so I needed to establish ways for them to do so. Thinking that through, I realized that there was ambient support to be had, and that some of it could be diverted via the per-mile pledge route to some causes that are special to me. At that point, we were off and running.

A lot of difficult prep issues have resolved themselves, or more accurately, been resolved through the generosity of many folks in the 
community.

Things seemed to really get going when I picked an interim trail name. Apparently people can name you based on some spurious fragment of verbiage, or you can sort of defensively pick a name out so you won’t be named Raccoon Sandwich or something. I thought and thought about it, then as usual it came to me at the periphery of my consciousness. I’ve always felt like I was in a spiral of one kind or another.

One of the current ones is that all three of my Mac computers are old, obsolete and basically dying. So I spend a lot of time looking at the spinning beach ball o’ doom – another spiral. So there it is, then. If you see me on the PCT, just call me Spiral.

Spiraling upward are the donations, to the charities and to my trail expense fund, and the validation that comes with that. The cash contributions have been forwarded to the beneficiaries, and we still more in per-mile pledges.

Going away for four months is no small project. In several cases, major challenges were resolved almost as if by magic. At risk of not listing everyone and everything, here are some key contributions:

First, my old friend, Arcata Union Sports Editor Dirk Rabdau, sent me the food-protecting bear canister he used on his PCT hike a few years back. It was full of goodies and some very wry letters of advice. His wisdom and experience on numerous planning points have been invaluable, and the bear can saves me a chunk of change.

Then, Aaron Ostrom of Pacific Outfitters kicked down an incredibly sweet tent, a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2. It’s lighter, tougher, more thought-out and PCT-friendly than my good old, old-school Eureka tent. Another great break.
Aaron Ostron of Pacific Outfitters, me and my new Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 tent.

Four months’ worth of food is a daunting expense, but Aaron Gottschalk and Amber Madrone (and of course our friend Mr. Ricord) of Wildberries Marketplace came through with a major load of trail mix, dehydrated grub and other delicacies.

Routes to the PCT trailhead at the Mexican border are pretty well established, but complicated and inefficient time-wise. I was fully prepared to navigate all the trains and bus stations at all hours to get there, but it was not to be. One of my friends in SoCal, Scott Chatfield, has pretty much demanded that I let him transport me to the Southern Terminus, arriving right at dawn! (That will allow me several miles of hiking before the desert temps rise and require me to stop and take shade for a few hours.) Getting there at sunrise requires leaving Chatfield Manor (as Mike Keneally calls it) at 4 a.m. or something, and commits Scott to a massive drive, but his calculation is this: “It might be wretched and shitty, but it might be fun!” Well, that’s the kind of reasoning that has basically guided my whole life, so why change now?

Thanks, Dirk, Aaron, Aaron, Amber, Phil, Scott and everyone else who’s kicked in one thing or another.

The warm and welcoming PCT hiking community has been embracing my little effort, with folks I don’t even know, who have a lot more experience, coming my way. A kind fellow whose trail name is Homework came to the office to interview me for the Sounds of the Trailpodcast. That was fun, though I’m not at all confident that my naive insights into trail life will hold up over time.

Oh, about that miracle.

With so many major milestones accomplished, there is still a small army of niggling details that are proving elusive to the end. One was hot sauce packets.

I’ll be able to buy tortillas and string cheese in towns along the way. They will be viable for a few days on the trail, making possible rehydrated bean burrritos. But no one wants a bland burrito. I didn’t get pro enough to dehydrate this year, and sauce packets aren’t easy to come by in the quantities I would need – not a lot, but more than I’d feel comfortable nicking from Taco Bell. I was resigned to carrying a tube of hot sauce; yet another fussy thing to keep track of and manage.

If I told you, “I’m just going to go walk around Arcata until I find a bunch of hot sauce packets on the ground,” you’d doubtless think me daft! The odds of a saucy groundscore are simply impossible. And yet, that’s just what happened.

The ultimate groundscore!

No, I didn’t go out looking for such  a thing, because who would? But as I was power-walking around Sunny Brae one dusky eve, what did I happen upon? A FREE box containing – seriously, this is all but impossible – two bulging Ziploc bags loaded with trail-ready hot sauce packets. And in two flavors – extra-hot and Sriracha!

