T-Shirts: You love me, you really love me!
So the day was bound to come when I had to post a story unrelated to my Adirondack adventures and the quest for 46 High Peaks. The time couldn’t feel more right. I miss writing and there’s been so much up with Joe Wilderness that I felt the time was right to branch out a little and update everyone on what’s been going on.
So, here we are. Who’da thunk someone could have put this beautiful face on a t-shirt and actually sold it to real people. But we did. Well, a logo resembling my face. My actual face on a t-shirt probably can’t even be made – there is no way material exists to even contain my likeness, it would spontaneously combust. Like the way I don’t sing in front of people because their heads would explode with how good my voice is. Lauren can tell you all about it. And when I mix that with my gangster rap dance moves, fuhgetaboutit! Anyway. Off track. Back on topic. T-Shirts. We sold enough t-shirts to be able to support The Agape Centre here in Cornwall as part of their Hunger Hero program. A hot lunch was provided for folks who may not have otherwise had a meal that day. We got support from all over, check out some of my homies sporting their JW gear:
The T-Shirts, of course, feature the logo designed by Jess at Campbell Creative. Click that link and check her stuff out. She makes so much more than logos: mugs, waterbottles, keychains, magnets, plaques, sooo much more. All customized for you. The shirts themselves were printed up by Stacey at Drop Dead Thread, another local business who has been awesome to deal with and served me up a shirt I couldn’t be happier with. Here’s some more friends rocking the gear:
A Hawaiian Volcano, you say?
And what exactly is going on at Mauna Kea?
Mauna Kea is a volcano in Hawaii. It last erupted about 4500 years ago. So, it’s due. Well, probably not. It’s considered dormant now. You may recognize the name – if you’ve been on social media in the last couple of weeks, it’s hard to escape the news headlines about the protests going on right now. More on that in a minute.
I mentioned in a previous blog that this was on my future hikes dream list. When I mentioned it to Joel, it didn’t take more than one night of pondering before he decided he was in and we were officially planning this thing. I’ve always wanted to travel the world – climbing mountains gives me a reason to start exploring places I’ve always wanted to go. I wouldn’t call this a Hawaiian vacation. This is going to be one hell of a climb!
Mauna Kea is technically the tallest mountain on Earth. It doesn’t get this distinction because more than half of it is under water. From the ocean floor to the summit is about 33,000 feet. That’s about 4000 feet taller than Mount Everest. The summit is so high in elevation and the mountain so close to the equator that multiple countries have installed powerful telescopes up top to study deep space.
Which is exactly where the current controversy comes in. There are currently 13 telescopes, representing 11 countries on the summit. The University of Hawaii has commissioned another one – the Thirty Meter Telescope. The issue is that the Hawaiian people have had enough and are trying to stop the construction. This mountain is considered sacred land according to Hawaiian culture and religion. The people feel they have conceded enough land and that enough is enough. They want the telescope built in the back-up location, the Canary Islands. Major stars like Bruno Mars, The Rock and Jason Mamoa have put their support behind the people. Crowds have gathered at the base to block access to the construction crews. The best part about it is how peacefully and respectfully the people are protesting. The point of this blog will never be to get political. I’ll leave that to, um, smarter (?) folks and who really cares about my opinion anyway. But if you must know, I would support the Hawaiian people. There’s plenty of spots that are just as ideal to build the telescope and I feel the people have compromised their sacred land enough. But that’s just me. If you’re interested, Google Mauna Kea, check out the hashtag #protectmaunakea and you’ll be able to form your own opinion.
Wow. That must’ve been boring. Let’s see one more photo of the Mauna Kea hike and the views Joel and I will be taking in. The plan is to climb this in July 2020.
The More Immediate Future
As much as I cannot wait to see what Mauna Kea has in store for me, that’s still a year away and there is so much more still going on in 2019.
First up, this coming Tuesday morning, Aug 6th, I’ll be joined by Zack as we climb Cascade and Porter mountains. My readers will know that these were my first and second 46ers. Cascade was what got me hooked and Porter was what solidified my new found passion. Zack has previously joined me for Wright, Algonquin, Iroquois, Street and Nye mountains. So when he told me he was off for a week and wanted to bag some more High Peaks, I suggested Cascade and Porter. I don’t want to get too far ahead of Joel as he works towards catching up to me, so doing mountains I’ve already done was perfect. I’ve been wanting to go back to the scene of my first hike anyway. I remember 13 months ago how I felt on Cascade. I remember hitting the hot tub that night feeling all the aches and pains from the 9km, steep hike. I think about how far I’ve come since then. I feel like I could do 9km in my sleep. I think how much further I still have to go. And I think about how incredibly fun the journey has been so far. We’re gonna go down there and bring Zack up to 7 out of 46 and I’m going to do my first two-time summits. Decent way to spend a Tuesday.
You may remember a month or so ago, I stomped my way on to your Facebook feed like the Koolaid guy. There was a whole lot of JW posts as we launched the new blog, the t-shirts and all that good stuff. But the most important posts were all about my first ever Joe Wilderness Backpack Giveaway to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cornwall & District. And coming up in the next couple of weeks, the backpacks are going to be put to great use. Joel and his team at BBBS have organized a hike for the Bigs & Littles and have asked me to join. We’ll be taking a bus to Gatineau and checking out a spot called Wolf Trail. Sounds ominous. I bet I can run faster than kids though. I joke….
Last but not least in the list of upcoming adventures is the Rookie Hike Joel and I will be leading in early September. This idea came along after the blog started to pick up a little bit of traffic. I was hearing from people who wanted to enjoy some of the views they were seeing in my photos, but who may not necessarily be ready for the High Peaks yet. The plan was to announce it and allow folks to sign up and join us, but within a few days of even mentioning it, the hike was full. Shout out to Dale & Carol-Ann, my neighbor Jacques, the Killoran family and an old work buddy Joey for snatching up the first spots. Together we’re all going to head down to the Adirondacks and experience Azure Mountain. Joel has done this one before, I think both in winter and summer, and all we’re hoping to do with this hike is to put smiles on faces and have fun. There’s great views at the top and a cool fire tower we can check out too.
And just like that, you're all caught up
There’s plenty of action going on in my Joe Wilderness world right now, but it seems that you’re all caught up to speed. In addition to everything else, of course there’s still the quest for Joel and I to become 46ers. Our next High Peaks trip isn’t until late August. We all know how “plans” have worked out for us lately. From only claiming two mountains instead of four on our last trip, to our Rocky Peak Ridge hike being canceled due to road closures and potential thunderstorms, planning seems to only get us so far. But in late August we’ll be at it again, trying to snag four more peaks in three days. It doesn’t even matter if things go our way or not, we’re both having the time of our lives.
Are you interested in a future rookie hike? Do you need a t-shirt? Do you just want to say Hi or leave me your grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe? Maybe you have a clever team name Joel and I should consider for ourselves?? Hit me up in the comments section! Til next time….