Monday, February 29, 2016

Undiscovering America

Undiscovering America


I'm going to need your patience here. I have the seed of a theme for this sea to sea hike I'm doing, but so far it eludes me. I might not be smart enough or alert enough or committed to it enough to pull it off. Somewhere deep in my gut it's trying to present itself. I want it to come out and I want you to see it and know it like I do and yet...

I cannot do this all at once. I don't even know how I would. So I will let it seep. A drop, a trickle, perhaps a pool at a time.

Make me a promise. Promise that if I undiscover America you won't ever try to discover it ever again.

Peace, Love, and a Continent,

Monday, February 8, 2016

Beach Blessing

Beach Blessing


I don't know what it is about Santa Barbara, but it always seems to me that my kung fu is strong there. When I know I'm about to go on a journey, going to Leadbetter or East Beach or Hendry's and touching base with Eddie All-State and the Earl of Montecito always grounds me. It's like checking to see if my shoes are tied, if my hat's on straight, if my spirit shirt matches my hiking pants. If that is all good, then it's all systems go.

So on Wednesday I fired up Spugly the Spectacularly Ugly Transporter and blasted on four cylinders and four wheels 250 miles to the sur. It was good. It was really good.

Sitting with Coach on the sand at Leadbetter Beach, I was treated to a show by six dolphins, my personal barometer for am I doing the right thing. See dolphins? Green light go. I didn't have my phone with me, so no photos, but trust me, they blessed me right on cue.

The weather was absolutely picture postcard perfect, so I was able to ride the Dream Machine and walk the recreation trail to my heart's content for two days. I couldn't help but realize, though, that very soon, this sunny shangri-la was going to be replaced by freezing rain and snow and night time temps in the freaking teens. Best not to think about that. Here and now. Here and now.

One week from tomorrow I will board the Amtrak for D.C. to begin my hike back to the beach. I am memorizing these images, savoring this holy coast, thinking dolphin thoughts. I will return as quickly as my beat up old feet will carry me.

Peace, Love, and Beach Blessings,

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Plan in Place

A Plan in Place


The mental, virtual hike is almost over. That's the months of map and guidebook study, emailing for info, phone calls to mail drops, spreadsheet-building, gear list making, head scratching and decision forming - all the stuff that goes into a long distance hike. I like doing it. I think it's interesting and creative and I learn a lot about myself and the route.

What has come from all of that is a plan to hike a continuous path from the East Coast to the West Coast. Most of it is on the American Discovery Trail, but some is not. I am going to take alternate routes around areas that don't allow wheeled vehicles or that don't contribute to the purpose of the walk.

So please don't call this a thru-hike of the ADT. That would be disrespectful of the few hardy souls who have actually performed that feat. But also, please don't dismiss my hike as somehow illegitimate. If I am successful, I will have walked across a continent some 4,000 miles in eight months, an average of 20 miles per hiking day. I'll be very happy with that.

If you have been following the weather news, you may have noticed that the Delaware coast got socked with near record high tides and a powerful storm that destroyed their protective dunes, knocked out power, and flooded coastal areas, including Lewes DE, the cool little town where the ADT begins. No telling what shape it's going to be in when I get there in a few weeks. Oh yeah, and they got a foot and a half of snow, too.

Who's idea was this, anyway?

Oh well, I can't control any of that, so I will prepare as best I can and strive to be flexible as needed with the plan I have concocted. I'm ready to walk. Bobalooie is almost completely outfitted (picture of a fully dressed out Bobalooie is forthcoming), and my train leaves for D.C. February 16.

As part of the fundraising effort, I will blog regularly on (RAA) to let people know where I am and stuff, so if you want to follow the hike, you can toggle back and forth between here and there. If you are a veteran reader of my other trips on this site or if you used to get my email updates back on the PCT, I will continue to post my usual nonsense on Palomino Dream just because that's what I do. And if you are inclined to support the cause, you can pledge whatever amount you want on the RAA site. A penny per mile will work out to about forty bucks if I finish the whole thing as planned. You don't have to pay until the end. Many of you have already contributed, so I don't think I need to talk about that any more on these pages. I am super grateful and I promise my best effort.

Peace, Love, and Counting Down,