Now that’s a Christmas miracle, or at least it feels like one. Thanks, cosmos at large. I went back and left a couple of Finnish Country Sauna tub tickets for the person who had set out the sauce.

This week’s grand effort is to finalize all the resupply boxes. There will be 14 in all, as I am going with the hybrid approach of pre-mailed items and buying things in trail towns. I still need contributions, and if you’d like to help with any food or equipment, contact me and I’ll tell you what and where to send it.

This is a huge week for the hike in terms of events.

Wednesday, March 30, Abruzzi is generously donating 10 percent of its net proceeds to hike support. Hopefully I’ll see you there.



Thursday night, March 31 at 6 p.m. is my sendoff event in the Hotel Arcata’s Banquet Room, with pizza provided by The Jam (thanks, Pete Ciotti!). There, as the ad on page C6 notes, check out my awesome PCT hike rig, then talk trails and more with Mark Lovelace, Sunny Brae Forest pioneer; Mark Andre, Arcata Environmental Services director; Rees Hughes, author of the Pacific Crest Trailside Reader and Volunteer Trail Steward; Robert Berg, DDS, chair of the Children’s Dental Angel Fund; and Maureen McGarry, director of RSVP/VCOR. Hope to see you there, too.

Here’s still another serendipitous bonus: Glenn Branch, deputy director, National Center for Science Education, will be in town. He contacted the Humboldt Skeptics about giving a science talk March 31. Since I had the Hotel Arcata venue already booked for the hike sendoff, we just tacked his talk onto that. So, at 7:30 p.m., Glenn will discuss doubt and denial about climate change and how it affects science education.

All this mad whirlwind of events will, within a matter of days, result in my delivery to the Mexican border south of Campo, Calif. At that point, my life’s goals will be reduced to putting one foot in front of the other, staying healthy and making my way to Ashland while communicating the adventure to those wishing to follow it.

Here we go...

Friday, February 26, 2016

60 Days Out

At long last the hike planning is nearing completion. Just in time, too, since I hit the trail in 60 short days.
So much has been happening behind the scenes. I'm simultaneously planning my itinerary, acquiring gear, managing the many donations (thank you), doing test hikes of various kinds and participating in the many online fora for PCT hikers.
That and trying to keep up with my work duties. It's a heady and affirming time.
The things I hear most:
• "Are you hiking alone?"
Yes and no. While I'm setting off on my own, I read that many of not most hikers do hook up with others of similar pace and sensibilities for a time.
Also, since I've starting out at the Mexican border April 26, there will be hundreds of people behind me who are leaving in the ensuing days. Most of them are younger and probably faster than I will be, so some will be overtaking me. It's kind of good to know that if I get into some sort of situation on the trail, there will be others coming along before very long.
So I'm guessing I'll enjoy a nice mix of solitude and camaraderie.
Check here to see the Mexican Border Availability for April and May. I'm deeply embedded in "the bubble," just as I'd planned to be.
• "Have you seen/did you read Wild?"
Yes and no. The movie was OK, kind of Hollywoody and not super-useful for trail planning. I may or may not get to the book before I leave. Anyway, it doesn't have a lot to do with my approach, which involves significantly less heroin, nor did I decide to go on this hike because of Wild.
• "I'm really looking forward to reading your dispatches from the trail!"
And I am looking forward to writing them. And shooting and editing them.
Being an expressive creature, I do plan to describe the journey in blog posts here, on Facebook, in the Mad River Union and on YouTube. And Twitter, if I can ever get myself into the habit of using it.
In fact, January and February have been consumed with, among myriad other details and arrangements, acquiring and testing out the iPhone apps I'm going to use to transit my multimedia blurts.
March is going to be about proving the media setup and getting into the swing of frequent postings, beginning with some of my test/training hikes. Also, packing up the food resupply boxes and preparing them for mailing.
And, it will also be about my big sendoff event, Trails With Teeth, that takes place Thursday, March 31 in the Plaza View Room. More on that soon. One thing you'll be able to do there is personally scrutinize the contents of my pack and give me wonderful advice.
Here are links to both my (never quite finished, always evolving) gear list and itinerary. This is what I've been spending so much time on lately. I'm extremely interested in any thoughts you may have!
Meanwhile, Below is the newest hike ad running in the Union.
I'm deeply gratified to report that as of this writing, we've raised $2,985.95 for the three charities! Thankyouthankyouthankyou... And checks and pledges are still rolling in.
The hike has also gained astounding backing from local businesses. Acknowledgement on all that is imminent as well.
There are Union stories in the works on both RSVP/VCOR and the Children's Dental Angel Fund, which I'll link to here once they're published.
That's it for now. E-mail me with any questions. Expect a torrent of dispatches in the March run-up to my departure. And thanks for reading!

