Nightmare to Reality

Confirmation bias, or just confirmation?

The apex predator of the sea has been evolving for over 16 million years – by contrast, early humans first walked upright a mere 3.6 million years ago. Found in the coastal waters of all major oceans he is notable for his size, with weight over two tons, and length averaging 11-16 feet, over 20 ft in larger members. He can swim at speeds of 25 miles per hour and descend to depths of 3,900 feet.

This killing machine has rows of jagged two-and-a-half inch teeth. An opportunistic ambush predator, he greets his pray with an initial devastating attack. An attack from below can launch his bulk up to 10 feet into the air. Highly developed senses then detect the electromagnetic field given off by the dying victim’s heartbeat.

He has no known natural predators, and is responsible for the greatest number of both bites and fatal unprovoked attacks on humans.

This is the Great White Shark…

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Lost!

Staying calm in a scary situation turned potential disaster into a rewarding adventure!

For more than a decade Jocelyn and I have come up to Maine for a two week summer vacation. We stay at Jocelyn’s grandmother’s place on the rocky cost of southern Maine. It is right on the water, 8-10 foot tides, cool air, cold water, the whole package. I absolutely love it up here.

COVID-19 has brought great challenges and new opportunities. My employer implemented a remote work policy and Jocelyn and I are taking the opportunity to bug out to Maine for the month of July. I’ll work for two weeks and relax for two. On top of that, being an early riser, I fully intend to “get out there” before work if I can!

The first week has been very busy at work and I have only been able to look out at the grand view. Wednesday, however, I completed two big work efforts that were consuming my quiet early mornings – and Thursday was my day to get out and play!

Continue reading “Lost!”

C&O Canal Thru-Hike – 1-Location

Parameters that will drive the preparation, training, gear, food, water, etc:

  • Distance: 184.5 miles. Cumberland, MD, to Washington, DC.
  • Duration: 4-6 days
  • Terrain: Nearly flat, very little terrain variety. Portions may be rocky, muddy, overgrown – but the trail is essentially flat. Long stretches with shade, long stretches no shade.
  • Proximity to water: High during entire duration.
  • Season/Weather: September, second half.
  • Party size: 1

Notes and Thoughts

Duration: I will have to refine this estimate based on training and level of intensity. At 4 days, that’s 46 m/d. At 6 days, that’s 30 m/d. Given the terrain, 30 m/d is doable – 46 may be insanely optimistic – or just plain insane. I live 0.5 miles from the C&O – I’ll be able to do some good training hikes to figure this out… TRAINING: Do several long hikes to determine rate of travel.

Proximity to water: There will be ready access to water, though potability will be questionable. PACK: 500ml water bottle, filter, purification tabs.

Season/Weather: Anticipate temperatures from 90+ during the day. While unlikely, temperatures could get to near freezing at night – more likely, 50-60s. Rain is possible. Snow highly unlikely. Can check weather as get closer. Mosquito mitigation a must. PACK: Layers, rain gear, bug mitigation.

Party size: I intend to solo the hike. In mid-September, I anticipate reasonable trail use – so I’m not overly concerned about not finding aid if an emergency arises. Additionally, as the C&O is, essentially, a single trail without deviations and branches – it should be close to impossible to get lost. PACK: cell, battery, Ham radio programmed with frequencies of repeaters along the route.

C&O Canal Thru-Hike – Overview

I turn 50 this year!

To commemorate, I will thru-hike the C&O Canal. I have always had a love of the outdoors – and a love for self improvement. While I’ve had the dream of thru-hiking the Canal since my early 30’s – my desire was rekindled a few years back when reading Mark Divine‘s “The Way of the Seal.” Mark emphasizes the value of significant physical efforts to help forge mental toughness.

“By holding them accountable to a standard they never thought attainable, they learn that their physical limits are actually determined by their mental limits.”

Mark Divine

This will be my first long-distance hike, and I really have no idea where to start or how to prepare.

Accordingly – I will use this blog to capture preparation, training, coordination, execution, and lessons learned. I hope this information may be useful to those who wish to make the same journey.

Shout out to the Hikengripen and HoboKitten sites. Your posts have been instrumental in getting me started! REI’s Expert Advice articles are also immeasurably useful. I’ll commit to procuring all needed supplies from REI given the contributions they’ve made to this trip!

These pages are a work in progress, and each is likely to change until after the trip concludes. I envision the following articles:

1 – Location
2 – Gear (including shoes!)
3 – Food and Water
4 – Training
5 – Getting Ready
6 – Lessons Learned