It began on the trail...
I have long toyed with the idea of putting together a page just for posting hiking and backpacking related content. In fact, I managed to pull together a small effort recently in the form of austinhiker.com but I just haven't quite had the time or the motivation to give it the treatment it deserves.
Recently, I decided to do something crazy. I decided I wanted to up my backpacking game by doing a 100 mile through hike of the Lone Star Hiking Trail. I didn't want to do it with a stranger and I knew my limited set of backpacker friends wouldn't be able to make it. I am not afraid to solo hike and actually find it both relaxing and empowering. I do however like some company so I checked to see if a few friends might want to join me for the second half of the hike.
As luck would have it, one of my oldest friends, Rob Hobbs was just getting into backpacking and made room in his schedule to join me. Another, far more experienced friend, Brian Keenan, also was able to squeeze in a day off to join us as well. Perfect, a hike where I get to do 3 days by myself and 3 with good friends.
After some digging and investigation into the options, the only option that seemed the most doable by the new backpacker, Rob, also made for some crazy challenging hiking for me! Start on a Tuesday and hike roughly 20-25 miles a day for 3 days solo. Then hike the last 30 in 3 days with Rob and Brian.
While I have hiked 26 miles in a day before to test myself, I have never done anything remotely like back to back 20 miles days and definitely not 3 in a row! Still, it seemed the only option and I decided that worst case, I would just call an taxi or a trail angel to save me.
While I'll save the wordy discussions on the levels of my suffering and how many times I nearly quit for another post, I will say it was touch and go but I did make it. 3 days averaging 23 miles a day. The first 3 days helped me work through some complex work design issues but the last 3 with friends is where the idea for this site was born.
After putting in 14 miles in a day, about twice as many as Rob thought he was capable of, we were sitting around exhausted and talking. I mentioned the idea of a blog to post stories from the trail, information about backpacking, and just share what we've learned with others.
While struggling for a name, we realized we were all GenX and a quick search showed that the genxbackpacker.com URL was available. I'm sure this is a sign of my age but when I hear someone mention something for GenX, my brain instinctively goes towards thinking that it is something for younger people. It always takes me a moment to catch myself and realized that first, I'm GenX and GenX people are basically all middle aged people.
The things we mostly wanted to write about were how to be a good backpacker as you starting to get older. Some of it will just be sharing stories. Other times, we might squash some old myths. I'm sure there will be plenty of chatter about how to be an ultra light backpacker and how AMAZING it is. We'll also plan on mixing in as many videos as possible.
So with this, wordy post, I hear by declare the GenX Backpacker's Blog to be LIVE!