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Tagged With: dudetrek

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

Categories: Te Araroa, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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

Categories: Te Araroa, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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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Florida Trail (Extended): Days 20-25

Balance is an incredibly vital part of life. From a neuroscience standpoint, balance is controlled by the same part of the brain that performs other basic functions like breathing and regulating temperature. Over the millennia of human history, we have collectively accomplished pretty incredible feats of balance, and we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible; ever heard of Cirque du Soleil, or Sketchy Andy? But there is another way to be a master of balance, and while does it not demand that you do flips on a high wire or stand on the seat of a unicycle, it often does require just as much practice, patience, and trial and error.… Read more

Categories: Florida National Scenic Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Florida Trail (Extended): Days 15-20

It’s been almost a full month since I started hiking northbound from Key West, and I have started to become desensitized by the climate and terrain of Southern Florida in the dry season. Walking with wet feet, being chewed up by mosquitoes, having sunburn on sunburn, rationing my food for long stretches of strenuous and hard to navigate swamp walking, and staying vigilantly aware of my surroundings for the presence of alligators, snakes, wild hogs, and rapidly changing weather; all part of the day to day life of a Florida thru-hiker. Even though I have come to tolerate and even welcome these everyday challenges, I find that the difficulties of inconsistent and variable hiking conditions lead to some of the greatest problems on the Florida Trail.… Read more

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Florida Trail (Extended): Days 10-14

The most physically exhausting experience I’ve ever had in my life was undoubtedly reaching the summit of Mount Whitney last summer. It was the middle of the night, I had been breaking trail through fresh snow for miles at high altitude, and I probably should have had more to eat and drink beforehand. Though in many ways the mental challenge of consciously willing my shivering and energy-depleted muscles to continue to push on, was even harder. I could have turned back or set up camp below the summit at any time, but I fought to achieve my goal and refused to let my body quit on me.… Read more

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Florida Trail (Extended): Day 9

The Miccosukee tribe, once part of the Seminole nation, now have a reservation in southern Florida that is encompassed by Everglades National Park. Their roots can be traced back to a tribe in what is now Georgia, but their history, as with the history of nearly every Native American tribe, is one that is complicated and wrought with great struggle and tragedy. Having been displaced from their native and adopted lands time after time between the 18th and 20th centuries, they were greatly dispersed for generations, and only through becoming federally recognized in the 1960’s, did they begin to reform in Florida.… Read more

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Florida Trail (Extended): Days 6-8

Never get between a hungry hiker and their food, especially after a long day on tough trail and a massive calorie deficiency. Give a hungry hiker some food in the same conditions, and like a naturally obedient dog, they will be your best friend and go through hell or high water for you.

Until we met at the Shell gas station on the far Northern end of Key Largo, Ryan and I were total strangers. We were thousands of miles away from each other and lived entirely separate lives. The odds of our crossing paths were practically non-existent. But through the thoughtfulness of a friend named Jake whom I sat next to in one of my classes in high school, we were able to exchange phone numbers and discuss how, with my hiking pace and his work schedule, we could arrange a time to grab a bite to eat.… Read more

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Florida Trail (Extended): Day 5

This morning I woke up in the woods, greeted by the first few orange and pink rays of sunlight that had broken through the trees. With a groan, I sat up and slowly reached my arms above my head, then leaned slightly from one side to the other, simultaneously stretching my back, obliques, and triceps. I noticed that my feet were dirty with toe jam and sand, so I stuck them straight out and reeeeaaached to pick and brush all the gunk away while giving my hamstrings a good stretch. It took a few tries to loosen them enough that I could reach my toes, but damn did it feel nice once I could.… Read more

Categories: Florida Overseas Heritage Trail, Florida Trail 2015 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment