I wake up to the bubbling voices of my coworkers/compatriots, but as I’m wont to do on mornings where we’ll be departing, I spend the first bit of the morning packing everything up – all I’ll have to do is have my coffee, say goodbye, and then Spesh and I are off on the solo part of our adventure. By the time I’m satisfied with the progress I’ve made, I zip open the tent to find that I’m alone, all the cars gone but ours. Um.
Despite the warmth in the tent, the morning outside is clear and fresh and fucking freezing, and it takes barely a quarter of an unzip to tell I’m gonna have a bad time if I don’t put on pants. Well. Summer’s coming. I hope. Continue reading
I know it’s time to get up, but I linger anyway, staring blankly out the window of the Airbnb we’ve been ensconced in for the last week. I know what comes next, and I just want to enjoy this one, tiny moment, all to myself, before the rest of everything. The rest of the year. Continue reading
One of the first things I learn about my new job – after driving in our new ride for the first time and meeting the other teams for the first time and making a family dinner that, despite the fact that it is the first time, actually feels like a family dinner – is that everyone, across the board, is an early riser. For the returning teams, this seems to be partially a function of the relative earliness of events, and for the other new team, it’s more a function of coming from the East Coast and attempting to maintain a
normal-for-them rigorous exercise regime; for Spesh, it seems to be a function of either insomnia or his ability to effortlessly fit in. Aaaand then there’s me.
Spesh and I are about to emerge from our training cocoons as Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer butterflies, so I thought I’d just give a bit of an update before the longer updates begin:
- I’ll be doing updates at least once a week from here on out; rather than labeling these by days/weeks, as is my wont, I’m gonna label them with real-time mileage from our Subaru. So don’t get confused if you see I’ve “hiked” 1000+ miles in a week. I’m not that awesome.
- Part of the job is to travel cool places and do cool things, so I’ll have plenty of adventures to tell you about, starting tomorrow. I’m going to try to make Thursday publishing day; anything I publish any other day will be bonussssss awww yisss.
- More information on the job and what it entails, including links and such, can now be found on The Route page; any questions that doesn’t answer you can ask here in the comments, or hit me up through the Contact page.
- Also Snorkel wrote a book that I (and many others) contributed to; it’s called Backpacker Long Trails, and it’s already been favorably reviewed on Reddit. It’s ENORMOUS and has all sorts of rad information in it for both beginners and folks who’re looking to refine their technique or go ultralight or or or. I think it’s a boss resource that basically mimics my introduction to backpacking – as very straightforward tips from a variety of people with a variety of styles who all want to see you succeed.
- Also also apparently they named a dinosaur after Zuul. Real life has conspired to bring together my trail name and my trail shenanigans. (That it’s apparently the ‘Destroyer of Shins’ is just a bonus.)
Tomorrow it’s fun fun fun with a post about training and physical sickness and metaphysical sickness – see you then!
I crest a ridge and am greeted by the morning – the sky above is laced with deep, dark storm clouds, but underneath them shines the dawn, the sun hanging heavy just above the lip of the world. Everything’s painted a brilliant orange, the road in front of me threading over rolling hills, slinking off into the distance. I’ve got more than 700 miles to drive today – right around 12 hours – but I wish I could stop and enjoy this. It’s one of the prettiest sunrises I’ve ever seen1. Continue reading
So in my long, lamentable stretch working, I’ve seen a lot of rad articles from a lot of rad places about brown folk, specifically brown women, getting outside and doing stuff, that I thought I’d share with y’all:
Rahawa Haile (AT ’16) has been doing a bunch of talking and writing: for Atlas Obscura, for Buzzfeed, for Outside Magazine. She writes with a soul-soothing voice that’s exactly what I’ve needed over the last few months. I look up to her, for real.
Chardonnay (PCT ’15, AT Section ’16) is at it again, about to start a CDT thru; you can find her on her blog here.
Mallory and X have just started their AT journey; they’re blogging about it here.
Minda Honey has a recent-ish piece on Longreads.com that’s a little more frontcountry-oriented, but no less powerful for that.
We’re coming outside, and ain’t nothing gonna hold us back.
I’m 100% sure that I’m missing stuff; if you guys have blogs/books/podcasts/YouTube channels you know that are run by brown folk doing cool stuff outdoors (where my brown men at?!), let me know in the comments!
Friday morning, I’m just settling into my to-do list and I get a call – it’s my new employer, wanting to know if I’m available to pick up some more work. Mama need to make dat skrilla, so yes, yes I am available. When I arrive, settle into the scope of the project, I fear I may have bitten off more than I can chew; the work’s certainly entertaining enough, but having picked it up in the middle of doing things it goes a lot more slowly than I would like. 14 hours later, I regret everything – it’s 2:30am, and I’ve got the Rockies Ruck tomorrow. And by tomorrow, I mean I need to be up in four hours. Hoo boy. Here we go. Continue reading
One of the bonuses about my upcoming foray into more teaching and professional road-tripping as a Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer is that the region we’ve been assigned is the region where I spent my formative years. It’s so strange to think that after all this traveling, after living on two other continents and in a boatload of other states to boot, I’m gonna wind up right back where I started. Kind of. Sort of. Continue reading