Sunday, January 10, 2016


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Journey

Day 5.  8.8 miles today.  Bring it, Kings Peak! 

One of my kids doesn't like living at home.  He doesn't much like his parents right now.  Or his school, or his teachers.  I just hope that when he is older he will remember how much he smiled, how much fun we had, and I hope he will remember the incredible parts of the world he got to visit because his family loved him and wanted him to be with them. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Dreams and Obstacles

Monday 01/04/16 20:42 Basement office

Day 4.  Still in the game. 

I like the dream.  I like the idea of crossing a rugged part of Utah by myself.  I like the idea of feeling good about my body again for the first time in over a decade.  I’ve been busy, stressed, and struggling for a long time.  I pray I can stick with it and be motivated for another 301 days this year. 

Going back to work after a few days off is enjoyable when the work van is clean, the office and shop are cleaned up and ready to hit a new week.  That was the case today.  I have a runny nose.  That makes tilting my head forward not so fun, but the day is almost over and I survived another one.  Off to the gym tonight to get the miles in.  Several hundred miles to go to get ready to hike across the Uintas. 

Appliance repair is not a prestigious profession.  I thought I would be a pilot as a teenager.  I got a degree in Animal Science to become a Veterinarian, but didn’t love the medicine enough.  I tried to grow a service business but was unsuccessful.  I want to do something that brings passionate people together.  I have had no inspiration on what is next in my life, so I will just keep pushing forward and see where this ride takes me. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016


SUNDAY 01/03/16 23:10 Basement Office

Day three.  Took a 3.4 mile walk outside in the 15 degree weather.  My dog was un-phased by the cold.  He is so enthusiastic about exploring.  Doesn’t matter if he’s been there 500 times, it’s still brand new to him.  Since I can’t smell I wonder what that is like for him to stick his nose in every nook and cranny. 

Today got me thinking about mortality.  What would I want said at my funeral?  What music would I want played on the day that remembers my life?  I don’t want it to be depressing.  I don’t want it at a church because I want my animals to have a chance to smell my body and understand I’m not coming back.  My favorite hymn of all time is All Creatures of Our God and King played by the Newsboys.  Second favorite rendition is by David Crowder Band.  Those two songs have to be played.  It would be a strange exercise to write your own obituary.  That will be something for another day.  It would start, "He loved his wife, his kids, and his animals with an equality that could only be understood by those who knew him."  That's a good start.  But for now, may I learn to live with as much excitement and enthusiasm as my dog. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016


Saturday 01-02-16 13:00 Basement Office

The beginning of the journey is always the easiest.  The first step may be really hard but then the next leg of the journey is usually the easiest.  No big distractions to get you out of the groove.  At least that is how it is for me.  I’m good for the first two weeks.  It happens to be a holiday weekend, so time is not an issue on day two.  So far so good on the first two days.  3.7 incline trainer miles yesterday in about an hour.  2.0 snowshoe miles today in about an hour and a half.  It was 20 degrees out but I wore too many layers.  It was too warm for thermal underwear.  No wind today.  Just nice, crunchy snow to float over.  There is a purity that snow brings that makes me want to be a better man.

I guarantee snowshoeing burns more calories than a treadmill.  And you can’t beat the view (my wife was hiking with me).  The view of the mountain was nice too. 
My daughter snowshoed with us too.  She wanted some quiet time so she took a different path home.  I think she loves the mountains as much as I do.  I am very proud of the woman she is becoming.

What is it about solitude that is so intriguing?  Through solitude we find out if we even still like ourselves.  We hear the cumulative sum of all that we have absorbed.  Is that why we dispel the quiet so much in our lives?  Noise from television, music, conversations.  How much actual meditation do we still do?  I’m guilty.  But sometimes the right music and send you thinking in a better direction.  Sometimes music and meditation go hand in hand.  But they require solitude to be complete.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Highline Trail Utah Preparation

2015 was a hard year.  I turned 40.  My weight got up to 290 pounds.  I had atrial fibrillation, and my heart was shocked back into rhythm in the E.R.  I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and learned to sleep with a mask.  I closed a business and went through bankruptcy.  Yes, my thirties were better. 

Even though my forties started out on a low note, I am excited to see the rest of this decade of my life improve.  2016 is fresh and exciting.  I’m not a big fan of the term “New Year’s Resolution,” but the end of a year is a good time to reflect on what went wrong and what can be better the following year. 

For years, I tried working 6 days a week, and putting everything I had into a failing business, that I always thought could be revived and saved.  That ended in problems with my health and ultimately was not the smartest way to correct problems.

I used to hike mountains a lot.  I grew up in Southern California just above sea level at about 1,200 feet. My friends and I hiked the mountains above Fontana regularly.  The high points were Mount Baldy (10,064 feet) and Mount San Gorgonio (11,503 feet).  Last year my brother and I broke my personal altitude record and hiked Mount Timpanogos to an elevation of 11,752.  However, I live above 5,000 feet now so the elevation change isn’t as dramatic, but it is still very hard to gain over 5,000 feet in elevation in a day. 

This year I have some new goals.  I’ve never hiked alone.  I want to cross the Uintah mountains in Utah on the Highline trail from the East side to the West as a solo trip. That is an 80 mile trek.  It has 5 points that are higher that I have been before.  Dead horse pass is 12,200 feet, Red Knob Pass is 12,248 feet, Porcupine Pass is 12,236 feet, Kings Peak is 13,528 feet, and North Pole Pass is 12,256 feet.  Most of the rest of the hike is at an altitude similar to my previous maximum.  80 miles in 10 days with 10 days of gear seems daunting but doable.  I can only go if I’ve lost enough weight.  I’ve gotta be under 250 pounds and get my pack down to start at around 60 pounds.  I know the pack could be much lighter, but I like being comfortable once at camp and am willing to work harder when hiking to have a more comfortable bed when I get there. 

So it begins.  Start training 21 miles a week.  Eat better, Sleep 8 hours per night.  Stay motivated.  Don’t get hurt.  Pray for success.