Monday, February 8, 2016

I don't leave until April, but my PCT journey is already well underway

I've had so much stressy fun over the past few weeks, setting up the hike this April. The highs and lows, tedium and exhilaration, the plodding along and trying to remember to look up once in a while are a bit like traversing the many peaks and valleys of the Sierra.

The donations are rolling in, and I'll have some spectacular figures to report in the next post.

First, we have two events coming up:

Next Tuesday, Feb. 16, Plaza Grill is generously donating 10 percent of its lunch and inner proceeds to support the hike! Please consider eating out at the Grill, and maybe I'll see you there!

On Thursday, March 31, we’ll have a special event in the Plaza View Room. “Trails with Teeth” will highlight local trail, and progress and plans. 

Speakers include Fifth District Supervisor Mark Lovelace, reflecting on the history of the Sunny Brae Tract since the days of SANA (the Sunny Brae Neighborhood Association) and the citizen buy-out from Sierra-Pacific Industries. Arcata Environmental Services Director Mark Andre will give an update on the ever-growing Arcata Ridge Trail. Pacific Crest Trailside Reader co-author and Volunteer Trail Steward Rees Hughes will talk about the Pacific Crest Trail, so all ye local PCT hikers, this is the time to come hither!

There will be other speakers, including a short explanation about the Dental Angel Fund, which saves poor kids’ mouths. Maybe we’ll have a panel discussion of trail talk. Plus the usual noshing and vibrant social interaction. It sounds like a good time to have a silent auction to raise funds for the charities. If I’m brave enough, I may even bring my pack and PCT rig for more experienced hikers to shake down.

Here's the latest ad in this week's Union:

The 1,726.6-mile hike will take perhaps four months, which requires all kinds of planning. Unplugging (mostly) from your regular life for that long requires you to address some things you could otherwise put off – like setting up bill autopays, simplifying all your passwords and getting a security app and getting new glasses.

But the real planning challenge is, of course, the hike. There’s replacing and updating equipment, learning how to use it (that’s the fun part), training (also fun), getting medical clearance, figuring out food resupply, getting the right navigation and media apps, working out the electronics and so much more. I keep making lists, crossing things off and then making more lists.

I love planning projects, as do other PCT hikers now getting ready for an April launch. Conquering the known variables is part of the fun. There are some things I simply won’t know until I’m on the trail – like how I’ll handle the Mojave heat and Sierra altitude gain and loss. Those unpredictables will affect my rate of travel, which in turn affects the cost. 

How many “zero days” will I need to spend in towns, to do resupply, laundry and various chores – one a week? Two? I just won’t know before I hit a stride. Layovers can get costly, what with lodging and indulgent restaurant meals. My plan is to stick to the trail and stay in hostels or cheap motels only when necessary, because after all, I could do that here. I do plan to stop for a few days off trail at South Lake Tahoe, where we spent family getaways when I was a kid. That being after a 1,092 walk over deserts and mountains, a few zeroes might be justifiable at that point.   

I’ve never set up a charity hike before, so it’s OJT. Figuring out how to properly solicit and channel pledges and donations took some work, and audaciously asking people for support isn’t my comfort zone at all.

As with anything, fear of failure can have a dampening effect if you let it. Or you can boldly go, split infinitives and accentuate the positives and hope that others find value in it. Much to my relief, the pledges and donations have come first as a trickle, then a steady wave. That and all the rain have been enjoyable to have going on. 

