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I keep putting this OFF.

but I totally want to have a challenge this month.


there is SO much heading my way, though!


time is going very fast for me.


anyways.  IN the lingo of the rangers the invasion has started!  the fight in nearly upon me.




Life, as it has been, will be different.  the Big Hiking challenge will HIT me like a pack of Orcs!


will I be equal to it?  no idea...


but, on the other hand,  as these things always go; I've doubled down on preparing for it!  my exercise program iS my walking/hiking and vice versa.


thats not entirely sustainable.


I will have to deal with the Time AFTER the fight.  the embers of the fires and life's of friend and foe will be cool, and dying.


I have but a few strong convictions...


FIRST!  I will be active here talking to and drawing strength from my friends.

SECOND!  I've been thinking for the last couple days of "all or nothing" mentality.  its stuck in my head and I apologize if it gets too loud when I write to you guys.  

.... tbh  I'm struggling with it alot!

I must NOT have "nothing" but probably can't have "all".  whatever way the hike goes.  I need to get back a modest yet sustainable exercise program.  they one I have NOW (or had?) isn't sustainable.  

THIRD!  I need to work on getting my schedule figured out and using my free time wisely.  as that schedule isn't been written, yet- it goes without saying that things I would like to do aren't happening.

FOURTH!  next week its Off to Oklahoma for a work trip!  unfortunate timing for me.  life is already too busy.  the wife chaffs at me putting in a big garden.



there will be Changes! (cuz LIFE is getting busy in the next few weeks) and there Must be changes because I need to get back to a good exercise program.  I want to get other things done with my summer too!!


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the Big hike is on June 7 @6pm.  (ending 8pm Sunday June 9 OR whenever I get done)...


nervous is a bit wrong but anxiety will crest before I get to it.


This will be the 4th year I've been part of the event so I'm pretty aware of what it will feel like.  but I think no amount of experience can stop me from wondering/hoping/thinking/agonizing over it. 


BTW- the only novelty THIS year is that- I'm going from the North to the South.

every Other year I've ever done it- I've walked the trail the other way.  


on the other hand; I've now walked this year- all parts of the trail- once and many 2 or more times.


I've prepared in a way I haven't in other years. ha!  I think I'm answering questions you guys didn't ask.  I told you I would think about at the drop of a hat.  its been an obsession and is ONE reason why I expect life to change SO much during this challenge


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I think it is good that you are considering what happens after the Big Hike. The doldrums won't hit you by surprise once the high from doing the thing wears down. We are here for you, and will be cheering you on, before, during, and after the Big Hike.

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well, more advice for liz that works for me, too! lets PLAN


things are going to be very busy next week.   flying out to Oklahoma Tuesday.  Wed/Thurs conference.  coming back on Friday.


so there's plans to be made!  in the meanwhile...

  • Saturday Night is a big 25 mile hike, a chance to see if I got my system figured out yet.  though this COULD be Sunday night if sat is raining....
  • Repack the Backpack for it, tonight 
  • Build garden Boxes!  and then fill them with Dirt, and then plant the plants we bought.  probably Saturday- though if its raining, Sunday.  oh and there's probably lots of Rototilling in this bullet item, too
  • Work!  I mean get everything done Here too!! sorry but no long browsing on NF today (friday)...
  • More garden stuff on Monday?  and certainly Mowing!
  • Memorial day meal on Monday could be a big deal...
  • Brennon wants time this weekend.  I'm think walleye fishing on Friday night (that means packing HAS to be done efficiently!)
  • no slow, late start on Saturday morning.  I know why don't you go out to the gym!
  • Packing will be on MONDAY.  travel start early Tuesday....  might need to goto an ATM to get some cash...
  • Get a Haircut! (monday)

so Generally



SUNDAY.........  GARDEN esp if Sat was WET!   (NIGHT/HIKE)




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well, I had a thought of going in the rain,

but Saturday's weather is ... well

something to be a little careful.  there's the potential for severe storms!*   we have to see how that pans out.  I don't want to voluntarily hike in severe thunderstorms.  (and If I did; my wife would prolly go crazy** with worry)


but you ARE right that my system NEEDS to be such I can hike in nearly all conditions.



a Bad Washout day on Saturday would SUCK and make several things harder (not just the hiking but the gardening, too!). :(


*last time I checked the weather. it might be ENTIRELY different now


**  what to do, if Severe storm happen during the event?  well I guess there is scenario ONE where I know about it, in advance and scenario TWO where I don't.  GENERALLY I suppose a whopping rain event calls for getting down of the ridge tops and setting up a hammock/rainfly.  But mmm, how often do you get that Kind of time!?  I do have rain gear (coat and pants).  I need to have some spare stuff like socks...  and I have a sneaky plan of stocking*** the car of a person who will check in on us.  I think I will see that person at mile 50 and 85 (those are very convenient places to bump into someone with a car).


