What am I Doing?

But seriously … what am I doing?

I’m leaving friends and loved ones behind for almost six months and missing a glorious summer in Portland. I’m not running away from anything. But if I’ve learned anything so far, it’s that you don’t need a reason to get up and leave, you just have to put it on the calendar. 

Last supper with some of Portland's finest. 

Last supper with some of Portland's finest. 

But need it or not, I’ve still got a few: 

I'll get to see the most beautiful parts of the country I currently call home. And there’s a part of me that thinks that by finishing this, I'll be able to leave knowing that I’ve seen and done the stuff that matters. 

I want rebel against the man, man. Or, at least, prove to myself and to anyone else who cares that you just don’t need all this stuff. Possessions are prisons, as they say. You can live out of a backpack, and I’m going to — a really nice, really colorful backpack, but a backpack all the same.   

I don’t want to be an old man without stories to share, who spent his life talking about the things he wanted to do, instead of doing them.  Someone once told me “Don’t tell me about what you’re going to do, tell me about what you did.” 

I like human-powered sports. Our bodies are amazing machines capable of taking us almost anywhere. The journey is just as important as the destination, so why rip past all the good parts on something noisy? 

Being in nature is therapeutic. You’re far from the frenetic pace and the cacophony of city living. It’s almost as if you operate on a different wavelength in the woods — the pace is slower and the sounds more harmonious. 

It’s not your typical career path. Go to school, get a real job, get pretty good at it and then jump off the tracks to be a dirtbag (showers are few and far between where I'm headed.) But the timeline makes sense to me: I’m physically able, I have enough time, I have enough money. Why wouldn't I do this? 

I reached a point a ways back where I realized I'd thought about, talked about, and obsessed over this enough. I either had to stop talking about it, or just do it.

All this aside, there’s no “one good answer” here. I thought when I sat down and wrote it that I’d come up with something that made sense of it all. But the honest truth is, there isn’t anything more important than that I just want to do it. 

I like my adventures. 

Resupply boxes for Central and Northern California. Clearly and uniquely labeled. 

Resupply boxes for Central and Northern California. Clearly and uniquely labeled. 

Maps and food fill the boxes. Also gotta send an ice axe and a bug net for the sierras. 

Maps and food fill the boxes. Also gotta send an ice axe and a bug net for the sierras.