A quick timeout to reflect, to say thanks, to shamelessly self-promote and to look at where the future is going for Joe Wilderness.
Well, once mo’again, I’ve caved to the Instagram gods. This time I plan on sticking around. More on that later, but I’ll admit it right up front, I’m loving the IG game. More importantly, the seasonal lull is almost over. Weird word, right, lull? Words are funny when you repeat them out loud a few times. And slowly. Winter is taking SUCH A LONG TIME to go away, but I think we’ve conquered it again. Finally. Is it wrong to wish global warming would hurry up?? I’m, uh, kidding. Nonetheless, I feel like I worked hard to sneak in a winter ADK mountain (Saaaaawteeeth!). And in April I was able to get out and do the special hike I’ve been wanting to do. To me, those were just bonus hikes that I couldn’t be sure were going to happen. But they did, yyyeah! On my planned 2019 schedule, I wasn’t really going to get going until this week, mid-May. I knew it was risky timing. This time of year is a crap shoot for weather in the mountains. It can feel like summer down below and still be pretty snowy up top. It can be muddy and impassable (or impossible? It’s the same word in some accents). Winter could still be rearing that ugly face it wears. Turns out, 2019 just wants to rain. The Adirondacks weather forecast basically looks like Rain, Rain, Potential Snow (snow), Clouds, Rain, Rain, Rain (Raaaaaain). <----- I think I just wrote a song. Don't steal it.
It doesn’t hurt my feelings that time off from the great Wilderness was highlighted by such things as GOING TO FREAKIN WrestleMania 35 in New Jersey with Matt, my best buddy in the world. This was our third ‘Mania together and the second in NJ. MetLife Stadium was packed with over 82,000 people. Everything was such a perfect experience until the “Great Wait in the Rain” after the show. For more than 3 hours. Seriously, I’ll Google it for you. “Wrestlemania train nj“. Did you click on that link and see the top Google result? Yes, we were among about 10,000 folks waiting in an absolute downpour for one train going back and forth between stations 1000 peeps at a time on about a 45 minute loop. It took forever. Still, what a night!
What to do, what to do…
It’s funny, on the drive home from the Dirty Jerz, Matt and I talked briefly about the time 6 years before when we made the same drive for ‘Mania 29. Making our way through the Adirondacks back then, I mentioned to him how badly I wanted to climb one some day. Back then it seemed like such a big goal for me. Now I’m 9 mountains down, 37 to go. Quick math, wooo! Despite being anxious to get back to the ADKs and hit double digits in my collection of High Peaks, Mother Nature has other plans, obviously.
So I’ve got a week off and since it’s just bad timing for climbing (ha, unintentional rhyme), I figured I would use the time to do something else I have almost never done in my life. Tent camp. Yep, I know how ridiculous that sounds. I swear I did not live a sheltered life. Sheltered life – like in a tent. I’m on fire like NBA Jam with the wordplay today. But honestly, I think I tent camped once when I was 14, maybe, with a dude I played baseball with. That could be a mis-remember, we may have camped in a trailer. Being my one and only real camp experience, a few things I definitely do not mis-remember. This is the same trip where I first lit a fart on fire. Fact. We definitely tried to sneak a view of naked girls changing in their tents. Fact. There was a beach. Fact. That’s really it. All I remember. So I’ve booked myself a tent site at Lac Philippe in Gatineau. First it was a solo trip. Then it was me and the buddy Zack (who you may remember from such Joe Wilderness blogs as “Chapter 3”. That is all.). Then it was a solo trip again – Zack, literally as I was just typing “I Ain’t Mad At Cha”, that song came on. As if. Regardless, this Friday, Saturday night brings me my first tent camp sesh. While I’ve got no real plan for my time there, there is some sort of famous-ish caves down there, Lusk Cave, so I’m going to explore that at least. I’ll let you know how that goes. Spelunking. Great word. Spelunking.
My tent. Built for 4 seasons, including big expedition-type mountains. I bet my life blunders can put that to the test.
Welcome To The Gram
That’s right, Joe Wilderness has caved (caved? Man. Too easy) and joined Instagram. I actually almost published this blog post without linking to the IG page I’m trying to promote – tankfullly I proofreading. I’ll get the hang of this stuff. On the IG topic, I tried it for a handful of days about a year ago, but it was just too overwhelming for me. This time around, I feel more focused and more in to it. I’ve been pretty much social media-free for years and years, so bear with me. It’s been a really positive experience for me already. I feel it’s the right platform for me. I’m not even close to a photographer, but it’s something that interests me and the Gram makes most photos look good. On top of that, it has a less negative vibe than Facebook or Twitter. Two places too wild for Joe Wilderness. So, thanks so much for all the follows, positive feedback and letting me have my fun. Also, thanks so much to the 3 or 4 hookers that have followed me. I’m sorry I haven’t “clicked this link within 30 minutes”. At least you’re efficient with your hooker time. I appreciate efficiency. Thanks for doing you. And again, in all seriousness, I can’t say thanks to Jess enough for that logo. So awesome and so thoughtful. T-Shirts will happen, gimme some time! Even more than just a new slew of IG followers, my last blog from April reached a record 160+ readers. And I’m pretty sure that’s not just my wife and mom refreshing the page, y’all. That’s super humbling and so, so, appreciated.