The excellent new lightweight equipment available today is simply amazing in its technology and thought-outedness. Oddly, for things like sleeping bags (I’m actually taking a quilt and thermal pad), tents and backpacks, you pay more to get less – and less weight. Materials science has transformed some of this gear, with tough but lightweight items like Cuben fiber and titanium cookwear.

But what really buoys me are the donations I’ve received in per-mile pledges and flat sums earmarked for charity. It’s seriously motivating to complete the hike (not everyone goes all the way on their planned journey). It’s becoming some serious assistance for the Pacific Crest Trail Association, Arcata Ridge Trail (Forest Fund) and Union Labor Health Federation Children’s Dental Angel Fund, as you'll see in the next post.

Even beyond that, the moral support has been fantastic. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I’ve heard from people I haven’t had contact with for years. Turns out they’ve been quietly reading my stuff all along, including the recent hike announcement.  

It turns out that there are lots of people locally who have hiked the PCT as well as the John Muir Trail (the two overlap in parts). They want to meet, and we shall. Every time I talk to an experienced PCT hiker, I learn things. Especially helpful and inspirational has been my old friend Dirk Rabdau, former Arcata Union sports editor. He’s even sending me his bear canister.

Thanks to all the donors, sponsors and encouragers! 

It was also illuminating meeting with Michael Kauffman, who is helping establish the Bigfoot Trail, The 360-mile Bigfoot Trail also overlaps with the PCT in spots, and links Crescent City with the Klamath Mountains with parts south. So maybe next year I can hike the Bigfoot, or complete the PCT by starting at Manning Park, Canada, and ending in Ashland, Ore. where this year’s hike ends.

So when does all this strenuousness begin? Probably April 22, 10-plus weeks from now. I’m waiting for them to announce the date of the annual kickoff event, which I wish to attend.


Oh by the way, we need someone to do my newspaper work while I’m gone. Call Jack or me at the Union at (707) 826-7000 to inquire. Things are starting to happen fast, so stay tuned!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

As seen in the Mad River Union!

Here's the official announcement which appeared in our newspaper, the Mad River Union. The print version was a mite shorter, for space reasons.

Come by the office and pick up a book or cool Arcata Ridge Trail marker; it'll help pay for my food on the trail. 


Books, trail markers and more available at the Union.


Hey, guess what I’m doing next year? Walking 1,726 miles through the scorpion- and rattlesnake-strewn Mojave Desert, then palling around with bears and mountain lions in the Sierras. 

If all goes as planned, next spring I’ll take off on a section hike of the Pacific Crest Trail, the section being California, from Campo at the Mexican border to Ashland, Ore. 

In fact, the critters whose habitat I’ll be tramping through are the least of my concerns, as long as I respect them and follow best hiking practices. I think I know what to do; it’s just one of the many things to be mindful of on a journey of this length.

The art of the hike is a fascinating challenge, and obviously the trek itself will be an immersive experience, to say the least. I’ve been on multi-day backpacking trips in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, the Lost Coast and Trinity Alps, but up until recently have reverted to more leisurely glamping, which is also a blast in its own way. After a while though, sitting around camp with an embarrassment of amenities, like Trader Joe's dinners, gets old. I was kind of bored on Mt. Diablo last time, so it's time for my bootheels to be wanderin'.

Now it’s back to the trail in a big way – four months big. I’m leaving at the end of April and won’t be back until September. 

I won’t be out of touch, though. These days, one is never away from the communications grid for very long. I’ll document the adventure via my blog, Crush All Boxes (crushallboxes.blogspot.com), my YouTube channel, submissions to the newspaper and by live tracking of my location via a GPS personal locator beacon. It looks like I might be doing some radio shows too.

That level of on-trail tech doesn’t appeal to many, but it’s not uncommon and it sounds to me like a lot of fun – gathering imagery and other data by day, then editing it in the tent at night.

I’ll describe the rewards and setbacks, twists and turns of the trail, plus perspectives on Humboldt news from afar, describe the natural history of the areas through which I pass, and show interesting stuff I see and people I meet. 

There’s no one best way to go about an ambitious hike like this. Everyone has to find what works best for them, from equipment to schedule to goals. There’s a phrase  – hike your own hike (HYOH) – which sets the tolerant tone that is part of PCT culture.

