I can’t contain my excitement, and so I must turn to my online excitement release valve. I’m not talking about porn. While there is clinical evidence1 to suggest that porn has medical benefits, this is a different kind of excitement. I’m blogging for the first time in months because I’m planning to do something that I haven’t done in years: Backpacking.

If you’ve read my well-aged blog posts of yore, you might remember that my dear friend Patrick and I adventured into the wilderness of Davy Crockett National Forest in September of the year of our Lord two thousand and seven. It was an easy hike and we planned to spend three days on the trail, but we were fooled into thinking ourselves too capable and we completed the 20+ mile trek in one day. I nearly died of dehydration2 and we both suffered from blisters and chigger bites, the thought of which haunts me to this day. The trip wasn’t all bad, and we learned quite a bit about our newfound hobby. We now had enough gear to start backpacking to our hearts’ content. We would take at least three trips each year. We would go to Arkansas, Big Bend, maybe even the Appalachian Trail for a week at a time, and we would go on day hikes between our far-flung adventures.

But we didn’t. What followed was a complete absence of hiking. For the last two and a half years we’ve allowed all of our backpacking gear (which cost us a small fortune) to sit dormant and collect dust. My wife threatened to sell it all, but I kept assuring her that it would be put to good use, and soon. But it wasn’t used at all. Until now.

A few weeks ago, Patrick suggested that we dust off our nuts gear and hit the trail. After some discussion, we’ve settled on a time and place. We’ve also recruited some friends to join us for this trip: Benjamin Patrick Wood, Matthew Scott Tettleton, and Cole Alexander William Joseph Harvey Osmundson3. We’ll hike the Eagle Rock Loop in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas in mid-March. This 27-mile trail (or system of trails, more accurately) will take us over nine mountains and dozens of river/creek crossings. We might see some wild turkeys or river otters. We’ll definitely dig a hole to poop in the woods4. If it’s cold, we’re going to have a hard time staying warm in our light sleeping bags and tents. But most importantly, we’re going to experience the great outdoors with some of our closest friends. It’ll probably be reminiscent of a movie that I saw in 2005 about friends enjoying nature and each other.

There will be stories and photos aplenty when we return from our adventure. I’ll keep you posted.

Vaya con Dios, amigos.

The Judge

  1. I made that up, but it’s probably true. I’m not going to waste my time looking for that evidence when I could be backpacking, writing about backpacking, or looking at porn.
  2. That’s an exaggeration, but not as much so as you might think. Besides, any good adventure needs a near-death experience or else it’s not worth my time.
  3. According to legend, Cole’s parents wanted to have five male children. When his mother’s uterus was tragically lost in a boating accident, they decided to give their only begotten son all five of the names that they had chosen for the children they would never be able to have.
  4. Actually, we’ll probably dig several holes. I don’t want to share a hole with anybody else. Either way, we’re gonna be pooping in the woods.