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New Zealand Adventure Day 14-19: Whangarei to Auckland

Day 14: I woke up first, around 7, when the rain had stopped, but the drops were still falling from the trees. As we ate breakfast, the German couple passed us, and were very surprised to hear our story about James, because they had nothing but good things to say about him, his hospitality, and his campground. Perhaps this was because they paid him upfront? Probably not, but our experience made me wonder. Once we were packed up and walking, it didn’t take long to get to the road, but when Sarah and I stopped to stick our thumbs out, Magnus was still undecided about leaving the Te Araroa.Read more

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Te Araroa Day 9-14: KeriKeri to Whangarei

Day 9: We wake up early, eating and packing up quickly from our stealth camp so we can get out of there before being noticed. Mosquitoes were pretty bad last night and really chewed up my legs, so I thought for a few days that I had walked through some poisonous plant. We resupplied at the grocery store first, waiting for the McDonald’s to open again so we could squat there and use their unlimited wifi, which is a hard thing to find here in New Zealand where wifi is rarely free or unlimited. Displaying our hiker trash with pride, we rebagged our food outside the front door of the grocery store while people stared out of the corner of their eye, wondering what we were up to and where we might be going.… Read more

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Te Araroa Day 5-8: Ahipara to KeriKeri

Raetea Forest

Day 5: Left Ahipara around 5:45 AM after first breakfast and went to the small store a mile or so from the hostel. Had to wait around until 7:30 for it to open, so did some yoga and calisthenics while I waited. Met Sarah from New Hampshire just before the store opened and we both grabbed some (more) breakfast and resupply for the next few days, then roadwalked together to the start of the Herekino Track. This is her first thru-hike and we talked and out how much people change after a thruhike, whether it is their 5th or their first.… Read more

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Te Araroa Day 1-4: Cape Reinga to Ahipara

Day 1- After leaving KeriKeri, it took me all day and about 20 different rides to get to the beginning of the Te Araroa at Cape Reinga. I met an 80 year old man born and raised in KeriKeri, another Te Araroa hiker sectioning from KeriKeri to Cape Reinga, a woman from Te Whau who brought me back to her house for bread, cheese, coffee, and stories of Papua New Guinea in the 1970’s, a woman originally from Hungary who has been in New Zealand now for many years, an English couple on holiday, a half dozen older white men who asked me what I thought of Donald Trump then told me I was wrong, a mom with her 2 kids in the back who told me about how sand pines were planted on the Aupori Peninsula to allow for agricultural development and how the swamps are sometimes drained for the harvest of Kauri logs, a young Maori girl who brought me a short way to Te Kao and dropped me off at her mom’s store, and finally (after being warned that now that it was after 8pm I wasn’t going to get picked up and I should look for camp) I got picked up by a French couple that brought me all the way to Cape Reinga in their rental van.… Read more

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Pacific Crest Trail Days 2014

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Gear vendors set up their displays on Thunder Island in Cascade Locks, Oregon for the 2014 PCT Days

The 8th annual Pacific Crest Trail Days, or PCT Days was held last weekend (9/6- 9/8/14), and by chance The North Face store I work at here in Portland is one of the sponsors for the event, so I got to work at our tent, see some hiker-trash friends I made this summer, and enjoy the warm and breezy weather on the Columbia River. There were vendors talking about their latest and greatest technologies and products, and also some gear that hadn’t been released yet or would soon be available in the US.… Read more

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SE Portland to the Columbia River Gorge

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Columbia River Gorge from Angel’s Rest

Portland, Oregon, AKA the City of Roses, is a mecca for those who love being active in any type of weather; as the home of some of the most beautiful, plentiful, largest and smallest parks in the nation, PDX provides many welcome places for one to enjoy running, bicycling, or equestrian activities away from the constant din of bustling traffic. Mount Tabor Park, an extinct volcano and source of 3 drinking water reservoirs, is a perfect example of a park near my house with lots of trails to explore, a playground, and many family-oriented events throughout the summer.… Read more

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