How does one get stories?
By doing things. Maybe stupid things.
2020 was hard. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great.
It was pretty awesome for me.
I spent 2020 doing things. And making stories.
I posted about Sex last year. And have since made it a private post. Because turns out – I was wrong. I was just dating the wrong people. And now – I’m very lucky to have found the right person. – I still can’t swear though.
Any who – I’ve come to terms with this life as an adventure. I’m not home on the weekends. I think the last weekend I spent at home was maybe 1 weekend in October 2020?
Here’s to adventures. And stories:
JUNE: I went to the Catskills. Drove up after work. Pinned what I hoped to be a real parking lot for a trailhead, and slept in my car. 3:30am I get a knock on my window. A couple troopers just making sure I was alive. And also telling me my lights were on. Oops.
The next morning I saw MPF teammates running part of the Manitou course. Tagged Kaaterskill high peak. And drove home.
That was fun. A mix of unknown. And also the comfort of having people around. Also some random guy stole two gallons of water I put out for runners. I watched him and his dog stop. Pick them up. And start running down the street. — I don’t yell. So I just watched. And wondered. Who does that?
Two days later I’m in the Adirondacks. Solo.
Not really sure what I’m here to do. But I have some ideas.
Idea 1. Nundago Range. I love this hike.
Idea 2. Wolfjaw Slide. Would be scary to do alone. But it’s tempting.
Idea 3. Yard Mountain and Big Slide – So curious about Yard.
Idea 4. Hopkins trail to Giant Mtn. Because I love Hopkins.
1. Done. Still love it.
2. Done. That was terrifying.
— Maybe the sketchiest thing I’ve done.
I went up the wrong slide/ went up the wrong Brook. It felt wrong from the beginning. But figured I’d turn around eventually.
Nope. I kept going, because it looked interesting. I bushwhacked up this Brook. Lots of trees down. Eventually I get to a slide! Maybe I wasn’t wrong. I start going up. This looks right. But some things still seemed different. I’ve gone too far to turn around. I’ll still get to the summit – Just straight up…. right?
I get to a section that was too steep to scramble up. So I bushwhack around. Get to the top – and only option is in the woods. I know the other slide had a heard path to the left — so I just keep going left, and up.
I’m in the thick. I can’t see anything other than trees, branches, dirt. No idea if I’m headed to the summit – or just wandering around in circles. Branches breaking as I keep climbing. Everything is wet and dead. No headlamp. This is it. I’ll be out here all night.
I texted Mertsock – Surely he could pin me and tell me I’m nearly there.
I texted Strat. “I feel very lost.”
I stood there. Feeling panic deep in my throat. I exhaled. Crying won’t get me anywhere. I took a few minutes. In a few minutes – I can worry. But right now – just look.
I look ahead – It looked a bit more open. *oh*
I walk – This is the heard path! A few minutes later I’m laying on the real trail to Lower Wolfjaw. I layed there for minutes…. Thank god. And Thankfully no one else was there to see me. As I get up, a lady walks up….. “your bleeding”….
August: A month or so later I’m pacing a friend running the Eastern States course, even though the race was canceled. A friend of a teammate. It was a much needed weekend. Driving around PA – with a group of people I barely knew but couldn’t get enough time with them.
I paced from about 6pm till 3:30am – getting Shamus to mile 75 where he would pick up Aaron. During the night we relied heavily on Avenza maps. The trail was hard to read – we would be on it, then lose it.
During the night we ran and talked. Listening to his stories. I could listen forever.
We turned our headlamps off as we realized the night was clear and full of stars.
Shamus finished in 31 hours. We all had a couple hours to get some sleep, then start our drive home.
I left this weekend feeling slightly broken. Broken in a good way. Like this was the best weekend of the year. And I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to go home. I would miss seeing these people 24/7.
September: I spent multiple weekend in the ADKS and went to Beacon to volunteer at Breakneck.
I crewed and paced Daven in his Northville Placid Trail FKT (Twice/Both attempts).
I attempted the Lake Placid 9 starting at midnight. Solo. It was a full moon. I drove straight from work to the Cobble hill trailhead. I ended up with 6.5 out of 9 in 12 hours. Over 23 miles. Half in the dark… solo… night time is scary. But not so bad once your in it and moving.
October: I swept Catstail marathon with Shamus – sweeping the last 16 miles. We had a blast running and bombing downhills any chance we could.
Later in October – The MPF team got together in the Gunks for a climbing weekend. Little did I know this would spark the next crazy adventure streak.
The next weekend (Halloween) Shamus and I returned to the Gunks to hike all night – starting at midnight – and run part of the Fallback course. It was also a full moon! We ended up doing 23 miles, in 7 hours. Finishing at 7am which was too late to have time to sleep AND still go climb. So we grabbed breakfast – and coffee – then our climbing gear – and headed to the Trappes. We climbed two routes. Finishing with my first multi-pitch. I was hooked. — We hung with friends after – still knowing we’ve been awake for 40+ hours.
It was the best day – a day we got every ounce out of.
November: Shamus and I came back to the Gunks 3 out of the 4 weekends in November. The only weekend we missed was so Shamus could run the Lost Turkey 50 Miler in PA – and win first overall. AND set a new course record.
2020: I didn’t see many of the usual suspects. But I developed an amazing relationship.
2021: I spent NYE in the Adirondacks – hiked 23 high peaks with Strat. Hiked 100 Miles and 40,000 ft of vert. Then tested positive for Covid…
Luckily it was the most mild cold I’ve ever had. Without a test – I wouldn’t have known I was sick. A few sniffles. and lost taste and smell. I spent most of January not working…. instead, I started my Tammany training.
The only race I’ll likely do this year — Mt. Tammany in March. But 5 weeks before I’m getting toe surgery… so we will see if that recovers in time.
Other goals this year: I would like to work on Graphic Designing full time. It’s time for change, and doing what I really love to do. I love to design. I love to run and adventure. I need more time for both. I’m excited to truly focus on Beckhorn Prints and helping others any way I can!
I realize the title of this is ‘stories’.
But I’m a bad story teller.