We are spending tonight with family in Austin, then we are off to Paris, Arkansas to conduct a 40-mile hike starting at Mt. Magazine; I have invested a great deal in building my climbing and trekking equipment. Above is a picture of my $500 mountain tent; it is supposed to withstand high winds and low temps — though my overpriced sleeping bag does a nice job with that; however, the temps are expected to be around 96 – 99 degrees this week. I do not have to worry too much about snow. Thus, I hope to post an updated picture of us in high temps hiding inside my overpriced but worthy tent.
In the neighborhood I grew up in… brothers did not do the things I am interested in doing; I blame much of this on my friend and climbing/trekking/marathon buddy Chris Bell, who got me interested in much of this stuff. By my junior year of college, I was running races, climbing walls with high tech gear and a degree of specialized skills, as well as dreaming about doing a number of dumb things. My boys back in the hood would tell me that this is stuff for silly crazy white people. I have skied in the likes of Idaho, Montana, Colorado, and yes the Swiss Alps. I have scaled rough walls and conducted highly unorganized cave dives with people who knew less than I. There are a number of things I would like to do as I continue my growing interest in the outdoors. I hope to do more trekking, climbing, and cave dives. Next summer, I have had minor discussions with one of my students about a bike trip across Texas. Dillon, if you hear me, I am not in much shape for this. If not next summer, maybe as part of your graduation.
So, here are the top things on my wish list:
- Conduct a climbing/trekking trip in Patagonia (Chile & Argentina)
- Qualify and run the Boston Marathon
- Trek the Wonderland Trail
- Finish trekking the Continental Divide (see map) to the right
- Climb Mt. McKinley
Of the top 5, the Continental Divide will be the toughest. Though, I do have my summers to get this done. The most difficult will be Mt. McKinley; however, a Boston Q time might prove to be tougher than my ego is telling me. Here is a short description of the trail:
Length: 40 miles, only .6 mile is within the state park boundaries
Difficulty: Moderate – Strenuous
Description: This is the only multi-use trail in the state park. Horses and motorized vehicles are not allowed on any other trail listed here. From the horse camp down to the highway, this old wagon road drops 200 feet.