Happy New Year everyone!
While it is a bit cliché at the new year to talk about our 'resolutions' (who else is losing weight and getting in shape this year?!), I do believe that it is helpful to share your goals with a community in order to help bring them to life. The support you find when sharing your goals can sometimes be the difference between achieving them and pushing them to the back burner (again) for the next year.
It is in that spirit of support and camaraderie that I ask: What are your plans, goals, and dreams for outdoor adventure in 2021? Big or small, from expert level to complete beginner, let's hear about what you hope to accomplish so we can inspire and support each other to get outside more in 2021!
I love this question! Looking forward to hearing what other people have their eyes set on.
I'm not a straight-forward resolutions person myself, but do always have a few general ideas that I'm excited about.
Great post, @REI-JohnJ - it also helps with accountability, too, when we publicly declare our goals (I, of course, have no illusions that any of us here will actually remember each others goals several months from now LOLOLOL).
But, in that spirit, I do have a few goals:
Something a little different from the geezer class....
Now that I am well into my eighties, my goals are rather modest, centering around archaeological and paleontological field work on the Channel Islands. The current goal involves a bit of history as well....
in early December, 1941, to western Santa Rosa island to dig up pygmy mammoth fossils. The were so engaged on December 7, a date that was also one of the lads birthday, when they weere instructed to get ready to leave, Pearl Harbor having been attacked. They quickly plastered their specimens and departed. The plan was for someone to retrieve the specimens at a later date. Apparently other events had priority - shocking!!
On our ast visit to the isand, one of our party stumbled across a bone, clearly encased in plaster, eroding from a seaside cliff. This is very likely the 1941 specimen, since there is other instance known of leaving a plastered specimen on the island.
Plans are afoot to retrieve the bones, complicated by covid naturally, but we get to do it later in the year. Rather remarkably, one of the excavators is still alive, some 95 years old, and I hope we can get this done soon...
One of my specialties was retrieving specimens from cliffside locations on rappel, about the only aspect of technical climbing I can still pursue, and my ambition is to pass on the ability to new workers, at least one of whom has expressed interest. My current helmet, harness and rope are all REI purchases. If only REI carried rappel racks, it would be an all REI setup. I was almost five years when Pearl Harbor occurred, so this will close the circle.
@REI-JohnJHappy New Year! back at you!
agree, good topic, definitely time to start planning warmer weather trips.
So far...I'm definitely planning to go backpacking in the Bridger Wilderness for at least 10 days, probably first part of July. Maybe try to schedule it around their Rendezvous Days and Rodeo, which I keep forgetting to do.
High on the wish list is to restart the JMT in August, the section from Kearsarge Pass (Independence, CA) to Yosemite, before I 'age out'. Permits for August become available at the end of Jan, so I'll get them, then have many months to figure it out. Biggest factor, besides acclimatization, is smoke from wildfires, I won't go if there is smoke, I'm in that age category that is really affected by smoke. Twice I've been choked off the trail. Also a change in plans, will be to buy a 1 way ticket to Reno, so I can relax and only have to worry about food resupply and not meeting a flight deadline.
Maybe get out to the Grand Canyon in the spring, maybe Utah.
If Canada reopens this summer that could cause a major shift in plans. Getting permits for back-country campsites would be the biggest challenge.
I've had the wonderland trail on my radar for a few years, when are you thinking of going?
I highly recommend Iceland's Laugavegur(hot spring) trail, about 35miles or so, can be done quit easily in 10K days, stopping a manned huts each night. Can stay at huts or just backpack. I was pleasantly surprised how easy the logistics were, once we got it figured out.
I'm thinking about the Wonderland Trail in a couple of ways as it really is going to depend on getting permits. I have a healthy amount of time off in August for my 15 year REI sabbatical (woot woot!) and I could use that for it, knowing that it will be during the most popular time to do that trail and potentially miss out due to wildfires. I could also carve out some time mid-to-late September and see if it is easier to secure a permit and bank on the fact that it is when fires tend to lessen. A third option would be to attempt to section hike it throughout the summer. All of these are going to be permit, wildfire, and covid-restriction dependent so while it's good to have options, it's also hard to lock down plans at this point.
One other trip I've been weighing is a backpack through the Enchantments, which may be the back up trip or the primary trip based on all those same factors mentioned above.
Any interest in coming along? I can keep you posted on how the permit applications go!
Thanks for posting this. The more we see people talking about resolutions...the more we think about and want to create one or hold ourselves accountable to doing em'!
-I want to get back into mountain biking this year. I used to mountain bike a lot when I was in the Midwest, I even did a few races!
-Running: I started trail running last year March...just for health reasons but it has become much more than just that! This past Saturday I ran 10 miles for the first time! I've got my eye on a half marathon trail run next month!
-More backpacking trips/camping trips than I did last year!
Good luck everyone!
I have several backpacking goals this year, but having just had a new baby, I can't leave for super extended periods of time. My plans so far for 2021:
1. Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
2. North/South Trail at Land Between the Lakes in Western KY
3. Great Smoky Mountains hiking (a small amount during a family vacation)
4. North 150 miles of the Sheltowee Trace Trail
5. First 73 miles of AT from Springer Mountain to NC state line
6. Training and honing in my gear loadout for the JMT next year! (very wishful thinking)
@madefromstraw, thank you so much for sharing these! It is such an amazing list.
Having specifics laid out is a lot of fun. It made me especially happy to see Cumberland Gap Ridge Trail at the top of your list. That is such an incredible stretch of trail and one that I have recommend to others in the community looking for Kentucky backpacking suggestions.
Fingers crossed for you getting out to the JMT, whenever it happens! We're excited to hear about your 2021 trips, learn from your experiences, and answer any questions you have along the way. Thanks again for sharing!