Spring Sting Adventure Race

On April 27th, I completed my first adventure race at Smith Rock State Park in Bend, Oregon with my good friend Marcus Dufort. Adventure racing is essentially a massive outdoor scavenger hunt. Checkpoints are scattered around a park and teams of 2, 3 or 4 people mountain bike, hike and paddle to find all of the checkpoints as fast as possible. Racers must be able to navigate all types of terrain using only a map and compass (no GPS allowed). Adventure races can be anywhere from 8 hours to 10 days long. Marcus and I completed the 8-hour Spring Sting in just over 6 hours. We shot the video on a GoPro. Some photos from the event are here.

2 Nights on the Appalachian Trail

The Sunny-Side Up Adventure: 2,080 miles in 5 minutes 17 seconds

Jacks River Falls

Pictures from an overnighter to Jacks River Falls via Beech Bottom Trail.

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Three of my friends shipped me an incredible batch of cookie creations called Flobees via the Doyle Express while I was in Yosemite. They provided some much needed fuel as Doyle and I climbed up to Tioga Pass. My favorite Flobee: Spicy Snack Mix + Chocolate.



Toby and the Tank

Taken on the San Antonio to Austin leg of my trek.

My Touring Tunes

In the weeks leading up my trek, I asked my friends to contribute to a playlist of touring tunes that I could listen to while on the road. They came through with a great set of tunes that got me through quite a few lonely stretches. I didn’t look at the list of tracks prior to the trip so every song would be a complete surprise. A few of my favorites: Sahib Teri Bandi by the Derek Trucks Band, Wheels on the Bus by Dora the Explorer and Sweep a Road by The Stone Foxes. You can see the playlist below.

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The Mississippi Delta to the Etowah River

From New Orleans, I travelled north on Amtrak to Jackson, Mississippi. Daryl, a good friend of the family, met me at the station and we drove into the Mississippi Delta to the small town of Leland. Daryl is a retired US History teacher that collaborated with a history teacher from Madera, CA to study the diary of my great great uncle. Daryl was a great host and took me on a historical tour of the Delta, from the Mississippi River just west of Greenville to the BB King Museum in Indianola. I also learned a lot about my family’s history in the Delta and their trip west to start a new life in what is now known as Madera, California. After a busy day exploring the Delta, Daryl dropped me off at my friend Meg’s apartment in Cleveland, MS. Meg taught right down the road in Indianola from 2010–2012 as a Teach for America corp member. She was back in the Delta for the summer to train the incoming class of TFA teachers after taking a position teaching 5th grade writing in New Orleans for the 2012–2013 school year.

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Trip Log

  • 1 fighter jet (the Navy’s TOPGUN training program is based in Fallon)
  • 3 flat tires (on the first day)
  • 1 12 oz New York Steak
  • 1 Nevada rancher and his 18-year-old son who were one week away from moving to Bryansk, Russia to work 5,000 head of cattle. The contract is for three years. (Austin)
  • 1 local Aussie who spent the last 3 days searching the backcountry for an old mining claim. Still hadn’t found it. (Middlegate)
  • 1 local Nevadan who grew up in Whittier, CA and worked in canaries in Alaska and mines all over Nevada. Now he is the handyman at Middlegate.
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New Orleans

After getting dropped off at the San Antonio station around 11pm, I pulled together two benches in the main room and hunkered down for the night. Departure was set for 6am. Toby and I were separated again for the 15-hour ride to New Orleans but we both made it in one piece.

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