Stayed at a river house on the Fall, canoed, visited Burney Falls, camped and hiked in Lassen NP (Crags camp, Manzanita Creek trail). A trip I’ll remember.
Car camping last weekend was wonderful.
Friday brought me to the pass for a staff hike. A definite perk of the job. We lunched at a lake. I especially enjoyed the company of the eight year old member of our group. She skinned her knee and I reminded her of the upside: future scab picking.
It was nice to connect with a few long distance PCTers and the volunteers who feed and cheer them on at the visitor center.
At three on Friday, I grabbed the last site in the campground. Unpacking led reading, and then to napping as I waited for friends to arrive.
We had a great time. Cooking on the fire, catching up, a ridge walk, a swim and more than a few good beers. One friend is a new father. He played the 911 recording from when his wife gave birth in a mall parking lot. Life’s amazing.
I just got an email informing me that some of my comments were used in the book Cairns: Messengers in Stone. The author and I spoke at least a year ago. I remember talking fondly about Nepal’s remarkable cairns, the summit cairns in the Grand Canyon, a cairn I built near the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and the impressively large stacks in the Goat Rocks. We also philosophized about modern cairn building on the PCT.
I flipped through the book a few weeks ago in the outdoor shop in Lone Pine. It must have just come out. I even considered buying it. I didn’t realize that it was the book that I had been interviewed for though.
It’s frustrating to hear that Nepal is now requiring guides or porters on all trips. The guides are often inexperienced, lack fitness and are mostly a burden to experienced hikers. Many of the tourist treks in Nepal so well traveled that there is truly no need for porters or guides. Since I stayed in lodges for most of my time in Nepal, my packweight was light – perhaps 15 pounds. Do I need a porter for that? No. The trails are well traveled and there is no way to get lost. Do I need a guide for that? No. I don’t.
With a few bribes, the trekking companies have killed independent trekking in much of the Himalaya. Only India allows independent trekking now.
I’m going to put my blog on hold for a while. I have a new job. I want to see how and if this forum fits with my new responsibilities. I’ve been hired by the Pacific Crest Trail Association to, well, talk about the Pacific Crest Trail (and many other things). Not only do I talk about backpacking all day at work, I also write about it. A lot. I’m extremely fortunate! This blog may just be too much backpacking talk for this old backpacking fanatatic. It may compete with my aims at work.
It may evolve. It may not.
Regardless, thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting me. Thanks for redirecting your questions (about the PCT) to the PCTA. Ask there, and I will happily answer!
Travelling Two, a cycling blog, wrote this week about making tiny amounts of money selling stock photos. I’m tempted to follow along. Hopefully Dreamstime will accept my photos. I’ve got tens of thousands of photos that I need to sort through. I think that I’ll submit photos of random subjects like fresh, green peppercorns instead of trying to compete on landscapes or adventure with more competent photographers.
I’m stuck in the airport, waiting out winter weather.
I’m spending some time looking for what I want to do next. Where should I work this summer? Should I hike the AT and finish the Triple Crown?
On the short list of things that I’d like to spend my time doing:
– Hike the AT
– Lead high end trips in beautiful locations. I’d love to lead some trips in the Andes or the Himalaya
– Sea Kayak a long distance, perhaps around Iceland.
– Work at a remote Alaskan lodge that doesn’t cater towards hunters.
– Spend the summer in the Sierra.