Solo Backpacking in Lassen NP


It’s fair to say I’ve camped by myself a lot more than the average human. I’ve probably car-camped 50-100 nights at trailheads, on forest service roads, and in campgrounds. I’ve also backpacked solo more than most people, which is easy to say since most people have never and will never do it. Even among my really outdoorsy friends I can count on one hand the people I know who have done it. And I get it. I will not say it’s easy. But it is one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done. And every time I …

Brussels and Bruges


First, Brussels. I did not like it.
I arrived around 7:40 pm, the sun was going down but it wasn’t dark yet. I had decided to spend a night in Brussels as a convenient stop-over between Amsterdam and France, and didn’t know what to expect. I decided to walk to my hotel, which was in the south of the city. My first impressions were neither comforting nor beautiful. Prostitutes in windows in the red light district next to the train station. Military everywhere downtown, central squares closed off around the Stock Market and the major train …

Lier, Belgium


Day two, and I made more tourist faux-pas than I’ve ever done in a single day. It was hilarious.
I visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam before taking the train to Belgium. It was an excellent museum with lots of his work and also art by his inspirations as well as those that he inspired. And also my first faux-pa of the day. I’m traveling only with a small bag, and of course carried it in with me. It wasn’t until I was on the second floor, halfway through, that one of the security guards …

Hallo Holland!


Surprise! I’m behind on posting a couple of beautiful backpacking trips in California, but here I am in Amsterdam alone in my tiny airbnb room at 9pm (I don’t stay out at night when I’m by myself), and thought I would write an update. It feels like old times when I would post every couple days while out on my big trip. I’m amazed how well I can still type on this little ipod!
Okay, setting the stage: I’m in Europe for a week to attend the wedding of my friends Rick and Marjorie. They live …

Lost Coast Trail


You may have heard of Highway 1, aka the Pacific Coast Highway, that runs the length of California right on the coast. That is, it runs along the coast the whole way except for a section in northern California that is way too rugged for roads. It cuts in to the east side of the King Range of mountains there, leaving one of the very last stretches of undeveloped coastline in the country. This is called the Lost Coast.
The Lost Coast Trail runs along a 25-mile section of beach and cliffs between the black sand …