I’ve long resisted writing about my travels and adventures. One of the primary reasons has been the burden of starting something (fun!) and having to maintain it (ugh). Another is the feeling that few people would be interested in reading about my hikes, race reports or other inane ramblings. There are many other people already writing about much more impressive outdoor pursuits, so I haven’t felt that mine were noteworthy enough to write about. None of these are good reasons, but they’ve been reasons all the same.
I felt the same way during my 2016 thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I set up a blog before starting the hike, published an entry about my food resupply plan and then set off for Canada with the intention of continuing to write from the trail. Once I actually started hiking, however, I never published another post again. (It turns out hiking 20+ miles a day is tiring!) I did manage to keep a daily log of my mileage, campsite locations and any interesting stories or personal feelings about how the hike was going. I enjoyed the process, though I’m glad to have kept those notes private as the PCT was a very personal experience. Ever since then, having a blog has felt like a burden more than a creative outlet.
Fast-forward to now, 2019. I’m not thru-hiking a long trail, but my life has been filled with many interesting mini-adventures that I feel the sudden urge to write about. It feels like the right time to give the blog thing another go. I could keep these entries private, but personal projects tend to take on a different character when you release them publicly. I think it keeps you honest. I’m also sure there are running/hiking/vanlife geeks out there who might enjoy some of the content. But I’m okay if only my family reads these entries (I’m also okay if they don’t).
So in terms of content, here’s a brief overview of what you can expect on here. First off, I live in a camperized 2003 Mercedes Sprinter van named Betsy. As of this writing, she has been home for almost a year now, so there will plenty of content related to life on the road (i.e. “vanlife”). I’m also the middle of some serious renovations which have include a brand new solar power system and a completely new living space. Building out the solar system has been a rewarding process and I’ve enjoyed learning more about alternative energy in the process. So that might come up.
As mentioned above, I thru-hiked the PCT in 2016, marking a significant turning point in my life. Being “on trail” (in all its forms) has become a calling for me. I like being out in the mountains, the desert, the forest, anywhere a trail may lead. I spend a great deal of my free time running, hiking and backpacking, so this will be a place for me to share my ultramarathon race reports and summaries of backpacking trips. I might write about some of the gear I use, but I have zero interest in becoming a gear reviewer. But I do love some good “gear talk”, so it will inevitably bleed through. You’ve been warned.
Lastly, I’ve been mostly living and a working as a “digital nomad” in various forms ever since my thru hike in 2016. Through 2017, I worked remotely writing code while travelling and living out of a carry-on bag. Ever since I moved into the van in the summer of 2018, my “backpack” has simply grown in size. I remain interested in the way digital technology has and continues to change the way we communicate and work together. I am currently writing this from a Starbucks in Seattle while Betsy (the van) is having her fuel lines replaced across the street. Such is life on the road.
I hope you enjoy the content here. I’m excited to share personal stories in a longer format – sometimes an Instagram or Facebook post just isn’t long enough. I have decided to focus my writing here primarily on my travels and outdoor pursuits. For a different side of me plus some frank talk about UFOs, conspiracies and other wacky things, you can check out my podcast Cinema Esoterica.
Either way, see you out there!