I have a difficult time writing when I'm happy.  It's always been a way to both immerse myself in and escape from feeling pretty friggin' awful.  It will be a new challenge for me to learn to write while things are going well, and going well they are.  Here are my recent scattershot thoughts:

 As I was hiking the other day I was thinking about how beautiful the weather was, the days nice and long and... wait a minute.  Hours of daylight on June 18th? 15 hours and 31 minutes.  Hours of daylight October 1st?  11 hours and 41 minutes.  Oops.  I planned on hiking long and leisurely days full of puppies and sunshine, but it looks like I might be doing some hiking in the dark.  It makes me glad that I have a handful of trail runs that I've done at night so I don't completely freak the 'f' out and cry myself to sleep at night.  There is something kind of creepy/cool about your whole world being reduced to the size of the circumference of a headlamp, but it's nothing that I'd like to get too familiar with. 

I now measure everything in in my life in ounces,   I can tell you off the top of my head that my tents weighs 58 ounces, my sleeping bag 36 ounces, and I can tell you how I agonize over purchasing items that weigh no more than 4 or 5 ounces difference between each of them.  In case anyone's counting, I weigh 2,864 ounces.  I sleep in the air conditioning in my 36 ounce, 15 degree rated sleeping bag and proudly show my poor friends at work that my down jacket weighs less than half a Diet Coke and packs down to about the same size.  It's sweet of them to pretend they care. I also admit to walking around my house in the 5.5 oz down jacket I purchased and at one point had my tent set up in my 'cozy' bedroom. 

On a more serious note, because I always have to have one, the wonderful people from RAINN emailed me and offered to set up a page on their site where they'll post an interview and some of the details of my trip.  I'm not sure I'll be able to raise much dough for them, but maybe I can help in other ways?  When I was growing up my dad used to say, facetiously: Todd, if nothing else, you can always be used as a bad example.  To this day it's one of the funniest things I've ever heard and it's also that type of humor that allows me to laugh about some of the absurdities of my life.  Anyway, I'll be going through the questions they sent to me, deciding just how much I'm willing to talk about, and then they'll get me up on the site.  Megan and Chelsea from RAIN are pretty damn awesome.  Nice progress for an idea that started to take shape only about 50 days ago, huh?

I'm going to be posting a Thank You list every few posts because without my tribe none of this would be possible. I'll add onto it often and keep reposting it, but there's one thank you I'd like to make now:

Without Ian and The Dusty Camel, this whole adventure would have been nothing more than a good idea.  It took one email on my part for Ian, a complete stranger, to get behind my trip and my cause and immediately give it shape and purpose.  He pushed me to set a date and tell everyone I knew so that I couldn't back out, helped me to acquire discounted gear that I couldn't possibly have afforded on my own,  inadvertently inspired me with his thru hikes of the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, and has responded to a ton of emails about gear, logistics, gear, websites, charities, and more gear to the point that he probably felt at times like he was taking his SAT's again.  He's a gracious host and is packing away a good deal of good karma in the karma bank.  Thanks, Dude!  

I'm still trying to figure out how to post a damn picture on here.  Being old sucks!

"Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together".  Ray Bradbury