Seems semi-mandatory to have a “A Year in Review” type post…so here’s mine.
Life in general
Both my day job career and my part-time/passion career has picked up.
I’ve been a steady contributor to TrailGroove Magazine, somehow helped convince many people that listening to four outdoors people drinking beer can be enjoyable, and have contributed to some other publications as well.
A busy year…
Trip Bullet Points
The year saw my usual camping, backpacking, hiking and even a climb or two.
Some of my trips from 2015 were…
- A winter backpacking trip in RMNP I helped to guide… One of the last guided trips Andrew may be doing for a while. I’ve known Andrew for quite a few years now and it has been an honor to assist with the trips he’s conducted. The winter ones in particular are always memorable. (Dropped to below zero this past year!). Andrew and I have had a good working relationship and, esp on those early morning car rides to the trail, we had good discussions about not just the outdoors but life, marriage and, perhaps most importantly, where the best beer in Boulder may be be brewed. Good luck with the future plans Andrew!
- Went hiking a bit with Cam “Swami” Honan – Cam is one of the most accomplished hikers currently out and about. We have corresponded for many years and met “in real life” late last year, and several times over the year since then. He likes a good pint, is a pleasure to hike with and is The Former Wife approved! And, oh, the bigger news: I helped remodel his online home. 🙂
- Lots of trips to The High Plains this year… There were quite a few and wonderful trips to this often overlooked ecosystem. The wildness, the solitude and the beauty all drew me back again and again. I became a bit melancholy on a trip the Pawnee Grassland, but my sprits were uplifted a bit soon after by taking a trip to the Comanche Grassland. A highlight of not just The High Plains camping done this year, but of all the trips, was a trip to the Nebraska Panhandle. An amazing trip to an area very much overlooked. I loved the time spent in The High Plains so much, I even wrote an article about it for TrailGroove.
- More time spent in New Mexico… Northern New Mexico is easily one of my favorite places to spend time. The wonderful mix of different cultures, the history, the food and, of course, the scenic beauty. The Former Wife and I had a fantastic trip to the Wild Rivers Recreation Area and nearby Taos in June. We later spent Thanksgiving in Chaco Canyon. Every time we go to Chaco, we find more reasons why we must head back.
- The Big Horn Mountains were explored by me. I loved this mountain range and I hope to go back. Seems a little off the beaten path versus other areas. Very beautiful place to spend some time alone.
- And many other Colorado ski trips, overnight trail work projects, backpacks and hikes. Not bad for a full time IT Monkey! My buddy Mark organized some hikes on Wednesday over the summer. I also enjoyed the trips on the Colorado Plateau near Grand Junction. A bit of Utah but a much closer drive.
Still surprising to me after all these years, but people seem to enjoy reading my semi-coherent ramblings.
The various Quick and Dirty Guides continue to be among the most popular articles on this site.
Among the new articles, the most popular articles were:
- The Frugal Backpacker – The $300 Gear Challenge More of a heavily revised article than a new one. I like this article as it provides some ideas to get outside without spending a lot of money.
- Grassroots to organized – The change nature of thru-hikes : Another article I enjoyed writing. The observations in the article, so far, have proven to be true.
- Alcohol stove alternative – Hornet BRS 3000t: I rarely do current and specific gear reviews, but when I do, they seem to do well. I’m not much of a gear head, but as Cam Honan told me, there is value to the gear reviews from experienced people. I use the gear and, I think, my rare reviews may be of use. Though my personal favorite gear overview was for my absolute favorite wallet…
- Off-Season backpacking destinations in Colorado – An article that I should not be surprised that became popular. Many people want to backpack in Colorado even when it is perhaps not the prime time for the Rockies. Hopefully this article will help address the questions people may have concerning the window of time that is typically spring and late fall.
- Outdoor Failures – What we learn from not meeting goals I enjoy writing these more philosophical articles more than gear articles. Based on how many people read this article, might not be a bad thing to write these articles…
- The Perfect Campsite: A perfect campsite is compared to a good meal: It is hard to define, but you know it when you have it.
- Bear and critter concerns: What to do? Short, to the point and practical. My favorite way to give out information.
- Champagne Gate – Scott Jurek’s FKT AT: Though the athleticism is impressive, I find speed hike attempts to be boring. I am not into spectator sports…never mind keeping track of a record on a trail. But the Scott Jurek incident does show the changing nature of the more well known long distance hiking paths and the conflict between wildness and a more Camino-like experience.
- My epic journey of self – Poking fun of a current trend. Mainly writing about an enjoyable and wonderful time in the mountains on a well-known trail with ample guide books, well marked tread, a large social and support network with electronic guides readily available. But then making the journey apparently sounding like something that is equivalent to a conflict during the US Civil War, Greek mythological journeys or a Science Fiction adventure. As Dave Barry would say: “I swear, I am not making this up”. This video sums up this concept well. 🙂
- The podcast I co-host featuring beer, trails and nonsense is still going well 3+ years later. We even did a road show at the Winter OR and the ADLHA-W Gathering.
- I’ve been having a lot of fun being a regular contributor to TrailGroove magazine. It is a joy to write for such a top quality magazine.
- Still a board member for the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. It is wonderful to give back to something I love.
- Visited Rhode Island for a family wedding. Even found a small bit of wild New England shoreline to explore. I will be going back to RI this summer when I meet my new niece!
- Speaking of Rhode Island and where I grew up, I have a soft spot for this post on Sunday Gravy.
- Who knows…more of the same, some changes…basically life in general. This oracle may be helpful…