In order to truly hike your own hike, you have to know why you’re doing it, and set out what you hope to accomplish. There are as many reasons as there are hikers. 

For some PCT hikers, it’s escape, centering on a spiritual journey. Others go for trophy purposes, or to set records. Some are survivors of health problems, or violence. Others have media enterprises. It’s all good, and there is much cooperation and mutual respect for the diversity.

My motivations are many, but to be completely honest the central one is the fun of it. I love hiking, carrying my shelter and food on my back, and sleeping outside in remote places. It’s strenuous and meditative, relaxing and stimulating, cleansing and enriching all at once. That might be one definition of fun.

Since I’m going, there’s no reason not to leverage the hike to do something positive for the community that has supported me all these years, and the facilities that make it all possible. There are three wonderful causes for which I hope to gain pledges. 

First is the Pacific Crest Trail Association, which advocates for the trail and maintains it, supports hikers and does outreach and education. pcta.org


Second has to be the Arcata Ridge Trail, which isn’t quite complete and needs support. You can do this directly through the Humboldt Area Foundation’s Arcata Forest Fund, or use the Union as a pass-through.

The Ridge Trail is proceeding apace, but still isn't whole. The southern Sunny Brae Tract section is (technically) disconnected from the main Arcata Community Forest. The Fickle Hill Crossing remains to be completed.

I've been using the Ridge Trail a lot for training hikes; it's pretty dang handy having a mini-Sierra situation just up the street.


As we did in days of olde with the Arcata Eye Ball, I’m once again fundraising for the Union Labor Health Federation’s Children’s Dental Angel Fund, also managed through the Humboldt Area Foundation. It provides funding for dental treatment of underprivileged children locally, with donations matched by participating dentists. More info to come on that.

Ways to donate to any of these funds via the hike are being finalized, so stay tuned. You can pledge a certain amount per mile, a set amount or whatever you like.

Anyone wishing to support the hike itself, and help make possible its various info streams and the help I hope to provide to the worthy causes, can easily do so. 

We’re selling genuine Arcata Ridge Trail markers in both traditional and rainbow flavors, the latter to honor the contributions of the LGBT community to the trail. My four books – both Police Logs and local history books – are also on sale, as are a few oddities. Proceeds will help feed me on the trail. 

Just stop by Suite 8 in Jacoby’s Storehouse, Plaza Level, and pick up a beautiful, tactilely-gratifying trail marker. They make wonderful gifts for trail enthusiasts.

I could make some sort of case for having contributed value to our community with my newspaper and other work over the past 23 years, and in return it has employed me. Now I’m asking for its help in making possible an ambitious adventure that will create some interesting reads and do some community good.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

An organo-freak's guide to Arcata and beyond






I've gotten a lot of mileage out of this thrift store find. A quaint dispatch from a simpler time, it was in the Arcata Eye several times, and in one of my Arcadia books.

I've tried to track down the Farleys with no success. Obviously their organo-freak flag still flies proudly in Arcata.

Anyway, this 1971-vintage item is off to the HSU Library's Humboldt Room, where it will be in good company with lots of similar cultural artifacts.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

TAM, Tyvek, and tent issues with Annabelle

I has the sads today, but it's an unjustified, self-pitying case thereof, only because I can't do absolutely everything and be everywhere I want to.

I'm not attending The Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas this year, for various reasons – none of which is not wishing to do so. I'm good with the decision, but at the same time I'm looking at the pics of my dear skeptical pals yukking it up there, and I wish I was among them. I hadn't planned to attend TAM again until 2017, since next year at this time I'll be deep in the Sierras, but now I'm toying with the notion of nipping away from the hike for four or five days to hit next year's TAM... intriguing.

It's especially grievous in that this year may be the last one in which James "The Amazing" Randi will be present. He's such a sweet, brilliant fellow and the sharpest 80-something dude you will ever meet. The skeptical movement has its problems, but Randi represents the original idea of dispatching nonsense in a wry, intelligent and accessible fashion. Plus he made my glass of water disappear that time and it wasn't just amazing, but yeah, totally magic.

