"To me, the canoe is the greatest invention of humankind. It's just wonderful. It's personification of bushcraft. When you float on water, because somebody worked out how to use natural resources and make a boat out of it. And it's physical, it's demanding, it's tough, it's a hard way of traveling. [...] It makes something of you. It's an honest way of traveling."
Not too long ago, I set a personal record up and down Old Rag Mountain. My reason for doing a speed run was twofold. Partly motivated by the fact I've hiked Old Rag literally dozens of times and hustling through it would be an interesting change of pace yet equally because I simply wanted to be home as my wife got off of work and it's about a 4 hour drive.
Starting at the trailhead marker and ending at the same spot, it took me a grand total of 2 hours and 12 minutes. Felt pretty good too. Didn’t overly push it and had a short rest at the top. Just for the record, the National Park Service says to allow for 7-8 hours.
It felt good to set that PR but I don't know if I'll try to shave off any more time. When is enough enough? Even though it'd be neat to say I did the route in under 2 hours, I feel confident that I can. Sometimes you have to prove things to yourself but I'm happy with what I've accomplished so I think I'll just let it be.
See, part of me doesn’t even want to do a true all out speed run because I want to keep making sure I enjoy the hike. On this run specifically, I made sure to throw in the break at the summit without stopping the clock so it purposely slowed me down.
Not everything has to be timed and recorded to matter. In fact, I want to do another summit of Old Rag with the complete opposite goal. I want to go ridiculously slow and soak it all in. I think it'll be refreshing to stop frequently, see the sights, smell the air, and listen to the wind through the trees or the the critters scurrying around the woods. Maybe I'll report back with those findings.
My wife and I want to sell my car (2002 BMW 525i) and buy a pick-up truck. Aside from the usual reasons for owning a truck, the biggest reason is that we want to sleep in the bed while we camp and travel, so that we’d avoid airfare, rental cars, and hotels. Spending time in the mountains is HUGE for us, especially at this point in our lives.
Stage One: KISS
Money is tight so stage one is to simply buy a truck with a bed cap/cover to sleep under.
The Usual Suspects
We’re currently considering early generation Toyota Tacomas and Tundras.
It seems there are a lot of 4 door Tacoma trucks out there but they really have held their value, which is both good and bad. The bad is that it’s just outside of our price range. Also, the length of the bed is a major concern as I’m 6’2”. Anyone that tall sleep in the bed without going diagonally?
The prices of Tundras are more reasonable but the lack of a decent backseat (in the Access Cab model) could be a concern. We do hope to have kids and I’ve heard mixed reviews on getting a car seat to fit. I don’t truly mind the lack of fuel economy, and it may also come in handy if I ever need to carry or tow something heavy.
Note: We are very much of the mindset that we should "buy once, cry once” and I’ve heard so many good things about Toyota. However, I’m completely open to other ideas as we won’t be doing any kind of difficult off-road driving where a winch or a buddy may be involved.
For annual travel, we plan on spending two weeks in Colorado and one week in New Hampshire in a “camper” setup. At home, it’ll stay in a daily setup as a regular pick-up truck.
- Pick-up truck
- 4 doors
- “Quickly” go between a daily truck setup to 2-week camping trip setup
- Can accept larger pop-up style camper later
There’s is where it gets a bit hairy due to our extremely tight budget.
We’re entertaining ideas in the $10,000 and under range. Even that’s stretching it, and it will also depend on how much I sell my car for.
What do you think?
Update 01: As I’ve done more research, I’m all but completely settled on an 04-06 Tundra Double Cab. Check out this video where a family of 5 (small kids obviously) traveled and slept in the bed of the truck for over 4,000 miles. There's hope.
Update 02: Well, we did a thing. Stay tuned for further updates on our new [to us] Tundra Adventuremobile. Or is it a Fundra? Either way, we're really looking forward to traveling this upcoming year.
This is a completely unscientific study but it seems that in just about every movie I watch, not a single character is constantly checking their phone like I see many of us do. No one is scrolling through Twitter or Instagram, no one is playing Clash of Clans or Super Mario Run, I don't think I've ever even seen anyone just browse the internet. Smartphones tend to be hidden unless they're a plot point.
So what are these people doing? They're simply living their lives. They’re talking to people at coffee shops, they’re reading books, they’re sitting on the couch, listening to music. Instead of keeping up with what their friends or "followers" are doing, they’re the ones doing the "doing."
You may say that’s unrealistic. I’d say you’re right. Look around and it's obviously not how we operate in the real world. But in Hollywood, things are idealized, and that might not be a bad thing in this case.
I can understand how movies might a bad rap on account of them being extremely well-produced stories and not exactly a reflection of real life, but maybe we need to adopt this trait from them. Just a thought.
Bonus: Have you noticed that when people in movies need to communicate something to another character, they actually use the phone like a phone? Never a whole lot of texting or messaging going on.