I Don't Like Hiking

I Don’t Like Hiking

Hiking sucks.  And the only thing worse than hiking is camping. There’s way too much romanticizing done about both of them, as if ANYONE is out there with rays of sunlight beaming selectively through the trees at them, blissing out on birdsong and silence, thinking important philosophical thoughts and “communing” with nature. They’re not. The […]

What Exactly Is a "Bonus Round" in Life?

What Exactly Is a “Bonus Round” in Life?

Anyone who’s been in a situation, medical or otherwise, that’s nearly killed them, will slip automatically into “bonus round” mode in life. It’s an orientation impelled from the deepest recesses of the soul where near-death lies. It’s a gift really. And somewhat makes up for the suffering in the “nearly dying” part. For those who […]

DO NOT. SEND YOURSELVES. OATMEAL.

DO NOT. SEND YOURSELVES. OATMEAL.

DO NOT. SEND YOURSELVES. OATMEAL. It’s the richest piece of thru-hiker hopeful advice I think I have ever read. It was posted on the “PCT Class of 2014” facebook page by one of the realest, funniest, most perceptive, and inspiring thru-hikers from 2013 I’ve heard tell of. Her name is Carrot Quinn and she can […]

My Notes on Post Trail Depression

My Notes on Post Trail Depression

It’s expected. It’s written about, talked about, advised about.. lamented to anyone who would understand (ie:other hikers) .. When you do a long trail, word is you’re going to suffer a bit after you return home. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but it does to enough people that I would classify it as a genuine […]

10 Things I Immediately Had to Change About Myself Upon My Arrival in Portland, Oregon

10 Things I Immediately Had to Change About Myself Upon My Arrival in Portland, Oregon

I’m here. I love it. And I have that unjustified “home” feeling. It doesn’t seem to matter to my happiness chemistry that I arrived in the midst of a weather-pocalypse. Or that there’s traffic, aggressively attentive homeless people, and train noise. But I don’t know how to be here yet. And here are some of […]

Vanabonding - The Virgin Voyage

Vanabonding – The Virgin Voyage

First of all, I’m back! Yes, I disappeared for a little while there. Besides dealing with the not insignificant post-PCT soup of emotional/physical/logistical weirdness which I’m sure EVERY hiker goes through to some degree returning from a six month stint in the wilderness, my website had been hacked. I couldn’t get access and all kinds […]

The PCT Average Letter Home Mad Lib

The PCT Average Letter Home Mad Lib

* For next year’s hikers! This should make communication home a little easier.  The PCT Average Letter Home Mad Lib Dear _______________, (family member or name of friend)   Just arrived at PCT mile ______________  (the __________ point)! It has been so ___________,                         […]

Debunking the I-Don't-Need-No-Stinking-Man Theory. Again.

Debunking the I-Don’t-Need-No-Stinking-Man Theory. Again.

That’s it. I’ll never say “I don’t need no stinking man” ever again. (Thanks, PCT!) I’ve spent the bulk of my life in defense of a fierce sense of individualism, of self-reliance and independence. It’s been an emotionally infantile position. And I say that because, when I observe others in an intense defense of anything, […]

Love Letter to a Thru-Hiker's Body

Love Letter to a Thru-Hiker’s Body

Dear Body, I’d like to point out to you that you are absolutely FABULOUS! You walked 2,665 miles in a row.. IN A ROW! Without reprieve.. without healing time. And those weren’t easy miles. It’s not like you were walking on some spongy flat corridor through Hawaii.. No, you were walking through extreme heat, and […]