For the last couple days I’ve been in the town of Tehachapi at mile post 566, preparing myself mentally and physically for the transition ahead. Tomorrow I begin the 150 mile climb out of the southern California desert towards the promised land of the High Sierra Mountains. I will be leaving the relative comfort and easy access to friends and towns that I’ve enjoyed for the first month on the trail. It will take me about 7-8 days to arrive Kennedy Meadows at mile post 700, a milestone that every thru-hiker has been looking forward to for a long time. This next week will be especially tough due to the 100+ degree temps, steep climbs, high winds and the scarcity of reliable water. Though I have some lingering concerns about the durability of my feet, I hope to finish this section strong, gaining significant elevation and enjoying a very different landscape for a change.
I arrived at PCT mile 370 on Saturday and hitched into Wrightwood for a planned rest day. This is a nice small mountain town with plenty of good food options. The Mountain Man breakfast at the Evergreen Cafe and the pizza at Yodeler’s, shared with German hikers, Claudia & Jochen, were two favorites of mine. Staying at a dumpy, but otherwise charming enough motel. Heading out first thing in the morning and planning to be at my next major resupply stop in Agua Dulce by Friday. From there, I turn north, crossing the Mohave desert, into Tehachapi, and then beginning the climb into the High Sierras. My right shin is still causing me some trouble, but has greatly improved since Big Bear. My left knee also continues to be bothersome, but it’s something I’ve dealt with for several years, so I am able to compensate fairly well. Beyond that, I’m healthy and eager to increase my pace and progress. The trail is often boring and challenging to my comfort zones, but I most enjoy arriving intermediate destinations and am trying to stay focused on the bigger goal at hand.
Took the day off yesterday after completing the first 266 miles of the trail. 10% complete! I’ve had a great time hanging out with fellow hikers here in Big Bear and have been eating tons of good food. This morning I’m still nursing some shin splints in my right leg, but generally my body is holding up very well and I feel good. I’m looking forward to getting back on trail this afternoon. My next town for food resupply will be late next week in Wrightwood at about mile 360.
The past week or two has brought some dramatic shifts in weather, both cold and wet in Idyllwild and the San Juacinto mountains and then 110+ degree temperatures last weekend as I crossed I-10 and started in the San Bernardino mountains. I was able to beat a little of the heat in Palm Springs for a night when my friend, Alisa, drove out to pick me up from Los Angeles.
Everything is going well. Very hot now as I’m starting another big climb towards Big Bear, California. Currently at mile 209. Here’s a few quick pictures from my life on the trail…
On Monday, April 22, I began the 2668 mile trek from the Mexico border to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. I expect this to take me about five months to complete, arriving Manning Park, British Columbia by the end of September. I will have infrequent access to the internet, but will do my best to provide periodic updates and reflections about why I embarked on this adventure and how it’s progressing. For now, here’s some links to other places I will be periodically sharing pictures, and some background info on the Pacific Crest Trail.
I was supposed to travel to Manchester, England with three other people: my father and a two former colleagues to catch a couple Manchester United games at Old Trafford. Though I had been three times before, this was going to be the first for everyone else, so I took great care in organizing things. Unfortunately, my friends had second thoughts and canceled a week prior. Then, my father came down with pneumonia and wasn’t able to recover in time. So, I ended up going alone.
I arrived on Friday morning, took a stadium tour in the afternoon and then attended the home game against Norwich on Saturday. Instead of sticking around Manchester for the remainder of the week to see the Real Madrid match, I decided to go to Ireland instead. In order to get there, I took a three hour train ride from Manchester to Holy Head, then caught a three hour ferry ride to Dublin. After wandering around Dublin that night, I decided to rent a car and make the three hour drive to Galway on the west coast. I ended up spending three days in Galway, which I liked a lot.
I had a great time. At least three times better than I would of had at home.
The last few months have been pretty busy with some big projects going through our offices and a few in particular that I’ve been focusing on with our design team. We’re in the early stages of branding two new major sports teams in Ottawa, a CFL football team and NASL soccer team. The passion the city has for the CFL team in particular has been exciting to see. I just got back from a few days there last week, moderating several more focus groups for media and fans related to the naming of the team. The video below is from a CBC news broadcast last week, which I contributed a brief interview (which starts about 1:20 into video).
Here’s a couple links from last week’s press about the team branding (with my comments and pics):
Ottawa Sun – Jan 23, 2013 – 5 Names Short Listed for CFL Team
Ottawa Citizen – Jan 23, 2013 – Ottawa Team Names Down to Five
The comprehensive fan experience design, wayfinding and interactive program we’re doing for the Edmonton Oiler’s new $600M arena got off to a great start a couple months ago. Now that the ownership and city have put a new development deal in place (and the NHL is playing hockey again!), we are looking forward to another year of design work for a projected 2016 opening. We’re also designing the brand and interactive experience for the Chicago Cubs new Wrigley Field sales and preview center, and will be done with that by April.
Also keeping me busy these days is our work on a 7000 sqft briefing center for Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security division in Washington D.C. High profile customers from the Pentagon and all over the world will be coming and working there. We’re learning all about some amazing military airplanes, exploratory craft and other cutting edge technologies they’re developing, so that we can create an engaging and meaningful customer experience and architectural design for the space.
On Christmas day, Wes and I took off on a little drive around the national parks and desert of the southwest. Below are some pictures and raw 16mm motion picture film footage that I shot while camping in “Slab City”. There’s also a minute or so at the end of me hanging out with good friends in Los Angeles on New Years Day.
I finally got around to editing a little movie together from my canoe trip this past August. Three friends converged on the Lucky Goat Farm in upstate New York before embarking on a four day paddle around a few lakes in the upper Adirondack Mountains. This movie stars, Eric (the planner), David (the provocateur), and Andy (the photographer). I had a brilliant time and was a highlight of my year.
Music by Jay Farrar & Benjamin Gibbard, Martin Sexton, Bon Iver, and Ryan Adams.