*** that is probly my last answer.  I do foresee getting another chance to walk the 100 mile challenge any time soon!  It would be nice to be all independant and go from mile 0 to 100 with no additional gear or help; but I'd rather cheat; change clothes/shoes/etc and make it during extreme weather and hard conditions than not make it at all.  





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Well, hello to everybody


BOY life got sooo busy.  I"m up late in Oklahoma city and I thought of you guys.


Oklahoma City is the (general) capital of Tornados.  there are more tornados in this region than anywhere else in the world.



my first day in OKC did not disappoint me!  there were storms and BIG ones in the area. ofc I'm fine.  Tornados are tiny and rare anywhere!

but the weather systems that generate them are magnificent. 

look at these Pictures!







the Day went from stiffling heat and oppressive humidity to a coolness with a touch of a breeze.


anyways. yes so sorry I didn't keep up over the weekend. I see some of my fav friends on here have had big discussions over the holiday weekend.  well, I really struggled to get done what I wanted to and in some cases I didn't make it


* My big Hike didn't make it.  Saturday night was simply too risky.  I know I willing to walk in the rain -  and I HAVE- but I have to draw a line somewhere.  Saturday night , in PA, there were Severe Storm warnings and Some hints that there might be tornados.  well I might be willing to brave SEVERE storms for the A100 (oh please No, I hope not); but I Won't for a practice walk. too much risk and not enough reward.  I know of a church group that went camping locally very close to the trail and one girl Died during a severe storm.  the wreckage from that bad storm is beyond belief.  though it wasn't a proper tornado, it ripped trees up for miles.  that church is very lucky that only one person died.  it would have been like he!! to be in the middle of that.


NO severe storms, please....


Other days didn't pan out.   my Hiking partner though was a little relieved and told me that it wasn't the best weekend for him either.  we are doing it NEXT weekend.


*Gardening. So MUCH to do.  Alas, though, our trusty rototiller died. or well the little pushbutton "prime" it cracked and its beyond my poor mechanical skills to get to the screws to replace it.  Hopefully the shop can repair said tiller quickly.  by shear determination (and with alot of leaking gas) I got it started and did a HUGE amount of tilling before it died.  hopefully its enough tilling for the wife to do much of the year's planting THIS week, or when I'm at the crude conference. I'm kind of skeptical of that.  More likely the planting gets pushed into early June and I have to try to make it the massive hike AND a big garden at the same time.


ah, the responseabilities of an adult.   yes you can have your fun don't expect exemption from responseabilities.  well, if that's the price of doing my own thing with passion- I'll take it.


*Packing for the trip to Oklahoma was enough I could not get to the backpack. sigh.  somehow it always gets delayed... i HAVE to better pack my hiking backpack.


*lastly I had a beautiful delic and enjoyable time visiting with inlaws over memorial day minus the fact that I spent SO much of that time in the garden.  really when my wife, brother-in-law, and mother-in-law get together it is a very delicious meal.  in particularly I appreciate my Brother-inlaws skill at barbeque grilling ; which seem better every time he does it.  He's really starting to get it all figured out.  


I'll leave it at that.  I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post over my work trip.  WORK or the purpose of being here is going to start taking time away from me too.  generally, travel days and the first night are the major time I get to enjoy these trips.  well.  

I do enjoy the meals.


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Hey! Thos photos are fantastic!!!! Hope you are doing ok and glad to see you back (i know you werent gone for long hahah) xx

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On 5/22/2019 at 5:31 PM, TGP said:

I've prepared in a way I haven't in other years. ha!  I think I'm answering questions you guys didn't ask.  I told you I would think about at the drop of a hat.  its been an obsession and is ONE reason why I expect life to change SO much during this challenge

Talk away as much as you want. That is sometimes the only way to get through all the thoughts in your head. And I'm glad that you've done so much training up till now, because now, with all the storms coming in, you don't have to worry about not having trained enough.

On 5/29/2019 at 6:44 AM, Elastigirl said:

Amazing picture. Those clouds! Glad yo are safe. Sorry about the hike, but  that was the wise move. 

Agree with EG. Wow those clouds are spectacular! I haven't seen anything like that in years. We of course don't have tornadoes here, but we do get the occasional wind storm which also has a lot of cloud build up, but nothing like that!

Also agree that not hiking when severe weather has been predicted, was the wise move.

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Oh yeah, I'm ok.


