to simplify     notes from the open road

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


I should probably clarify my remark the other day about my first stab at overnight backpacking being "not too far around the corner." See, I'm currently making my way back to LA over the next week or so, shortly after which I'll hop on a plane to go do the touring musician thing in Australia again for six weeks. 

You know, because someone has to. 

Anyway, the point is that that by "not too far around the corner," I meant sometime later this summer after my return to the States. In glacial terms at least, that is indeed right around the corner.

In the meantime, I'm getting sucked into various blogs by thru-hikers of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, etc... and holy cats! Vandwelling in the wilderness is positively bourgeois by comparison. Suburbanites say that I'm really roughing it, but they don't know the half of it. 

Way up here in the forest outside Alpine, Arizona, it's dropping into the 30s tonight, yet I'm sitting in bikini weather thanks to my heater (no, I am not wearing a bikini), my stomach is full from the usual plate of grass-fed goodness, and I'm knocking back a smooth Newkie Brown Ale before calling it a night. Say what you want about this rolling life, but I'm hardly roughing it. 

Then yesterday, after a leisurely hike to a nearby hot spring, I lounged around the above campsite reading all day, spent a cool hour and a half or so playing Bridge online with my Pop (my newest hobby – consider it preparation for the swingin' golden years I foresee in some octogenarian-only RV park), and then settled in to watch a movie before hanging it up for the night. Again, not roughing it.

Meanwhile, these thru-hikers go for days at a time in the same clothes, with no heat, no internet or cell signal, a steady diet of granola-like stuff, blisters from walking 20+ miles a day, sometimes in the rain or snow... Listen up suburbanites – now that is roughing it. 

And it sounds completely awesome.