On Isolation

"But that shit's not the truth. The truth is, you are the Weak, and I am the Tyranny of Evil Men." I love this scene from Pulp Fiction, because Jules spends all of the previous line boasting, taking a position of moral superiority, and musing to himself. Then he catches himself and offers this cold,... Continue Reading →


Last month I started a new job.  One which, for the first time in my life, I wasn't sure if I was actually smart enough for.  Then a week happened, then another, and now I have memorized about half of the hundred steps required for me to get a single machine up and running.  It's... Continue Reading →

Be Kind to Yourselves

I'm taking a break from writing here for a while.  I want to make posts which give people energy, rather than drawing it away from them.  I want to live a life which does that too, and I haven't been able to for a while.  Taking actions to change that is where I've decided to... Continue Reading →

Monk Sprouts

For at least two years now I've considered creating a second blog, which I would write anonymously about topics divergent from hiking.  At the moment I have some thirty published posts hidden from public view, and another fifty-five in the drafts folder.  Literally an entire website's worth of material, which I've held back either because... Continue Reading →

Plans, Priorities, and Preparations, Oh My!

"Eric?"  I asked. "Mr. Nelson."  He corrected. "I know this can be a little nerve wracking," he continued. To be honest, I wasn't nervous until his giant, Steve-Austin-esque frame dominated the doorway.  His handshake might be called that, though it seemed to envelope a portion of my arm as well.  He spoke in a gruff... Continue Reading →

The Benton MacKaye Temptation

This past weekend I tackled the first seventeen miles of the Benton MacKaye Trail with my buddy George.  It was about as good as a winter backpacking weekend can get, with perfectly clear skies, great trail conditions, and even a few AT thru-hikers along the way.  Both trails begin on Springer Mountain, and crisscross each... Continue Reading →

Back to Basics

One of the most difficult aspects of reintegrating to normal society, after having spent months wandering through the woods, is finding work.  I was hit with the dreaded "so Ryan, what do you do?" question this past weekend, on my way to a backpacking trip.  Completely embarrassed (more so as a former Publix employee than... Continue Reading →

The Voices in My Head

"You have your own particular inclinations, tendencies and pressures which conflict with the system you think you ought to follow and therefore there is a contradiction.  So you will lead a double life between the ideology of the system and the actuality of your daily existence.  In trying to conform to ideology, you suppress yourself... Continue Reading →

The Sum of Five

"You'll be able to look at a view from a high place, and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling."  --Matt Haig Matt Haig gets it.  This is one of his descriptions for what it's like to be on the other side of depression.  I'd add from my own experience that, you'll also be... Continue Reading →

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