The Journey Begins

July 18, 2014
Day 0

My journey began at 3:00 p.m., when Caitlyn picked me up at my house in Madison, Wisconsin. I had spent all day and much of the previous night packing. Caitlyn and I spent the next four hours picking up our other passengers, loading gear and strapping kayaks on top of her van. In the end, we were carrying five boats and five people. There were also a few extra bags aboard – for me, this was a one-way journey… Read More

Updates on China, My Book and More

I have lots of exciting updates to share with you.

China

Soon I will move to Beijing with my girlfriend Katie. Our flight is set for July 30, and we’ll live there for the next two years. Neither of us has been to Asia, so this promises to be a fun adventure. I will begin blogging more regularly once I get Beijing… Read More

Chasing Winter: The Last, Grand Hurrah

By the time we reached Munising, on Lake Superior’s south shore, seven inches of fresh powder blanketed the land. The forecast called for seven more inches in the next twelve hours. A local gas station attendant thought we were crazy for driving north in an April blizzard. (She also said, “We only have two seasons here: shovelin’ and swattin’.”) For us, coming to Munising was rational: this was our final chance to climb the best ice the Midwest has seen in decades… Read More

Chasing Summer: Down to the Ranch

It was time to escape from a merciless Wisconsin winter. Late in March, with temperatures slightly above freezing in Madison, I drove with a group of six to the comparatively tropical climate of northern Arkansas. We had two goals: rock climbing and basking in warm sunshine… Read More

Late Season Ice at Lone Rock

For the first time this year, I went ice climbing near Lone Rock, WI. Next to highway 133 was a nicely formed column of ice, ending at the frozen Wisconsin River. Because of this year’s lengthy winter, the ice was in better condition than last March. Not for long, though: this week’s high temperatures probably mark the end of the ice climbing season, at least in southern Wisconsin. But there still should be climbable ice north of here…. Read More

Starved Rock Ice Climbing

Here are some pictures from our day of ice climbing in Starved Rock State Park in Illinois. This continues to be an amazing winter for outdoor recreation. Despite the lengthening days, the frigid temperatures aren’t rising. I know I’m weird for saying this, but I hope to get another month of this …Read More

The Abandoned School

I recently visited an abandoned school in New Orleans. Walking through the pitch-dark building was creepy – I thought someone was lurking around every corner, waiting to attack. New Orleans is slowly being rebuilt after Katrina’s destruction, but many buildings like this remain. The city is a fascinating place to visit, with …Read More

Tree Huggers Killers

Chuck, my host in New Orleans, has been volunteering at a local organization called Common Ground for the last few years. Following Hurricane Katrina, Common Ground dedicated itself to rebuilding homes in New Orleans. They still do some construction work, but lately they’ve shifted their efforts more toward restoring the local wetlands …Read More

An Impromptu Trip To New Orleans

Recently I visited New Orleans for the first time. I couch-surfed with Chuck, whom I had met a few weeks prior during his visit to Wisconsin. Chuck lives in the Lower Ninth Ward, one of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane …Read More

The Next Adventure

My girlfriend Katie accepted a job in Beijing, China. We’ll be moving there together this fall. I don’t know any Mandarin and know very little about Chinese culture. But really, how different can Beijing be from Madison?

Time to celebrate!