To tell the truth, no one has actually asked me these questions. So I figured I needed to ask them myself. Guess who answered them.
Q: Are you really over 60?
A: That’s what my mother told me.
Q: How long have you been doing this?
Q: How do you get around on your journeys?
A: The lion’s share is hiking, both backpacking and dayhiking. I will admit to driving occasionally, but I much prefer to travel on foot.
Q: How did you get started doing this?
A: New research was showing a link between a lifetime of inactivity (e.g. office work) and lower longevity – even for those who are physically fit. So I decided to spend more time where I was not sitting. I started walking the neighborhood and then the big metro parks in my vicinity. But the Twin Cities area, while nice, does not have great scenery. So I headed out west. The rest is history.
Q: How do I get started doing this?
A: Do as much as you safely can. Learn. Repeat.
Q: Do you have to be in good physical condition to do this?
Q: Do you sleep under the stars, poop in the woods, carry heavy loads, endure bad weather, get lost, encounter dangerous animals, run out of water, eat bugs, get bored, make important mistakes, get injured, etc.?
A: Many of those.
Q: Is it dangerous?
A: Well, it certainly cannot be described as safe. And there are more dangers than you might expect. But they are also less likely than you might expect. If you arm yourself with knowledge and good sense and take some precautions, it can become safer.
Q: Isn’t there an easier way to do it? (I was hoping you could give me driving directions.)
Q: What kind of camera gear do use?
A: Mostly an iPhone that’s reasonably current. Sometimes a point-and-shoot camera.
Q: What are your favorite places?
A: See the bottom of this page.
Q: Have you visited any places where you’ve been disappointed? (I don’t want to bother with those parts of your site.)
A: Yes, but I can always find something to appreciate there.
Q: How many miles do you hike?
A: About 10-20 miles per day, 200 miles per trip and 700-900 miles per year.
Q: Why do you do this?
A: I find it exciting to be present in God’s country. There is no good substitute. As nice as pictures can be, they merely remind me of the original experience.