Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Love My Toothbrush: AT Section 5 Part 2

Some people will do anything to shave a few ounces of weight from their packs. Myself, I am a light weight, except when it comes to packing. Previously I’ve struggled and failed to leave my packrat tendencies at home. Rickety knees, however, inspired a great leap of faith. A few weeks ago I went hiking without a tent or stove.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Breakin' The Rules - AT Section 5 Part 1

It was August again and I was knocking off another eleven miles on the AT in Massachusetts. I had just enough time to get to the shelter before dark, I hoped.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Rodent King

Strictly speaking, rodent is a neutral term for any member of the order Rodentia. Let's not kid ourselves though, there is a distinct negative connotation. Rodents may simply be mammals whose teeth grow for life but the term brings to mind rats, mice and other vermin. Historically rodents are unpopular for two reasons, peskiness and pestilence.

Until recently I thought of rats as the big rodents and mice as the small ones. Wrong. Apparently beavers are the King of Rodents.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Super Power Time

“If you could have any super power, what would it be?”
It's a good question if you have to do one of those group let's-get-to-know-everyone-real-fast things, though I don’t generally care to sit in a circle of strangers trying to sum myself up with abstract witticisms. Alright, I enjoy it a little bit, if the question is good and something witty comes to mind. In general the super power question is an entertaining one.

For years my answer has been a time machine. I wouldn’t go see Marie Antoinette or Aristotle. I don’t want to change the date or prance through the calendar. I want to stretch the calendar. I want a machine that manufactures time. More time, right here, right now

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Late Breaking News

First you get an idea. The second step is research. (Warning: step two can, and often does, lead to more ideas, putting you right back at step one. It’s a vicious cycle.)

In this case the idea was hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’d been infected with the idea by a thru-hiker who hated brussel sprouts. When, after a day or two, the idea hadn’t evaporated, I sauntered over to the bookshelf and began rummaging about.

A few years back I’d picked up an audio book for a dollar thinking it might come in handy for a boring road trip someday. No such road trip had materialized. I found it, popped it in the stereo, turned up the volume and started washing dishes.

A smooth voice announced, “Bantam, Doubleday Dell Publishing presents, A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson.”

Osmosis being my preferred method for acquiring knowledge, I expected to be a happy camper. I was more than happy.

The first descriptive phrase the author inflicted upon himself, in reference to his life, was “waddlesome sloth.” The second was "cupcake."