There's something vaguely primal about wishing to participate in your tribe's rituals, and feeling slightly diminished for not doing so and affirming one's status with the herd. But in the overall scheme of things, it's just a matter of entitled Little Lord Fauntleroy (me) not being able to do absolutely every little thing he wants to. So I have to stay in Arcata and have different fun, boo-hoo. Anyway, I think I need a break from the skeptical world... I'll get into that some other time.

Among the enjoyable tasks I had this week – not counting working on a delicious mini-scooplet for next week's paper, bwahaha – was cutting out the footprint for my tent. It's a Eureka Spitfire that I bought last year when I wasn't thinking about ultraight backpacking. But at two pounds, 12 ounces, it's kindalight and a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a new tent. 

I'd like to get one that uses the trekking poles I'll be bringing anyway, thus saving the weight of tent poles, like the one pound, 14 ounce Big Agnes Scout Plus UL2. But I still have to buy a backpack and sleeping system plus other newfangled items, so for now I'll stick with the Spitfire (even though I hate the annoying exclamation points all over the rain fly).
The Spitfire, with rain fly attached and Tyvek to be marked. 
Rather than shell out the $40 or so for a nylon ground sheet that weighs five ounces, I bought a sheet of Tyvek for $16 that weighs "nothing," plus some grommets, set up the Spitfire over it and drew an outline. This activity of course drew the interest of the cats, who had to conduct kitty investigations. Then when I got inside, of course Annabelle trundled over to hang out. Anyway, I have some Tyvek left over to make a hiking wallet. There are some cool designs and how-to's for that on YouTube. It's about as close as I'll ever get to bushcraft.

Annabelle tries out the tent as a hound house. 
I wound up with a 2.8 ounce tent footprint, so my whole shelter rig is under three pounds. I guess that's OK, but my pack's base weight is already up to 11 pounds even without a sleeping bag (or maybe a quilt). I'm finding that, just as the hardcore ultralighters preach, all the little ouncey items really are adding up to pounds, so what I'm doing is listing all the things that I'd like to bring on the equipment spreadsheet, whether I own them yet or not. Once I see the total weight, which will be too high, I'll start trimming away items based on cost/benefit, want/need. I see these hale and hardy 23-year-olds complaining about lugging weight and sending things home, so it's probably wise to err on the side of lightness.
The finished ground sheet/footprint. Hopefully it will protect the tent floor and help keep my sleeping pad from popping while I'm in the sharp and rocky desert. 

Two other things I wanted and needed are a couple of books. The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, edited by Rees Hughes and Corey Lee Lewis, available at Northtown Books, $19.95. Looks like a delicious and inspiring read. I also ordered and will soon receive Yogi's PCT Handbook, $40 through Yogi's Books, which I understand is an essential planning resource.

Nine months and one week out, the PCT prep mission continues.


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Well, this is new... again


I abandoned my Zappa blog what, six years ago? That was when I stopped doing my Zappa's Grubby Chamber show on KHUM.

My life has changed a lot since then, but it's still basically the same – working at the newspaper, enjoying Arcata and all my little hobbies and interests.

Though still fond of Frank and all who sail in him, I've added some fresh obsessions to occupy my brainpan. Rather than start a new blog to document them, it occurred to me that Crush All Boxes is not just good advice, but a suitable platform for other things 'n' stuff.

Miraculously, I was able to log right on and start cleaning up all the crap spam comments that have accumulated over the years. I'll be reformatting the blog too, but there's no big hurry.

My initial plan for this new/old blog is to talk about my preparation for next year's planned Pacific Crest Trail hike. I'm hiking from Campo at the Mexican border to Ashland, Ore. That's 1,726 miles over four months. It starts next April.

I'm incredibly fortunate to work at the Mad River Union, where my co-workers are letting me go away for this extended period and yet remain technically employed. Thanks, guys and gals.

As we all know, planning a trip can be as much fun as taking it, and since this one requires extensive and meticulous prep, it's quite absorbing. Even though it's roughly 10 months out, there's so much to do that I do feel a sense of urgency. Every day I try to do some little something.

I'll be sharing my plans, posing questions and once the hike starts, posting updates here. I'll also be sharing my imbecilic opinions on things, plus blurbettes about my hobbies and interests.

So, welcome back, me.