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Whether you’re spending Thanksgiving in the backcountry or at home with your family and friends. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
@msr_gear
I remember the first time I saw the giant Half Dome. Standing prominently in the midst of the High Sierra in @yosemitenps. Earth had carved this statue of a mountain with precision over thousands of years. If you’ve never seen it with your own eyes, I highly advise doing so.
Here’s to new beginnings. Here’s to walking into the unknown with open arms. Here’s to taking your own life into your hands, grabbing the wheel and fully controlling it. Here’s to feeling small, because honestly there isn’t a more human feeling.
Devil’s Gulch is a .3 mile long section that reminds me a lot of the Mahoosuc Notch in Maine on the Appalachian Trail. Massive boulder fields, deep valleys and technical footing made for an almost jungle gym effect on the trail which was extremely fun.
New prints from my recent trips out west and on the Long Trail are up in my @pixieset for purchase, just in time for the holidays! Check em out. Link is in my bio!
Vermont, also known as the “Green Mountain State” most definitely lives up to its name. With the string of mountains running vertically down the middle of the state. That is where you’ll find the Long Trail. Crossing over the crest of some of the most rugged mountains you’ll find on the East Coast.
The first full day on the L.T. was far from easy or welcoming. Myself, who hadn’t been backpacking in the mountains in over a year, felt as if I had never hiked a day in my life. My legs burned, my body and clothes saturated by sweat and the sensation of heavy weights pulled on my shoulders.
The first mountain we climbed was Jay Peak. The trail, follows straight through what must have been a double black diamond route on a ski route.
I was so focused on making it to the top that I thought the trail followed the wide open ski route to the top. Which I found very quickly that was not the case. I had wondered off trail and started heading in the opposite direction of the L.T. Panting out of breath I pulled out my gps to see what direction I needed to head towards. I made my way up multiple ski routes till I linked back up with the trail. A sigh of relief rushed over me once I saw the white blazes once more.
As I climbed up the last incline of Jay Peak, I saw @scotty.hayden and @nathanabauman resting near the warming hut. Warn out, I threw off my pack and chugged the rest of the little water I had. As I gained my composure and my breath I strapped my pack on and headed towards the true peak. We stood on top of our first summit of the trail, absorbing the 360 degree views.
The decent down to Jay Shelter was just as steep if not more rugged with massive boulders and technical footing. Once we had finally reached the shelter I was more than relieved.
I sat down around the fire with the other hikers. I devoured my cold soaked ramen noodles, summer sausage, Cabot cheese and for dessert I had gummy bears. True hiker trash dinner. Shortly, calling it bed time around 9 pm and sleeping like a rock through the night.
The night before we started the Long Trail, the anxious excitement filled all of our minds. Making sure we had all the food we needed, packing and repacking our gear and charging all of our batteries.
I don’t think @scotty.hayden @nathanabauman and I really knew what we were getting ourselves into. We heard rumors that the northern section of the L.T. was very unforgiving, rugged and strenuous. We wouldn’t expect anything less from the oldest footpath in the United States, finished in 1930.
We reached the trail head for the 1.5 mile approach trail around 7 am on October 2nd. We registered, signing our trail names and our hometowns. The adrenaline and testosterone was running on a all time high, to say the least. Nothing but smiles were on our faces. We set off ready to see that border!
Once we reached the monument at the Vermont / Canada border. We all stood there in awe. Looking at a clear cut of trees for as long as the eye could see. With the smell of Autumn in the air and the cool wind biting our faces, I couldn’t believe we made it. Something that started as a simple group text turned into an actual journey.
We took our photo at the iconic pillar in the middle of Vermont Wilderness. Starting our journey south toward Massachusetts.
Maybe it’s good to put things in perspective, but sometimes, I think the only perspective is to actually be there. #lifeonthelongtrail
A week ago today I lost my beautiful grandmother, best friend and one of my biggest inspirations in life.
I recently had this thought that came to me while I was trying to take this all in.
If you’ve ever lost a person or a big thing in your life, instead of mourning, why not prepare for the welcome of new beginnings, because people or things leave to make space for new blessings.
Everyday, we are being blessed by all the happy, small and unnoticeable delights to fill the space for all the things and people we’ve had to say goodbye to.
We just have to take the time and appreciate these moments and things more often. I’m far from perfect but I’m working on this everyday. Trying to enjoy every waking moment before it’s too late.
I’m currently been focused on living in the present. The easiest way to explain living in the present is to start by explaining what it means to not be present, since this is the state we have become habitually used to. From scrolling on your phone or computer constantly to worrying about what what you said or did in the past.
When you aren’t being present you become a victim of your own time. Your mind is pulled into the past or the future, or both.
Time is an illusion, which makes being controlled by time somewhat delusional. The past doesn’t exist and neither does the future.
The only true reference point we have to this moment in time, and to this thing we label “existence”, is a feeling of presence, of being here in this body, of seeing the world through these eyes.
Waking up before the sunrise to catch the early morning light as we drove through Tioga Pass into @yosemitenps was definitely worth it.
#findyourpark
I remember my first photo class I took in High School, my teacher told the class that the subject of a photograph or any art form is always the lighting. “It can make or brake a photo” he explained.
I remember him telling us that so vividly.
As I sat in the valley watching the sun set. With each minute the scene kept getting better. I watched what he had explained to us happen before my eyes. That the lighting really does make a photograph.
For my entire life I’ve been seeking these distant mountains, as a little kid I would daydream about them. Then when I started traveling to them and quickly realized that you’re never going to get there by daydreaming or by flipping through pages in a magazine. You have to go and seek out your distant mountains. It’s not enough to just dip our toes into what inspires us; we have to immerse ourselves.
Finally going through some photos I’ve shot the last month of travel.
On this morning in @yosemitenps we found a stretch of secluded river bank along the Merced River. As @the_modern_hippie_diaries , @ibheddy and I stared at the massive wall of El Cap, searching to find any climbers that stood out on the face.
As we sat there admiring the view, I realized quickly that true happiness is only present when shared with others.
Timing is everything. There is a right time for everything in your life, for the Long Trail unfortunately this was the wrong timing for me. After completing 65 miles from the Canadian border my attempt at a thru hike is now over.
After having a lot of time in my own head on this trail, I quickly realized I came out to hike for the wrong reasons. I wanted so badly to relive a thru hike because honestly I thought I’d never have the opportunity to do so again. When in reality, I was just too impatient.
I pushed the process of thru hiking by creating a short deadline for myself, soon to realize you have no control on what happens on trail. The only thing you have control of is how you react to these situations.
So I had to swallow my pride and throw the towel in.
Needless to say, those 65 miles I hiked with @scotty.hayden and @nathanabauman were some of my all time favorite times on trail. I’ll miss the #lifeonthelongtrail but the trail isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll be back one day to complete it.
As we hike down the Long Trail the smell of Autumn surrounds us. The brisk mornings, sounds of crunching leaves below our feet and the leaves slowly begin to fully turn.
We camped out in a ski warming hut last night on the summit of Madonna Peak. Near by was a ski lift, shut down for the season so @nathanabauman decided to scurry up a support tower to get a better view of the foliage.
#lifeonthelongtrail