Bali? For a whole month?
WTF The Future Holds For Joe Wilderness
So as you may have seen, yes, Lauren and I have booked a trip to Bali, Indonesia for a month in January 2020. I bring it up for a couple reasons. First, just to acknowledge some of my own influences. Maybe that’s not the right word. I dunno. But there are a few (online) folks that have taught me so much through this journey I’ve been on to grow my outdoorsy self. This extends to my desire to travel and discover nature and experiences all over the world. These folks will likely never see this blog, but I figure before I get in to the peak hiking season and start writing more about my own adventures, I’d shout them out. Check out their channels I’ve linked below.
Homemade Wanderlust has been so entertaining and informative for long distance hikes. I hope to one day do one of the long-distance trails she vlogs about. My pick would be the PCT. Let’s file that one under “maybe”. How exactly does one go and ask their boss (at work or at home! Ha) for 6 or 7 months off??
Hurlgoat Hiker doesn’t always talk a whole lot, but watching so many of his camping videos are going to come in handy this weekend. He reminds me of the quintessential Canadian. I could watch him all day. And his campground cooking game is on point, for all the foodies out there.
Kara and Nate are a couple I’m sure at least a few you are aware of. They are currently vlogging their way through 100 countries. They are just great at what they do. I’m kinda new to YouTube, outside of movie trailers, rap battles and “Do A Kick Flip!”. It’s really only been the last year or so that “watching YouTube” has actually become a thing in my life. This was the first real channel that Lauren and I watched (and still do) pretty consistently. Did I say religiously? I think we’ve caught their travel bug.
Kara and Nate are a couple I’m sure at least a few you are aware of. They are currently vlogging their way through 100 countries. They are just great at what they do. I’m kinda new to YouTube, outside of movie trailers, rap battles and “Do A Kick Flip!“. It’s really only been the last year or so that “watching YouTube” has actually become a thing in my life. This was the first real channel that Lauren and I watched (and still do) pretty consistently. Did I say religiously? I think we’ve caught their travel bug.
All of which is to bring us to the second reason I mention the Bali trip. We’re really hoping to blog this entire thing. Maybe vlog it, too, if Lauren can convince me to get on camera. We’ve talked about it a bunch. I mean, we’re not working towards becoming some YouTube power couple or anything, but it might be some pretty wicked fun. Video editing used to be one of my nerdiest hobbies and I do miss it. So, we’ll see what the future holds. Nobody wants to be that guy who falls in to the Grand Canyon because their selfie game was lame. I’m also the biggest klutz I know. Again, we’ll see, but blogging/vlogging the trip is the goal.
Bali is still 7 months away. And we can’t wait to share it all with you. But first, its time to get my Joe Wilderness on this summer. So what’s on the agenda? If all goes according to plan (which we’re now officially behind on because RAIN RAN RAIN CLOUDS SNOW!), I will be completing about 18 more of the High Peaks from May until October. This should bring me to 27 by the year’s end. See that, quick math again. Maybe I’ll get lucky and sneak in a few extra. Maybe not and I’ll be behind schedule going in to 2020. The ideal situation would see me finish my round of 46 by October 2020. We know what “they” say about best laid plans. We’ll see. Besides the Adirondacks, my own personal goal this hiking season is to improve the photos I’m taking and discover new things and new places. And to hopefully have a real off the grid camping night with Lauren where we chef the shit out of some great campfire meals. Maybe to finally skydive. Oh. And to finally and unfortunately relocate my favorite outdoor pet, Big Fat Groundhog. Sadly, he has ruined too many gardens and I am not having it this year. It’s been a slice getting to know this huge-assed scavenger, but we can hang out no more. Apologies for body-shaming the groundhog. If these things all happen, I’ll be happy. Keep your eyeballs on the blog to see the results of this weekend’s camping trip. I have no idea what to expect. A new horror movie called “Nerd In The Woods” is probably the worst case scenario. This is the movie where I run away from what I think is a huge terrifying beast, but is more likely a frog sneaking up on me. I have two mortal enemies in this world. Saran Wrap and Frogs. I’m gonna just leave you right there with that thought. Thanks for reading a mostly boring post where nothing really happened. To be continued….