Training in Pinnacles

I've been wanting to hike Pinnacles for a few years now. I even tried to camp there a few years back only to find out that the west entrance of the park doesn't allow camping.. good stuff to know ahead of time!

After the amazing backpacking trip last week in Point Reyes two things became abundantly clear: 1. I need more backpacking in my life. 2: My heavy 35-liter pack wasn't going to cut it anymore. It became time to do some research and pick up a new bag; so after a few hours scouring the internet and subsequent hours spent walking around REI with different packs, I came to a decision. Kind of. I bought the Osprey Atmos 65 AG Pack.

Immediately upon walking out of the store, I regretted my decision.. but mostly because I am painfully indecisive. I decided I would ride home and test out the bag to be sure it was the right fit. I started back fully packing up the back and wearing it around my hour for an hour or so and decided it was ready for the next test.

I often try to balance equipment I buy for as many activities as possible. In this case, gear I can wear riding my motorcycle and gear I can hike with. While I don't necessarily plan on riding a motorcycle to any extreme backpacking trips, it seemed worth testing the two regardless.

With backpack filled to the brim with camping and camera gear, I hit the road to Pinnacles National Park. I road ~125miles south to the entrance, hike the 5-mile Hike Peaks trail and road the ~125miles back. It was great. Well, the ride back kind of sucked.. but you really have to expect that after having a ~30lb 65liter pack on your back for most of the day and then ride 80mph into the wind. There just isn't much you can do to not make that suck.. except be smart and strap the bag to the bike instead of you back, but that would defeat the purpose of the test.

At the end of it all, I am incredibly happy with my purchase with the Osprey Atmos. I doubted the anti-gravity pack design at first, missing the telltale pain of a traditional pack "should feel", but I came around. I am truly happy I gave it a chance and am anxiously anticipating my next trip!

Backpacking in Point Reyes

Ok, so backpacking as a title feels like a technicality here because it was only a 3-mile hike. Never the less I spent the weekend with 4 pretty amazing people, 3 of which I had never met before the trailhead. We hiked in along the Coast Trail to the campsite, set up camp in some exceptionally unruly winds, and we were off! This was some of the most fun I've had since moving to SF, can't wait to get out again!

Alamere Falls

A short hike to a beautiful location. It's incredible the things you can see a short drive from San Francisco, the city I am learning to call my home. I was able to meet up with some friends from college that I, for the most part, haven't seen in years. What are great opportunity to see old friends and discover new places!

Nicaragua 2016

Its already been some time since I've gone and returned from Nicaragua, and it seems as though its already been a lifetime since I explored the mountains, towns, and coast of Central America with those who have become not only travel companions but great friends.

I have put of posting these pictures or writing these thoughts for three months now, thinking that I first had to lay out the path of our journey - to recount the exact happenings and when they'd happened. As I write this and look at the path I've laid out for myself I remember its really never about the where or when so much as what you take away from what happens in between.

Sometimes it’s a little better to travel than to arrive.
— Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

In this case Nicaragua, and each of the adventures that were encompassed in the time there were never really the destination. At large the locations and happening were not even the point of the trip. In some cases they are barely relevant. What is relevant is this was a trip of firsts for me. I try to make each trip an experience filled with new things, but Nicaragua felt definitively like a trip of firsts. I was both mentally and physically challenged more than I have been in a very long time and as such I could look at things in a different way that I would in my normal routine.

Though I would consider myself to be reflective more often than not, I forced to reflect on tangible challenges and defeats; to look at in the moment trials in tangent with the bigger thoughts that I mull over everyday. I find that in putting myself at the edge of my comfort zone, and pushing myself just a little further I get closer to understanding what makes me feel. More often than not I reflect on what makes me and those around me happy. Sometimes it comes down to understanding what makes me unhappy that provides the clearest view of what direction I need to move. For me the physical and mental challenge of traveling typically entails my leaving my comfort zone and allows me to take these pieces and make sense of them. Sometimes its as simple as putting something into words that can make it real.

What follows is what I saw. What may be more interesting is what happens in between.

#OptOutside

For Black Friday, I chose to #optoutside.

Gentleman's Ride 2015

This is the first big ride I've ever participated in and it was pretty great.

On Sunday September 27th 2015, more than 36,630 smartly-dressed gentlefolk in 410 cities from 79 countries will straddle the saddles of their café racers, bobbers, scramblers and other marvellous custom motorcycles to raise awareness and help fund the cure for prostate cancer.