Backpacking the JMT (for real this time…hopefully)

Now that I’ve had almost a year to recover from both of my surgeries, I’ve been trying out my new feet on the trails and it seems that I will be able to attempt another long-distance hike. This summer, I will be embarking on an epic adventure to thru-hike the John Muir Trail (JMT). I’ve tried hiking the trail once before in 2015 and had to abandon the hike for a couple of reasons: my hiking partner fell victim to altitude sickness...

It’s been a while! Here’s what’s new…

Hello there! So, it’s been well over a year since I’ve posted to this blog and much has happened since then. As you can see, I’ve changed the website…well, after some deliberation, I’ve actually merged blogs and combined everything into one website. I was going to retire ‘Red Pack Walking’ for a couple of reasons: I thought I would never be able to hike again, because of issues with my feet Well, mostly #1 and I didn’t know if I’d have...

10,000 miles in 24 days

I wasn’t able to complete my entire Appalachian Trail thru-hike, nor was I able to complete my Pacific Crest Trail / John Muir Trail hike, however I somehow managed to log over 10,000 miles traveled in only 24 days. This is not quite the goal that I was looking to accomplish, but I realized that July turned out to be nonetheless an adventure. After my broken foot was healed from my AT thru-hike attempt, I decided to venture out west...

Why I chose to end another hike

My attempt to hike a 200-mile long section of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) and JMT (John Muir Trail) would prove to be the most difficult yet. It’s not that the terrain itself that was particularly challenging, but it was those ‘other’ factors that played a part in me deciding to call it off shortly after it began. I debated about what and how much to write regarding my experience, however I promised that I would submit a blog entry....

The PCT and JMT…Here goes nothing…

Tomorrow I’m off for another adventure; maybe third time’s a charm? My last two attempts to successfully complete a long-distance hike failed miserably. I’ve been plagued with injuries and the most miserable weather. What was supposed to be an Appalachian Trail thru-hike ended before I even got out of Georgia; thanks to a fall, an ill-fated stumble, and ultimately a broken heel. It snowed, to the likes of which Georgia hardly ever sees. There was ice, which created quite a...

What happens in shelters…thank goodness stays in shelters

Because sleeping with a bunch of strangers doesn’t appeal to me, I swore that I wouldn’t be staying in shelters anymore. However, after days of rain and unseasonably cold weather, I either had to stay in one or find myself turned into an ice cube overnight. I had no idea that I would still need winter gear at this point in VA and this far into the season. After a long day of hiking, we reached the shelter to find...

The not-so-solo not-so-thru hike

Hello again. Remember me? Red Pack is walking again. I’m returning to the trail, however it will be the not-so-solo, not-so-thru hike. As you may recall, things went very wrong with my attempt to do an Appalachian Trail solo thru-hike (see ‘When Things Go Wrong‘). I’ve finally come to terms with everything and accepted that shit happens. I’ve tried to equate my demise to the misfortunes of athletes who spend years of training only to be injured in the finals...

Making Sense of the senseless

This article was written in response to the sudden and tragic death of someone too young in years and someone enduringly precious to a family so close to my heart (http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2015/03/16/new-paltz-high-school-student-dies/24856873/). It has no bearing on my thru-hike other than the fact that my misfortune proved to be yet another almost auspicious occurrence and reason for me to be grateful to be home with family and friends. What is life but one big story, an allegory written through the experiences...

When things go wrong

No matter how much you plan, you must expect the unexpected. Sometimes things just don’t go your way. As heartbreaking as it is, I must accept that my thru-hike has been cut ridiculously short due to a fracture in my calcaneus (heel). Though the fracture is slight, I cannot continue to hike as it will exacerbate the fracture causing very serious injury. I’ve been fortunate that the damage at this point is minimal and should heal nicely as long as...