I've done this kind of conference I think 6 times now (different cities each time) and on the second day things are always better.  there might be more to say; but ... Lunch is over, I'll try to write one more time before my travel day back home

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FIRST,  apologies for this LONG picture heavy post.  I'm not sure you guys are all THAT interested in my work trip; but I finally got my sense of direction in this town and had a few hours to spare.  Moreover Oklahoma City wasn't what I thought it would be like; and I thought I'd share my touristy thoughts and I'd thought I'd share my thoughts with someone besides myself.


SECONDLY, technically this isn't really a vacation and though I treat some of it as such.  my employer really does have a solid reason for sending me to these conferences.  Oklahoma is probably not known so well Outside the United states (its next door neighbor Texas surely is know MUCH more widely)... and It's not known for tourism at ALL; which is why I'm SO startled HOW much they is (as a tourist) to see downtown.  


MOSTLY, I want to say that, though the tourist sights ARE diverse they are way TOO ambitious.  this is a city with NOT enough tourists to support IMHO and then, too often they didn't spend the time to make it easy to understand where things are, and how to get from One sight to another.  and THEN even made worse by the fact that there's quite a bit of construction; meaning you have to spend REAL time walking around things.

I take real pride in being a guy that a good sense of direction; and the basic street system IS a simple grid (and very little terrain to walk around)  BUT the exceptions... a street that unexpectedly ends in a skyscraper with a beautiful bunch of statues... got my lost twice and uneasy several times.  ofc the cell phone helps ALOT. but I'vef clearly not mastered the art of keeping the battery charged ;)  tl;dr.  If they had spent the SAME money on half of tourist stuff ; better done with signs and stuff, it would have been MUCH better.


onto the sites!


DEVON ENERGY CENTER;  the only thing I will share that I didn't walk around in.  IN a bigger city this beautiful skyscrapper might not be so awesome (I suppose) but I really enjoyed it.  once I stopped being so lost I even started using it as a convenient landmark as its tall enough that its visible for miles around in every direction.  its also the 57th highest building in the USA; and #1 in Oklahoma.



I'm sneaking in this rather anonymous statue on its west side as something that's VERY common in downtown.  MORE than most cities I have visited; this is a CITY OF STATUES and there is statues, almost everywhere!  I like that! more cities ought to invest in statues and street aft.



MYRIAD BOTANICAL GARDENS;  so Lets start with FLOWERS!  you know how much I like them.  well literally just next door of my hotel was a pretty huge botanical garden, with a sunken lake with fish and bush/trees/ and flowers of Every sort.  Beyond even all that; at the center was a glass Tunnel with (I suppose) tropical flowers!  alas, but I arrived 15minutes to late to go in.







the UNDERGROUND;  more than  ANY other "site" I'm going to show you.  I'm thinking of THIS when I think of a good idea ruined by the lack of intuitive design.  in this (at times) HOT southern(ish) city being in a SAFE well lit underground walkway was a Brilliant idea.  to add ART, LIGHT, and a few cafes is even better!  but the entrances are hard to find; (mostly near creepy parking garages) and much too Maze like.  You get UNDERNEATH a skyscrapper and there is all sort of side corridors beckon.  worse, cause there's not enough NOT enough tourists- that makes the people down there few and far between.  Even the colorful lights are a bit creepy and you get a JUMP scare kind of feeling at every darkened corner.









and why in a Land of Thunderstorms and Tornado's Doesn't this city make the most of Tunnels- I don't get it!?

anyways. at times creepy I was brave and it WAS interesting.  I went under Most of the business district.


the INFAMOUS, OKLAHOMA CITY FEDERAL building.  your going to have to Know your modern american history to know this One, so I'll include one picture that I didn't take so you can see what I mean....


Yes, it was the WORST TERRORIST ATTACK on American soil at the TIME, and in 1995, some crazed paranoid guy; who really hated the government thought by blowing up the Federal building he would start a civil war or something.  Instead, he's simply murdered 168 Americans including a Whole Bunch of Kids in a Day Care.  it would , ofc, get dwarfed by 911.. but that doesn't lesson how bad it really was.  Hundreds of People were hurt and the whole center of town briefly looked like a War scene.




some architecture to symbolize the fallen building; and to futher press the point... 168 small sates of a standing wall to represent all the lives lost.




ART GALLERY of "indian" art.  in an even MORE touristy part of town called "Bricktown" was this beautiful art gallery; where all the art was made by Native Americans.  Now Native Americans have a BIG presence here in Oklahoma because after Years of being pushed out of fertile parts of the Native Home when America was colonized, Many were marched for Hundreds of miles to the Most desolate lands that they could think of.  After many died just getting here, they managed to sqeek out an existence and later earn Real money once Oil was found.


