Bucket List

I just turned 57 last week. Birthdays seem like a good time to make plans, in my case, my bucket list. The ironic thing is I’ve never actually put one in writing. It has always been an informal mental list. However, in honor of my birthday I have put to writing for this newsletter a top ten bucket list. There are still many other things on the list, but these are the top ten biggest in terms of effort to achieve.

That said, here is the list, in no particular order.

  1. Hike the John Muir Trail. This one is very high on my list. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Join Muir Trail is 211 miles past numerous pristine mountains and lakes. I will be doing a section of it later this month.
    Here I am at the northern terminus of the John Muir trail in Yosemite last year, about to climb Half Dome.
  2. Hike the Appalachian Trail. The AT is a 2,200 mile trail from Georgia to Maine. I have already done about 150 miles of it through parts of Virginia, West Virgina, Pennsylvania and the entire Maryland portion. I am almost certainly going to break this up into sections. It is an enormous task to do the whole thing in one season and frankly I think I’m already too old to do it that way.
  3. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail – The PCT is a 2,653 mile trail that goes from the Mexican to Canadian border, through California, Oregon, and Washington. I have already done small bits of it in all three states and those experiences make me hungry for more. This one will certainly be done sections too.
  4. Climb Mount Aconcagua – This 22,838 foot mountain in Argentina is the highest mountain the Americas. Due to it’s high altitude, this mountain takes weeks to do, as the climber acclimates to the high altitude.
  5. Climb Devil’s Tower – In case you don’t recognize the name, you might recognize from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This is perhaps the easiest item on my list. However, it takes high-level rock climbing skills to achieve, which I am working on. The easiest way is said to be the Durance Route, which is four to six pitches, rated as 5.7 in difficulty.
    Photo: Wikipedia
  6. Bicycle the Dalton Highway – This is a 414-mile partially paved highway from Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks, Alaska, along the Alaska Pipeline. This challenge is lonely, desolate, and infested with mosquitoes. I have driven part of highway and have felt called to bicycle the whole thing ever since.
    Here I am under a section of the Alaska Pipeline in 2010. This section of the pipeline was south of the Dalton Highway.
  7. Bicycle Across Europe. I haven’t done much planning on this trip yet, but I tentatively want to start in Denmark and end at the western terminus of the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
    Here I am with my rental bicycle somewhere in the Netherlands in 2017. Sorry for the lousy lighting. The entire country of the Netherlands is bicycle heaven.
  8. Kayak the Baja Peninsula. I love Mexico, especially Baja. I’m already preparing by doing the lower Colorado river, from the Grand Canyon to Mexico, in sections.
    Here are some fish I caught off the coast of Baja, near San Felipe.
  9. Kayak Lake Powell. I want to do an extended trip, probably from Bullfrog to Antelope Point. I have been on houseboat trips on Lake Powell twice and fell in love with the place. Unfortunately, Lake Powell is turning into more of a river as the water level quickly drops.
    Here are some fish I caught off the coast of Baja, near San Felipe.
  10. Do a Half-Ironman triathlon. This distance may be called other things, due to trademark reasons, but it entails a 1.9 km swim, a half-marathon run (13.1 miles), and a 56-mile bike ride. Individually, I can do any of these legs, but doing them all consecutively in the same day is another story. The running leg is my biggest challenge, although I just ran a half-marathon earlier this month.

So, there is my list. I enjoyed putting it together. In a future newsletter, I may add to the list with some adventures that are not as ambitious.