From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,Listening to others, considering well what they say,Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.–Song of the Open Road
As I mentioned, I gave my notice and will be giving myself the gift of time. There is something about the joy of the impending journey that is bringing a smile to my face!
From about October 10th until ??? I will not be answering or checking correspondence regularly. Please be patient, and I will try to respond to any comments or feedback when I can.
Here is the rough plan for using the gift:
- The Collegiate Loop will be the first stage. Why this loop? A walk of approx 165 miles on a well maintained single track that is navigationally and logistically easy will be a good way to enjoy the gift initially. I figure eights days will be a good tune-up hike. And, more importantly, getting the beige box world out of my system.
After this hike, I will wrap up things, hang out with friends, put my belongings in storage, and then take off to Cedar City, UT for…
- A Walk Across Southern Utah – As a friend pointed out to me when looking at the maps, the route pretty much is southern Utah. And I am walking it. So looks like it as an acronym whether I want it or not. 🙂 In any case, this route is based on some pioneering work by Jamal Green and a variation of the route was hiked in the Spring of 2017 by Amy and James. As with any home cook, I am taking their basic recipes and modifying it for my needs. I am thankful for the work Jamal, Amy, and James did with this route. I plan on backpacking this route from early-mid October and into mid-November. I love Utah, and this route seems a fantastic way to explore this intriguing area. The Hayduke Trail does not appeal to me for various reasons. This route in Utah does.
- The Southern Tier Roadtrip is on the docket. I’ll return to Colorado, pick up my car, and be on the road. A loose plan overall. In essence, I plan on exploring the Southwest and from California to Florida over the course of weeks or months. This very loose plan is subject to change! There are many places I’ve wanted to see but never had the time. Or I simply want to see more in depth. And I’d rather not thru-hike to get there. Among these places? Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Caprock, Guadalupe Mountains, White Sands, Canyon de Chelly, The Ozarks, Everglades, Florida Keys, Big Cypress, etc. etc. etc. I will be doing a mix of hiking, car camping, and backpacking. As I’ve mentioned before, just thru-hiking or even backpacking makes a person miss some interesting areas. The plan is to also indulge in my love of history as I’ve done on similar trips along the Oregon Trail and a recent visit to New Mexico. I’ll also be popping back into Colorado for a hut trip over Chrismas. 🙂 All depends on where the open road takes me. As an aside, I will not be living in a van. There will no selfies of a short, bald, forty-something guy doing yoga with a #vanlife hash tag in his photos. I promise. 😉
And since Mom now lives in Florida…
- East Coast Gallivant – See Mom in Florida, Dad in North Carolina, friends up the coast, and see the Rhode Island Clan. No doubt I’ll be talkin’ moah like this perh-sahn when I return…
And I already sound a bit like this guy…
I will have my laptop with me for the road trip portion. Obviously not for trekking across Utah 🙂 I plan on posting about once a week for the Utah portion; perhaps slightly more often for the other two portions. I will try to answer email and comments when I can.
After enjoying the gift of time? Who knows…
I’m probably one of the few people happy to see Florida on that list. 😉 Looks like a great trip, enjoy your freedom!
Sounds like a good plan! Savor every minute. It will surely be the gift that keeps on giving
good for you !
we (wife and I) did a similar year in 1991, lived in an Econoline utility van, hiked/canoed/carcamped across the US West and up to Alaska.
It’s been beige box life ever since then, earning a living is such a bore..
So happy for you! Enjoy and reclaim your soul!
When you’re heading out of las cruses on your way to white sands stop in the organ mountains! They were a huge suprise and totally breathtaking. Congratulations!
Good idea! Thanks!
Have fun and do not try to go more than 36 hours without beer. It’s bad to deprive a body of necessary fuel.
True words to live by. 🙂 Thanks!
Excellent! Sounds like a great way to get the beige box world out of your system. Enjoy 🙂
Could you say more about the differences between the Hayduke and WASU (sorry about the acronym!) that lead you not to be interested in the one and want to hike the other?
Enjoy your trips!
The Hayduke is a bit more convoluted in its course, the idea of walking across a state appeals me, I like where this very loose route goes, and I just want to hike. I do not want to be part of a linear social community. 🙂
I’ll definitely make it a point to follow the blog on this one!
If you’d like any ideas for Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains (beyond the obvious popular highlights) hit me up. Those are parks I’m very familiar with. Also, add Carlsbad Caverns to the list. You’ll be in the area, and it’s very much worth a day or two. Though be sure to book their guided caving tours a bit in advance.
Thanks! Please, send the ideas my way. Would love to hear them. 🙂
Happy trails, Paul. Hope you make the best of your time off.
(In quickly approaching the end of what my wife calls my “gap year” after retiring from the Air Force. I suppose I should start looking for a job soon, or buy a season ski pass instead.)
Go for the ski pass if you can! 😀
We’ve been to most of those places. Big Bend is definitely worth a visit.
When the time comes, if you want a place to bunk in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, just shoot me a message.
Thank you! I just may have to take you up on that generous offer.
I haven’t visited your website in too long so I must have missed the events that led to this experience. You are an inspiration. Enjoy the journey. I once heard a nice saying: It’s not who comes home with the most money who is richest. It’s who comes home with the most experiences.