I’ve fallen in love. There, I’ve said it.

There’s a place somewhere far away that I think of, dream of, every day, and every night moments before falling asleep. I’ve been devouring maps for weeks, maybe even months now. Guide books to help guide my dreams into new uncharted territory (for me, anyway). New England is beautiful, and perhaps I only feel such great love for Washington because it is so different – but it is my different, and it has tormented me and left me shivering, completely unprepared for the following hours. I don’t know how else to describe it, but there’s this great unsettling feeling when you are sitting alone in the middle of a glorious alpine meadow with sounds you seem to recognize but still unnerve you and a wave of crash dark grey clouds are approaching from the West, so you pack camp quickly and make way towards the marmot kingdom that is whistling louder and louder as you approach nearer and nearer.


There is so much to be learned from the gusts of wind and the glistening, beaming, brilliantly blue lakes below every glacier. Like what does it mean to really be part of this earth and of this land? Why are we afraid of our own thoughts, and why does a land such as this seem to pronounce them so much more greatly? My thoughts ring, sting, burn my ears. I weep and yell at the uncross-able streams. I lay in the grass under light, soft rain and sing with the owls. I run with the deer.

I wonder if I attach myself to such a place because I know I can’t have her. Suffering is eternal in the mind of a despicably relentless, bored soul. The fact is that no one should have this place, and I’m glad. But visiting will force you to give her a piece of yourself. Slowly she becomes you, you become her, you are hers.

Phelps Creek – Trinity Trail Loop





See you soon

Announcement! The Great Himalaya Trail


Holy shit

Originally posted on Mound Bagger:

In fall of 2015 I will undertake a solo expedition crossing the entire country of Nepal through some of its most outlying regions using a high altitude network of little used paths: the Great Himalaya Trail. “Winding beneath the world’s highest peaks and visiting some of the most remote communities on earth, it passes through lush green valleys, arid high plateaus and incredible landscapes.”


I have chosen to take the High Route where possible, which stretches approximately 1700km and requires the crossing of technical mountain passes at altitudes up to 6146m. I have added the challenge of doing the expedition solo. My goal will be to complete as much of the High Route of the Great Himalaya Trail as possible self-guided and self-supported in about 100 days. Due to the remoteness of the regions, I’ll have to carry all my own supplies including camping, cooking and basic mountaineering necessities. The expedition…

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10 Tips For Backpacking With Your Dog – By Whitney “Allgood” LaRuffa

Originally posted on blog for outdoor dogs:

Since June is National Trail Month and many of us are turning our attention from winter sports to camping, we asked one of our friends for some advice. Ruffwear Ambassador and president of the American Long Distance Hiking Association – West,  Whitney LaRuffa (who also goes by the trail name of “Allgood”) was happy to share his top 10 tips for backpacking with your dog with us.

eliot camp

As summer descends upon us, it’s time to dust off the backpacking gear and hit the trail. Here are my top 10 tips for making sure you and your dog have a fun, safe and responsible trip to the backcountry.

  1. Keep it Fun – What might be fun for you in the woods might not be so for your dog. I always watch my dog’s body language for signs that hiking is still fun. If his ears are forward and floppy, tail…

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Patagonia Refugio Backpack – REVIEW

The Patagonia Refugio has been my go-to pack for a couple of years now. I use it on day hikes and for my daily commute to work. It is super comfortable, roomy, and conveniently designed. resize The side water bottle pockets are extremely roomy but retract well for smaller items. The side straps allow the pack to be compressed really effectively and there are loads of smaller pockets placed in logical spots for everything from keys to padlocks to maps. The chest strap is great for hike as well as keeping the pack close to my body while motorcycling. Unfortunately, it looks like the newer 28L Refugio’s no longer have the front-most zipper, which is my favorite spot for my mail and other flat documents.

rantings of a depraved twenty-something

Maybe I’m suffering from a common case of restlessness, ungratefulness, or young-adult angst, but can someone explain personal fulfillment and what it implies? As a twenty-something with a promising career, quiet apartment, economic car, and loads of hiking gear, I expected to feel something by now that would indicate that this is the right path to have taken. Maybe, this is probably a better explanation, I am suffering from the classic case of a young adult first world-ism: I have it all but I want to suffer. Just when I can finally save more than $20 a week and still dine out and go to shows in the city, I dream all day of giving it up and tramping.

Sure, I could be stressed by the daily responsibilities and long term goals society expects me to maintain. Stressed by the fact that I won’t ever be able to retire and blah blah blah. But after further thought, I’ve realized that my internal conflict resonates more with lack of purpose, lack of goals, lack of interest. That’s why I gave up most of my belongings a couple of weeks ago with the exception of what I consider necessary to continue being an apartment dweller. I didn’t give away everything and I don’t expect or wish to be commended for it –  I honestly just got sick of looking at it all: the shoes that I might need for some dinner in five years from now, the extra snowboard that was such a good deal at the time. I’m just no longer interested in nesting, in making my home into a pile of objects for which I spend all of my money. At the same time, now that I’ve adopted a semi-aggressive money-saving regimen and pretty much only spend my money on food, bills, gas, and the occasional article that would be considered ‘gear’, I still can’t find any meaning to my madness. Why am I so careful with my spending? What am I saving for? A house? A newer car? A new motorcycle? (well, I actually would like that).

Giving it all up and tramping is irresponsible and unreasonable, though. Hundreds through-hike the Appalachian Trail every year and return to society six months later, reintegrate, get married, work, and eventually retire. But this seems like an extended vacation to me, which is not really what I dream of when “cubicle land” becomes too much. An extended vacation can be explained in an interview for a new job. I wonder if I ever want an interview again.

Not only do all of my useless possessions appear meaningless, so does work, sometimes. I think many would agree that the primary motive for maintaining gainful employment is money, regardless of whether or not they enjoy what they do. So work is un-fulfilling, we just deal with it. Spend our weekends and PTO doing the things we really want to do: watching TV, spending time with loved ones, having picnics in parks. I constantly wonder if this really should be the way we spend our very limited time. When you’re on your deathbed and think back to what you’ve done throughout your life, is it really satisfying to remember the fact that you only spent 1/5 of your life actually doing what you wanted to do?

After further reflection and continuous discussions with a number of people with different beliefs, I’ve concluded that money is a necessity and we may not be able to do what we want everyday, but the alternative is not optimal nor reasonable. Life doesn’t have to end when we get a job, though, further pursuing greater and better things should be a constant battle. Experimenting with new hobbies and continuously meeting new people will only broaden one’s horizons. Taking big risks can have big payoffs. Reading more and talking more can challenge even your most solid beliefs and change you frequently.

Personally, I wonder if I will ever be content with what I have – but rather than looking at this in a negative light, I have and will continue to take this frustrated energy and use it to my advantage by trying crazy new things and developing new passions and relationships. I attribute most of my success thus far to my wild ideas and sheer boredom experienced sitting at home wondering what to do next. Day-dreaming about another life where I live in a van in the arctic tundra will always be a fact and perhaps one day become a reality, but for now I take comfort in learning new things and challenging myself physically and intellectually everyday.


Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.