Last updated on June 18, 2020
This past week brought a bank of welcome positive experiences. Honestly, the return to backpacking probably has a lot to do with much of these changes. Just the sheer aspect of being behind the wheel again on a long road trip or being out under the full moon in a field of green surrounded by spruce pines at night with the sound of a healthy stream of water breaking over rocks and singing all of us hikers asleep.
Since last weekend I’ve realigned my 2020 backpacking trip goals to a degree. And yeah, I felt like a slingshot last weekend, zipping out across the sky with the momentum of pent up stir crazy from spending more than three months at home. At once uplifted and nervous by all the people on the trail, much of whom hiked in from nearby car waypoints nearer to Lion’s Head for the day. The rest of the trail, however, with the exception of a collection of campsites we stayed at on night two were pretty empty.
But yeah, so my plan is to use very early morning Sunday’s going forward to train up my legs on the hills again. Partly to prepare for any number of higher elevation hikes (in the five to six thousand foot range) through the rest of the year. Then, as an effort to keep as much of this as possible local, meaning inside the boundaries of Ohio, I am going to scope my backpack overnights to weekdays in my home state. Rounding off some of the hikes I have not done yet and redoing some that I have. Of course, I have other trips planned as well that are, or were, part of my original plan for 2020 where I will be super careful. Not just for myself but for others as we continue to re-explode wave one of the Pandemic here in the States. Still, the thing I learned from quarantine is that we can’t stop living. It defeats the purpose of the experience.
Hikes I am planning for 2020 currently:
- Tar Hollow, Ohio
- Zaleski, Ohio
- Wildcat Hollow, Ohio
- Archers Fork, Ohio
- Shawnee State Forest, Ohio
- Burr Oak State Park, Ohio
- Lake Vesuvius, Ohio
- Great Seal State Park (for training), Ohio
- Hoosier National Forest, Illinois
- Red River Gorge, Kentucky
- Laurel Highlands Trail, Pennsylvania
- Clingman’s Dome, Tennesee
- Pictured Rocks, Michigan
- Pine Mountain Trail, Kentucky
- Badlands National Park, South Dakota
I suppose it was that energy that lifted both my professional efforts and added some new life to my kitchen endeavors this week. I am working with Angular 9, Material Design, and AWS for a client currently. This has me contemplating a new architecture for this blog and hosting it on one of the big three cloud platforms, probably Azure. Meanwhile, my Ohio farm co-op service has been hammering me with both sprouts and millet of late. So I’m looking for ways to use the millet currently. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, haha!
And, well, I took another step toward normalcy by starting a leg tattoo piece I had been planning for about six or so months. A rough translation of a Henry David Thoreau. While he was no saint, I rather like that about him.
Lastly, after the protests over the hate crimes perpetrated by the police, I picked up my copy of “The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, an Appalachian Trail Journey” by Derick Lugo. I immediately loved how he dedicated to “all the Unlikelies everywhere.” Another great thing that came out this week was the episode of On Being with Eula Bliss titled “Talking About Whiteness.” It’s a great exploration of what it’s like to have a long hard look at ourselves as white folks and our responsibility to change.
Maybe it’s my desire to do more than just listen, as one of our company meetings on diversity prescribed, which is a great start, but I feel like we can use our white privilege for good. So please consider donating to this nonprofit that helps unrepresented children enjoy the outdoors. Think of it as the Boy Scouts meets trade school, only for those who just don’t fit their mold.