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Great Divide Trail

Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 4: We’re Just Very Unhappy Now

So, decision time came and went and I decided to cancel this hike. The question of thru-hiking in 2020 has been debated so intensely that it’s garnered the long-distance community more attention than we’ve received since Wild (see the New York Times, Washington Post and this amusingly titled LAist article), so I feel no need […]

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Great Divide Trail

Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 3: Permits

Sunday, March 29, 2020 The GDT uses a patchwork of shorter trails, some of which are well-maintained and popular and some of which are the complete opposite. In most of the parks, camping requires permits that may be of two varieties: 1) random camping permits for less popular trails/areas without maintained campgrounds; 2) campsite bookings […]

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Great Divide Trail

Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 2: More Coronavirus

Saturday, March 28, 2020 How things change in just a few weeks! On the day that I cancelled my Grand Enchantment Trail hike, there were no confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sasky, none in New Mexico, and I believe eight in Arizona. Those three places still have a (comparatively) low number of cases, but numbers are […]

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Great Divide Trail

Great Divide Trail Pre-Hike 1: Coronavirus

Monday, March 16, 2020 Let me suggest a scenario. A seemingly normal human being opens his bathroom cupboard and methodically counts the eight rolls of toilet paper inside. He frowns. He drives to the supermarket. He fights another shopper for a cart. He rushes to the toilet paper aisle, bowling over several children on the […]

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Great Divide Trail

Great Divide Trail: Introduction

Sunday, March 15, 2020 As a hiker I drift between extremes. Too much easy hiking provokes a mental backlash; too much difficult hiking provokes a different kind of mental backlash; they must be measured so that by the time I return to one or the other I’ve forgotten whatever boredom or frustration I was feeling […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track: Concluding Thoughts

Monday, March 14, 2016 Overland Track complete! I would recommend it to anyone in this part of the world, especially if you have a decent chunk of time to take advantage of side trip opportunities. The area is lovely and the trail less crowded than I thought it would be, probably because of a lucky […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 8: How Much Would You Pay for a Boat Ride?

Tuesday, March 08, 2016 I woke up, dried most of the condensation off my tent, ate the dodgy couscous for breakfast, mulled over the possibility that the dodgy couscous had already been cooked, and set off towards Narcissus Hut. I had decided pre-hike to take the ferry to Cynthia Bay instead of walking around the […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 7: Beware the Possums

Monday, March 07, 2016 It poured during the night and my tent floor soaked through below my air mattress. The sky still looked ominous in the morning, so rather than hanging up anything to dry, I propped up my mattress inside my tent and hoped that everything would dry while I was gone (my tent […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 6: Mice vs. Possums

Sunday, March 06, 2016 I left the Overland Track at the Pine Valley junction and walked to Pine Valley Hut, where I’ll spend two nights with a day trip to the Labyrinth. The walk was mostly flat, crossing suspension bridges through meadows and a mossy forest as silent as a crypt. The trail was most […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 5: Waterfall Day

Saturday, March 05, 2016 After breakfast I said goodbye to the Belgians, Ontario Guy and the French(Belgians?), who were planning to walk further than me today. The French(Belgians?) pointed out that they were leaving earlier than I was. You win, get-up-early-kings. My quads felt like they had been skewered from descending Mt. Ossa. I thought […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 4: Mt. Ossa

Friday, March 04, 2016 Coincidentally the French(Belgians?) and I both got up at 6:00 AM, making us the best of roommates – almost. One of them snored and had a comically loud air mattress. I once received a complaint about my Thermarest Neoair, but his mattress sounded like a thunderstorm. I have no idea what […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 3: Rocks, Rocks, Rocky Rocks

Thursday, March 03, 2016 At dusk yesterday I walked with the Belgians to Lake Windermere to look for platypuses, but none revealed themselves in the dim light. The night was chilly and my new sleeping bag overestimated, so I kept getting cold, waking up and adding layers. The Belgians got cold as well and moved […]

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Overland Track Under 100 Kilometres

Overland Track Day 2: Lakes

Wednesday, March 02, 2016 Everyone in the hut went to bed soon after sunset yesterday, but one man started talking to his hiking partner in the dark about Europe and train fares. I laughed silently. Eventually a woman asked him to stop and he said ‘what? We’re going to sleep already?’. No, we were lying […]

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Heysen Trail

The Heysen 49: The Bad Night

Sunday, October 23, 2016 – 14.79 km Last night was the worst I’ve ever spent on a trail, and not because of the cow droppings. I slept for three hours, then lay awake for three and a half hours in the cold, then put on my rain jacket and managed to sleep for another three […]

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Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail: Final Thoughts

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 So there you have it – my recount of how I came, saw and managed to survive the Arizona Trail. It was an experience made incredible both by its nature and how wildly different it was from anything I’ve done before, and I still feel like I’m stuck in a limbo […]

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Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 77: Civilization Is in the Other Direction

Sunday, June 02, 2013 The cicadas were noisy in the morning. I collected a few exoskeletons for my niece and started off. The temperature increased rapidly. I had plenty of water but was rationing it because I didn’t know how long I would have to wait for Pops C at Stateline Campground. At the Buckskin […]

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Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 76: Emergence

Saturday, June 01, 2013 Jacob Lake Inn has a reputation for making great cookies, so I bought some before I left today. They were underbaked. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo! I was so disappointed (I still ate them all). I’m giving the ‘best cookies along the AZT’ title to Summerhaven, since Summerhaven and Pine both had great-tasting cookies, but […]

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Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 75: Turkeysquirrel

Friday, May 31, 2013 Because of my long day yesterday, today I had a short jaunt to Jacob Lake, which can be accessed either via forest roads or a highway walk. I decided on the highway walk since its junction is 3-4 km further along the AZT and I wanted to complete those kilometres with […]

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Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 74: Screaming Children

Thursday, May 30, 2013 The AZT was entirely in forest today. At Telephone Hill, a short, steep climb ended in a major burn area with shrubbery and dandelions scattered around trees like black sticks. The wind sounded like children screaming. Freak me out, will you? I sat down, ate loads of chocolate and then automatoned […]

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Arizona Trail

The Arizona Trail Day 73: The Falling Piano

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 I woke up today, ate granola, looked at my GPS to record my location for journaling purposes, looked at the databook. Looked back at the GPS. Looked back at the databook. Oops. I wasn’t out of Grand Canyon National Park. Due to the rain and well-built trail I hadn’t been checking […]