I REALLY like this painting.  and it CAN be mine for ONLY $5000.  ha!  maybe in another lifetime.



BRICKTOWN canals.  More of a place to eat at its upper section it transitions to a really beautiful park then ; dissapears and reappears down a hill as a Muddy canal to the River; the start of the Oklahoma Trails that I suppose were rather long.  I went briefly upstream but the Oklahoma river isn't very pleasant instead is more about Rowing.  anyways; back to the Canals... they Were nice- Very nice!  and keep in mind.  my EMPLOYER pays all of my meals so a long canal with open air patios and lots of restaurants was where I spent most of my time.  I did "Ribs" , "Cajun food" and "tacos" and loved each place.  as I often notice in places with extensive restaurants (such as New Orleans)- the intense competition means every meal is really tasty and very similarly priced.  not 'cheap' but Definitely less than one would pay in the 'Business district'










I have a simple picture to summarize what I think about his this place.  This was a door in "Bricktown";  Live music right? sounds good, right??




well, NEXT door was clearly PRIVATE as it had a keyed lock and didn't look like a restaurant.  and to make matter worse; TWO buildings had "dueling Piano" curtains though I'm pretty sure there's only ONE dueling piano restaurant.  Intead MY suspician was that that the restaurant faced a side street which wasn't easy to see in these sprawling brick building.


Now Maybe I don't think like the average Oklahomian, but WHY even mark the wrong door and why put it the hours on the wrong door, either?  instead "you MISSED DUELING PIANO's (119 California Avenue)" would make MORE sense"... but THATs not what they wrote.

IMHO not intuitive.


ok, anyways, hopefully you found a little beauty my posts about this place.  tell you friends that its not the Dreary black and White tornado waste land its reputation MIght suggest.  and though it May not be NEW ORLEANS (which frankly is MORE than OKC in every way)- but its unexpectedly interesting!  (and DO get a good sense of direction before wandering in the 'underground')






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12 hours ago, TGP said:

Oklahoma is probably not known so well Outside the United states (its next door neighbor Texas surely is know MUCH more widely)...

A lot of old time (cowboy) movies took place in Oklahoma, so I know it from there, firstly (don't mention the age thing, please :D ), especially a couple musicals I watched as child.


I still can't rap my head around a safe underground art gallery. In the sense of the art is actually shown in 'open' public space? It isn't protected by security guards?

Wow, ok, not going to comment on everything in your post, but it is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! I for one, am loving learning more about Oklahoma. The parks are so beautiful! (and clean, and well kept). Don't mind me, just going back to look at the pictures :D .

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On 5/31/2019 at 11:14 AM, ElizeElvinFoxRyder said:


I still can't rap my head around a safe underground art gallery. In the sense of the art is actually shown in 'open' public space? It isn't protected by security guards?...


sorry Very busy weekend.

yes, I think was security at the underground - but it was more... like a set of tunnels to allow you to get from one place in the city to another.  I don't think you would call it an art gallery.  the whole city seemed to have alot more art than other cities I have visited.  I like that about Oklahoma city.  


I didn't see any guards and saw only a few people.

I think they set this "underground" up badly.  they made it too hard for the average tourist to use.  I've been to cities where "skywalks" were everywhere and it was very obvious and easy to get into them.  they Should have done that with their Underground.  I'm not sure how safe it is, but I felt a lot anxious using it.  with hardly anyone around in dim light and lots of sidetunnels - it spurned my imagination in a bad way.  my guess is that this is why few people use it. if they had set it up better more people would use it and it wouldn't have seemed so creepy.


Generally in american cities, they ought to have public walkways; above or underground so it is convenient, and fast to get around and so your not trying to cross cities streets clogged with cars.


Anyways.   ON TO ZERO week!


can you believe that THIS is the week before my big walk!?  there will be lots of planting, too.... when this horrible rain stops. its been very rainy here since I came home and its causing alot of problems.


we're close enough that I'm finally getting a forecast for the 3 days I'm intending to walk.  and right now.... it might be dry! on the other hand there's definitely the chance of rain.   this is Not terribly informative; but at least a pretty good chance that there is no massive rainstorm next weekend.


that works for me- as I figure I can walk in spotty, scattered rain so much more than big huge downpours and severe thunderstorms.





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That green light was especially creepy! I totally agree with you.


All the best for this week and all the last minute preparations! Woot! Woot! Rooting and praying for you that the walk will turn out great and you and your walking partner have a great, uneventful time. :loyal:

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