Return to NZ, part 2

Ahh, bikepacking in NZ. Quiet 2-tracky roads in deep forest and no wind.

Sometimes it is that good. Eszter lured me into not backtracking to town for food with the promise of this shortcut route, which turned out like a dream.

When the dream ended, we still had nothing more than …. [Continue reading]

Return to NZ (part1)

From dry desert warmth,

to warm island humidity. We parked the Scamp and hopped a plane around the world. Again.

We hadn’t really been planning on it, but as the days got shorter and the Scamp looked smaller and smaller the choice became clear: we are fortunate to have few encumbrances …. [Continue reading]

New Zealand Part 4 – central sun, Wanaka, Mt. Cook and having to leave.

I think we reached the interior of New Zealand right as it finally became summer.

I can’t say we saw all that much of the friendly little fireball in the sky previous to this. But we were about to learn just how strong the NZ sun can be. I don’t know …. [Continue reading]

New Zealand (part 3) – Fjordlands, South Coast, and too much wind

We rolled south from Te Anau, on the outskirts of Fjordlands national park. The pedal down was beautiful, including this lovely beach.

TopoFusion users might recognize this photo, which became 2017’s splash screen on the Pro version of the software. TopoFusion is on sale this weekend, for Small Biz Saturday through Cyber Monday, …. [Continue reading]

New Zealand (part 2) Queenstown, Greenstone, Kepler Tracks

Queenstown. Adventure capital of NZ. It’s a funny place, and also a beautiful one.

Kaitlyn was resting and getting her knee checked out while we did shorter day trips.

Including the bike park. We had pretty capable bikes, so why not?

Deluxe accommodation in Queenstown. The grass …. [Continue reading]

New Zealand (part 1) Molesworth, Earthquakes, Ghost Road

We’re flying back to New Zealand in just a few days. That means I’m more than a year behind here. So it’s time to recount a little of our visit to those lovely little islands in the southern hemisphere.

We’re going back this year because we love New Zealand — the landscapes, the people, the …. [Continue reading]

A summer in the Scamp, without a plan

What can one say about a summer spent in a Scamp? A summer lived without a plan?

Was it a worthwhile summer? Was time spent outside? With friends and family? Adventures had?

Without a plan it could go either way. Nothing might happen, a summer wasted.

climbing steep …. [Continue reading]

Living in Moab, Spring 2016

Moab.

It’s always been a pilgrimage for me.

It’s always a been a good idea, too. It was the first truly good idea I remember having. And like all good ideas, it was stolen from someone else. My best friend in 3rd grade talked about taking mountain bikes to Moab, and how you …. [Continue reading]

Semi-rideable 14ers Story

Eszter and I are back in the Scamp after spending 9 weeks living off our bikes in New Zealand. It was such an experience, and we are already missing many things about those cool little islands at the bottom of the world.

More on that, hopefully soon, though Ez has done a fantastic …. [Continue reading]

Redpoints in the Gila

Salsa was launching a new bike, the Redpoint. The plan was to find some aggressive terrain for a 3 day bikepack. Tucson wasn’t the first choice, so Eszter and I were enlisted somewhat late in the game.

The challenge was to come up with a route that would showcase what Arizona has to offer, push …. [Continue reading]

Scamping in AZ

We moved ‘full time’ into our little Scamp trailer at the end of February, 2016. All our belongings fit in the van/trailer, and we were officially rent-free and on the road. Wahoo!

How would it go? What would we learn? What unexpected challenges would there be? What places would we visit, what trails would we …. [Continue reading]

Into the Scamp

We’ve been nomads for a while now. We seem to follow good weather and good adventures around the west, working on the computer in most places as we go.

In 2014, we lived off our bikes, traveling north on the Continental Divide Trail. We shipped our laptops to post offices along the way. Even they …. [Continue reading]

Grand Enchantment on the Safford Morenci Trail+

photo by Lee Blackwell

It started innocuously enough. Lee and I pedaled a graded dirt road into the Black Hills east of Safford.

The original idea was to recreate a memorable bikepack we did on a rather iconic section of the Grand Enchantment Trail some years back. We hiked our bikes a lot …. [Continue reading]

Emergency Gila Bikepack

It wasn’t going to happen otherwise. We had to do it, we had to declare an ’emergency’ and drop everything. We can’t let a beautiful spring season go by without a visit to the Gila Canyons and the Arizona Trail. We just can’t.

What was the emergency? The emergency was many fold:

We …. [Continue reading]

Return to Tucson

The first photo on this blog has been, for the last month, a photo of my green Lenzsport Mammoth. The bike was leaning against a ledge of that beautiful white rock on Gooseberry Mesa. Sadly that bike was stolen soon after we returned to Southern Arizona for the winter. It had seen many a mile, …. [Continue reading]

Adrenal fatigue in Southern Utah

Moab’s wind and rain brought us to Salt Lake. It was a good time to visit with my family — overcast and cold for several days. Very little temptation to go outside and play. We played inside, with nieces and nephews, instead. It was fun.

The skies began to clear over the west, and the …. [Continue reading]

To the desert!

At last the snows did come to the mountains. It piled up in a slushy mess, up high and on the roads down low. We were lucky to get out safely when we could.

The destination? Fruita / Grand Junction – the desert.

Eszter and two Bec(k)s were bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail …. [Continue reading]

Closing out the alpine season — with a binge and a bang.

The view from my ‘office’ was superb. Gold aspens, blue sky. Trails from the door. Easy access to the alpine. A cozy place to stay.

Why leave such paradise? Why jump back in the van and sleep in a tent for two weeks, working from campsites and libraries, constantly on the lookout for …. [Continue reading]

Feeding the addiction

bird nerd!

Our addiction to high places and to places where trees cannot grow, continues.

run! the storms are building!

Sometimes that just means getting in the car, driving up high, and walking for a few hours. (We were also hoping to catch a couple of CDT hikers and ‘perform’ some …. [Continue reading]

6 Million Trackleaders

I’ve been meaning to write this code for a while. It would dig through the trackleaders archive, and do a little counting. The results are a little staggering, at least to me.

That’s a lot of tracking, a lot of adventure covered. 6 million miles!

It started back in 2008 or 2009. …. [Continue reading]