Let's Not Even Mess Around
Let's Get Right To It
Puttin' Numbers On The Board
When the year first began, my goal was to finish with 27 or 28 of the Adirondack High Peaks. This would’ve allowed me to finish the 46 before the end of 2020. Things changed, plans altered a bit and I ended the year with 23, exactly half of the end goal. Here’s some other stats from this past season:
22: The total number of mountains I climbed this year. This is all the 46ers and the smaller mountains combined. I guess that’s why I said “total number”.
16: The total of new Adirondack High Peaks I conquered; added to my 7 from last year, this brings me to 23 out of 46. I try to snatch a photo of each of the peak markers. Not all the peaks have a marker on them. How inconsistent. We’ve talked about having some signs made and bringing them with us. But that’s probably against some kinda hiker code. Plus I’m cheap. And not artistic. I can’t draw a stickman straight, the peak signs would probably look like they were made by someone who had come down to Earth in a spaceship, had never touched pen and paper before and was asked to make signs. Anyway, here’s a bunch of the markers that do exist:
266.1: The total number of kilometers I hiked this year. This includes all 22 mountains, the Big Brothers Big Sisters hike and the trail I did in Gatineau Park. People who do big long through-hikes, like the Pacific Crest Trail or something similar, would do this amount in less than ten days.
92: The number of hours spent “moving”. This refers to hiking minus breaks. Walking basically. I bet if you added breaks in there it would easily double this number. Maybe, that’s an exaggeration. But Joel and I like to take lots of breaks. Mostly for photos. The rest of the time to convince each other to keep going.
9+1: My number of hike partners this year. What a hiking slut I am. Obviously as often as possible with my teammates Joel and Zack. But I was joined by Dave on two separate hikes, Jason and Sylvie on another. I got my homegirl and favorite tattoo artist Loni out for a hike up Mount Jo. Loni has even committed to finishing the Lake Placid 9 (a series of 9 mountains. Obviously) with me. And on one of our beginner hikes Joel and I were joined by Alison, Carol-Ann and Dale. And the +1 is for my big homie, Bryan Motherfuckin Black, who watched over me while I hiked Big Slide Mountain in some nasty winter conditions this past April. Those are all the folks who chose to hike with me. Here’s some photos of complete strangers who we ended up hiking with a lil bit just by being on the trail together. This includes the Pennsylvanias, The Terminators, the Single Canadian Guy with his American friend and the lady with the really old, dizzy husband. They were all super awesome.
1500+: The number of blog views so far. All I can say is that this is just the beginning. Even tho the focus will continue on the ADK46 until we’re finished in 2021, we’re branching out so much and are always looking for new challenges. We’ve discussed taking on the 50 State High Points of the US. We’re definitely going to complete the Lake Placid 9, the Saranac Lake 6. Obviously we’ve got Costa Rica in July that is creeping up on us. And of course, the blog will continue through it all. But I plan on expanding in the new year to making YouTube videos too. Who ever would’ve thought this would be the direction Joe Wilderness was headed. Not me.
2800 and change: The total number of photos I took between all my mountain climbing, rock climbing and trips to some local trails. That’s why our hours hiked and our hours “moving” is likely so different. No regrets, who knows when I’ll ever see some of the natural beauties again.
Man some of those numbers were all about boring stuff. I can’t imagine being a statistician. To think I used to memorize baseball players’ stats from the back of their cards. Sports. Who cares? Here’s a few more stats, but about fun stuff:
The number of times I sharted and told no one. Thankfully, we were nearly home by this point. No one seemed to notice. I can just imagine if we’d had border issues that day!
The number of times I used the subtle warning signal of “Put your dick away” to warn someone in our group that people were approaching while they were peeing.
The number of full days I hiked with Beyonce songs stuck in my head. For one of these, I was completely alone. Which is a disaster, because there’s no escaping the singing to yourself. At least when other people are around, there’s a bit of a reprieve. Which songs you ask? Once it was “Independent Women”. I was alone and may have danced in the snow a little bit. Once it was “Halo”. And mostly just the hook of the song, which is super annoying. And once it was “Drunk In Love”. One of my faves. Right, wifey? Could be worse, I suppose. I am definitely a full-fledged member of the Beyhive.
Stop It, All Of You
There's almost no difference here...
Some Major Firsts, Like that $32 Collect Call
If you’ve been reading this year, you know that not long ago I was about 5 hours late and frantically trying to get in touch with Lauren to let her know. Finally, there was an old school payphone where I was able to call home, collect, and let her know that we weren’t dead. Well, that bill came in. And our 2 minute collect call cost her $32. That is probably the most expensive two minutes ever. How much is a lapdance these days? It can’t be $32 for two minutes/ Maybe it’s finally time to invest in an American phone for those days in the mountains with no cell service.
So, the $32 collect call was a first. Setting up my own tent was a major first. But I had so many other really cool firsts this year. I went ice fishing for the first time ever, started a fire with my survival kit, camped completely alone and went kayaking. I learned so much from each experience and from each of the people who helped me along the journey. My pop, my mother-in-law, my brother-in-law. My work homie Jesse has been a wealth of knowledge. If 2018 was all about dipping my toe in the proverbial outdoor waters, 2019 took it further and was about submerging myself and letting myself sink completely in to all of it. It’s been an amazing year and I’m so happy to have anyone reading along with my blog and following along with my story. Coming up in 2020 are some really big, exciting and snazzy adventures. Lauren and I are visiting Bali in January – my major adventure ideas include swimming with sharks and climbing Mount Batur. And then the team and I will be visiting Costa Rica to climb the highest mountain in the country, Cerro Chirripo. And of course, Johnny Mountaintop and I will be conquering more Adirondack 46ers. By the end of the 2020 season, we should be approaching 35 or 40 so out of 46. I can’t wait to keep sharing it with you. Both here and on the new YouTube channel that will be launching. Because I’m out of things to say, lemme finish off with some more of my fave 2019 photos that I may not have shared yet. Thanks for reading.