Thursday, January 12, 2012

sweet pea

I have had this song stuck in my head for a few days, figured I would make a little video of it. The song is called 'sweet pea' by Amos Lee....

let me know what you think. i have putting some thought into recording a video a day like this, so if you have any requests, please feel free...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

starting to kick in..... and thoughts about the current snow situation..

These last few days I have really begun to sense the enormity of this hike, and how hard it just may be. I have been reading lots of blogs from this last season, and filtering through videos on YouTube and Vimeo, looking at interviews from all the long-distance hiking trails available in the US like the Appalachian Trail (AT) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT) as well as the PCT. There is so much information. I am really starting to realize that it doesn't matter if I have endless amounts of time to finish, or perfect gear. I could have a million dollars as a budget, or a simple grand. It still is going to take perseverance and drive to actually finish it. I'm going to have to dig deep inside myself to finish this thing, and that can be liberating and scary both at the same time. I cant just take it for granted that since I have the time to walk for 5-6 months, it will be a piece of cake.

Mother Nature is playing games with us right now. Dry as a bone. I know it will snow, and snow lots, but how long will it last? Will it be a quick season? Or will it draw itself out like it did last year? If I remember correctly, last year, we did have at least one or two good storms early, but the snow was BAD around the turn of the new year. We were in desperate need of more snow then too. It was extremely unsafe to go skiing anywhere around Tahoe, and people were getting seriously injured and in some cases, fatal accidents occurred. All the snow had turned to ice and it was scary. Then the new year came and POW it was on like donkey kong. So i am not quite ready to throw in the towel for a short snow season right yet....I will let January play out. It really does have a factor on when i may leave though. If it is an extremely low snow season, i may leave a few weeks earlier to be able catch what water there is melting and draining through the desert sections. Remember the first 700 miles of the hike through the desert and water sources are sometimes scarce....

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Training

Well, now the new year is here. No excuses, no major holidays, and really, no time to mess around. With just over 100 days until I plan on stepping out of the societal norm, and into a lifestyle of doing nothing but walking everyday for 15, 20, 30 miles a day, it is time to get serious and prepare myself for the rigors of what i will put myself through for 6 months straight. Anyone that is familiar with me on a day to day basis, knows i can be a fairly lazy person. I admittedly have not done very much to better myself since getting laid-off from my job. That is one of the main reasons I have decided to follow my dream and hike this year, and see where it will lead me next.

Hiking the PCT will put me in the absolute best shape of my life, returning me to a level where i can compete on a level playing field in the sports and team things i once loved and excelled at so much. Allowing me to be proud of my body and what i am physically able to accomplish. Right now, it is not much. I am in horrible shape, and quite a bit overweight. It would be extremely easy for me to not do much training before i leave. I could sit around just day dreaming of being on the trail and doing the other necessary steps of preparing like the meal-plans and food-bags i will be sending myself, where, and when.  But I already sort of have that stuff under control. Really now it is more just a matter of affording to go the store and get the food, cooking, dehyrating, vacuum sealing, and planning my own 150 mre's (meals ready to eat). Now that the holidays are over, i should be able to get this done by the end of February hopefully.

What I really need to focus on is the physical training. It is possible just to get into shape on the trail, which some people do entirely. I plan on doing most of my fine tuning once on the trail. But it is imperative to me to be able to put on some decent miles without it killing myself right off the bat. By training now, consistently just going for walks of 5 miles or more, i am getting my body used to walking for extended periods of time. I live about 5 minutes from Folsom Lake and have already found a loop i enjoy and have been walking it regularly. I plan on hitting it up 3-5 times a week through January. The great thing about the trail is that i can follow an actual trail, through the Oak trees and rolling hills one way, and i can follow the waters edge the opposite way. And the trail in its entirety could make for over a 30 mile loop. Walking out my front door and being able to hike all day and return to the luxury of my bed at night is something i MUST take advantage of before in training before I leave, and will be sleeping while hanging from trees from six months straight(yes, i am a hammock camper).

I know it wont take much for me to get into shape. My main problem is just being lazy. I can lose weight really quick if i eat right and put in some decent effort into it. That is why i know the trail will whip me up real quick. By the time I reach Lake Tahoe and spend a week off trail with family and friends, I will be in a physical shape that they have never seen me in. Shit, i have never been in shape my entire adult life. Since i started gaining weight towards the end of high school, i have never been in the shape i wanted. Now is the time.

That being said, i think it is time for my daily hike.......

happy new year, and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Well here we are. 2012. It seams nearly everyone had a shitty 2011 and was more than anxious for it to turn to 2012. The holidays are over, the stress has mostly been lifted, and i have some major Thank-You's i owe to some important people. My friends and family are amazing. First off, i had a lot of anxiety over gear, the cost of gear, and what i still need(ed), while trying to save weight, and ect.... My family and friends did more than they will probably realize in supporting me with the gifts and gift cards i received for Christmas. I am embarrassed to to tell you how much i got in REI gift-cards, because i don't deserve it. This is going to go SO far towards keeping me comfortable on the trail, and if i am comfortable, then i will be happier, and it will just make the hike that much more enjoyable. I now only need a few main components and my basic gear should be relatively set.

Some other things i received from my amazing girlfriend Erica were the Solio Bolt solar charger. This thing is amazing and is even engineered to know it is charging an apple product like my iPhone. I should have no problem keeping my iPhone charged the entire trip. My iPhone will be of multiple uses, taking pictures, small videos, music, audio books, a backup gps, all my maps will be on there as well for back up.

I got an amazing Swiss Army pocket knife from Erica as well. So many functions, i want to track how many i actually use while i am on  the trail. It is sort of big and bulky, but will make up for it's weight in usefulness and entertainment really.

My brother gifted me a pair of my favorite hiking shoes to get me started. I am still working on a shoe sponsor, but i am planning on getting at least one more pair before i leave and will worry about the other pairs i will need once i am on the trail.

Like i said, the gift card love really was amazing. I know gift cards can sort of seem impersonal, but in the case of planning for a through hike, you couldn't ask for anything better. I was able to get most of my toiletries and a snake bite kit and some other cool things with a Wal-Mart gift card. 50 bucks of stuff added up quick, but now i have most of the soap and toiletries for the entire trail. Thank you so much for that Phil Goltz.

I know i am leaving out some things and some people, but i really do appreciate all the love, support and overall excitement people have when hearing about my hike. There has been a lot less skepticism about my choice to hike for 6 months straight than I had anticipated, and I am grateful. Thank you all so much.