#exploremore #thetrek #thegreatoutdoors #getoutside #vermont #longtrail #travel #wanderlust #natureporn #optoutside #neverstopexploring #takemebackpacking #bpmag #photooftheday #peoplestaringatstuff #nature #outdoors #wildernessculture #natgeo #wilderness #mountains #instagood #outside #photo #adventure #liveauthentic #ultralightbackpacking #explore #life
Let’s do it! Couldn’t have asked for a better day to start another adventure. So stoked to have made it to the Northern Terminus of the Long Trail at 8:30am this morning. I have a small pocket of internet service so I figured I’d post about today.
The first day has been incredible but also difficult at the same time. Being off trail for more than a year has definitely shown, I’m strong but I have a learning curve once again, re learning how to hike, properly pack my pack and even what type of food to pack. I know my body will kick into gear and muscle memory will creep back in. But damn, for a first day I won’t lie. I got my ass kicked. I also wouldn’t want it any other way. As I’ve said before, it’s just another hill.
We’re coming for you Massachusetts! #lifeonthelongtrail



#exploremore #thetrek #thegreatoutdoors #getoutside #thruhike #longtrail #travel #wanderlust #natureporn #optoutside #neverstopexploring #takemebackpacking #bpmag #photooftheday #peoplestaringatstuff #nature #outdoors #wildernessculture #natgeo #wilderness #mountains #instagood #outside #photo #adventure #liveauthentic #explore #life
On the road again...After my short time back home from California, this morning I boarded my first bus headed East. Back to the dirtbag life, eating cheap ramen and carrying everything I own on my back. I’m joining up with some good friends of mine @nathanabauman & @scotty.hayden to hike the Long Trail thru Vermont from Canada to Massachusetts, 275 miles thru my favorite state. •



#exploremore #thetrek #thegreatoutdoors #getoutside #camping #hiking #travel #wanderlust #natureporn #optoutside #neverstopexploring #takemebackpacking #bpmag #photooftheday #peoplestaringatstuff #nature #outdoors #wildernessculture #natgeo #wilderness #mountains #instagood #outside #photo #adventure #liveauthentic #love #explore #life