Expanding on a passion

Expanding on a passion

In my 20's, not a year went by that I didn't go on at least a couple of major backpacking trips and hiking almost every week. In my 30's and 40's a treadmill somehow slowly replaced my hiking and backpacking trips. Like many in the age group, I began to put career over hobbies and convenience over passion. I went from hiking in the woods because of a love for exploring and nature to walking in place on a treadmill, frequently while working on a laptop at the same time.

Then, in my mid 40's I was blessed with a baby girl who means the world to me. My wife and I started to take her hiking when she was around 3 or 4. When she was 5 I decided I wanted to grow her love of the outdoors even more. For Father's Day that year, I informed my wife that I was going to take our daughter camping and she was welcome to join us. While she loves hiking and nature, my wife draws the line on sleeping outdoors in a tent and not showering for days at a time so this trip was just me and my 5-year-old, car camping outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Not only did she love it but it helped rekindle my own personal passion for hiking, camping, and backpacking.

The pandemic squashed most of our trip plans during 2020 and the first half of 2021 but I did manage to sneak off to New Mexico with my daughter, now 7, and my late 70's mom who still loves to hike and camp. It was a combination Father's Day present for me and Mother's Day present for her and it was amazing. My daughter decided she wanted to sleep in her own tent after the first night so we got her a $29 Ozark tent from Walmart and she loved it.

I'm fortunate in that I own my own software business. While this means I frequently work some crazy hours it also means I can set my own schedule. I love my work but I also felt for a while I needed both more creative writing time and also more outdoor time. It seemed starting a blog on hiking was a great way to combine these two desires.

I have also felt the need to start expressing myself in a public space because as I've gone crawling through dozens of blogs, groups, youtube channels, and other online sources, I've been frustrated by how much misinformation is out there related to hiking. Sometimes it is just people blindly supporting their favorite brand or way of doing things but it is often presented as the ONLY acceptable way of doing things. While I have been known to occasionally get swept up in the excitement of new and shiny things, at my core I am extremely pragmatic and realistic. I'm also an eternal skeptic of things and never one to fall for a sexy sales pitch unless I completely understand how something truly works.

So here we are, the start of a journey involving both more hiking and backpacking and more creative writing! I'm sure things will evolve and change over time but I plan to build this blog as a mix of documented hiking adventures, trail reviews and guides, gear reviews, and a good number of rambling posts on deep thoughts I have on my adventure. Hopefully, I will attract an audience of people with similar interests over time but if not, I believe the blog will still be read by friends and family and still serve its main purpose as a new creative outlet to help keep me sane during stressful times.

I think if I had to sum up what I hope this blog will become with some corporate style elevator pitch it would something like "Anthony Bourdain style but with a focus on hiking and the outdoors." By that I mean, expect as many ramblings about life and thoughts on the trail as stories on trails or gear. Like many,  for me, hiking is the drug that frees my mind to figure things out and grow. Hopefully, you can join me in that growth and maybe my sharing will help spark something in you as well.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you on the trails.