Indeed it is a new year with new challenges, adventures, and whatever else may come to pass. A little reflection on the first half of past year before laying out the framework for the coming year (pictures at the bottom). This is by no means a complete list of the fun we had in 2011, but a sprinkling of highlights. The second half to follow…
My best man Josh came out to visit from the East coast. Nicole and I were the turn around point of an incredible road trip he made. We ate some great food and of course got out an the trails a bit.
In February we joined Figgy, Stitch, and their little one on an epic winter hike along the PCT to Deep Creek Hot Springs. We had the mountains to ourselves with hail falling around us as we soaked in the natural hot springs. The hike itself was amazing and scenic as well.
In March we overhauled our relationship with food. For about 9 months now we have eaten a whole foods plant based diet. Being more aware of what we eat has had many positive effects, not the least of which are related to how we feel (energy levels) and speedy recovery from intense exercise (epic mountain adventures, etc.).
In April we attended ADZPCTKO (annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off). It was awesome to catch up with some old trail friends as well as meet a bunch of 2011 hikers. I got to represent the class of 2010 in the group photo down by the lake.
In May a lot of work was done around the house – painting, treating floors, etc. That wasn’t too bad, but I also got out for the “Baden Bivy” trip with Stitch. A somewhat snowy hike up, over, and around Mt. Baden Powell. It was fun running into some current year PCT thru-hikers and chatting with them.
In June my mom came out from the east coast to visit us. Good food, hanging out with more family, and taking in some local sights were all part of the goings on.
Joshy and Benton over LA
Deep Creek bridge
Hot – Cold Springs
Brendan Brazier, author of “Thrive” series of books
A little pre-thanks(giving). I have plenty to be thankful for, and I know it. First and most importantly – my amazing wife and the life we live and journey we are on together. She’s amazing, I’m lucky, end of story.
And there are plenty of day to day things to be thankful for as well. Such as a cool cloudy sunrise after yoga.
I am also thankful for amazing (and affordable) Thai Massage.
it's all about the pants
I am thankful for friends sharing choice seats to the Kings game (thanks Evan).
Kings vs. Wild
I am thankful for my health and the ability to run crazy miles in the mountains. Oh, and new shoes.
Nicole and I just returned from a trip to Austria. We met her parents in Salzburg for three days and then all traveled to Vienna together for another three days. It was fantastic. In short, we walked a ton, saw a fortress, toured a palace, went running almost every morning, rented bikes, visited museums (the Museum Quarter was a favorite area), and ate great food.
Recently Nicole and I joined Figgy, Stitch, and little Pace for an awesome and memorable adventure in the Mineral King area of the Sierra mountains. These amazing mountains are only hours from out home and we need to get out there more often.
The first day of hiking involved tons of tree blow downs from recent as well as winter storms. The second day involved many marmot sightings, a couple of bears, and some deer. We had several stream crossings, lots of laughs, and delicious food all along.
Both nights we had great camp sites, and the weather for the entire trip was incredible. I can’t wait to get back out there and have more adventures. A couple of pictures can be found below.
Nicole and I went to see Rush in concert recently. I have lost track of how many shows that makes for me, but it was her first show and we hoped it would be a good one. The music was great however, the venue left much to be desired (mostly from a sound standpoint, though signage was awful as well).
I won’t get into detail about that as I would prefer to focus on the positive. Three extremely talented musicians that took the stage and played three hours of amazing music. A huge treat was that they played the entire Moving Pictures album from 1981.
Rush became my favorite band shortly after my cousin made me a cassette tape with some of their music on it. I was probably 13 or 14 years old at the time. A few years later I saw them live for the first time…and many times since in Canada and the US.
As the blog post suggests…recent and random things…
1) The sleeping guy in the store was amusing and I couldn’t resist taking a picture. He was out for at least 20 minutes. The sales clerk says she sees it all the time.
2) Nicole and I saw Forks over Knives a few weeks ago. It was a fantastic documentary about food. More information at the official site and the movie trailer. Highly recommended no matter what you put on your plate at meal time.
3) We have been doing some home improvement updates with partial motivation being that mommy Chan is going to be visiting next week from the east coast. Things are looking really sharp and we have some fun stuff planned for her visit.
4) What is hard work without a little reward? A great meal at RFD was capped off with an amazing dessert. Nicole shows this off in the final photo.
Early Saturday morning Nicole and I loaded up the car with some camping gear and the dogs. The destination? ADZPCTKO (annual day zero Pacific Crest Trail kickoff). Hundreds of hikers hoping to complete the trail gather and celebrate with past thru-hikers, future ones, and other trail enthusiasts. This year I heard there was a record 700 plus people in attendance. Some had been there for several days already, but it was my hope to catch up with some friends from my 2010 thru-hike.
I was not let down as I ran into several people that I hiked with and met along the trail last year. Including Buckeye, Swift, Dreams, and Hurricane who I finished the trail with last year.
Shroomer and Bigfoot
Comet and Tangent
Comet, Buckeye, Swift, Dreams, and Hurricane
Class of 2011 posing on the rocks by the lake
There are many events throughout the weekend including informational talks on bear and snow safety, as well as water reports for the desert section. There are also gear invention contests, gear manufacturers demoing and selling things, and Saturday night a movie of the previous years hikers is shown. Thanks to Sheepdog and Sandles for putting together the 2010 video. It was cool seeing myself and other people I hiked with on the “big screen”.
gear invention contest
Sunshine and her father are hiking the PCT this year. She will be the second youngest person to complete the trail (11 years old) if they make it to Canada. Her chances are good! Read more about their trip here.
As always the feat of feeding so many hungry hikers and campers is not something to be taken lightly, but as always the organizers of the event rose to the occasion. Sunday morning we enjoyed fruit, yogurt, granola wraps. Sound weird? It was. But it was also delicious and needs no silverware or plates!
Nicole enjoying a special kind of breakfast burrito
Benton catches a nap in the back of the car
After the kickoff wound down and people headed home or north on the trail we headed to the Mexico border to say hello to the Southern terminus of the trail where I set off 11 months ago on my epic adventure. It was a great finale to a great weekend.