Well done, friends. We've managed to make it to the end of 2017. Only three more years until the nightmare ends.
A lot of things happened in the past 365 days: a man was found in a 7-meter long reticulated python in Indonesia, some awesome women played a soccer match on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, Canada turned 150, and a bunch of people in North America stared at the sun as the moon passed in front of it.
I celebrated the start of 2017 in Ballarat (a city in Victoria, Australia) dressed up in prohibition-era clothing and serving drinks at the Hop Temple (yes, contrary to what many of you may believe, I do sometimes work for the moneys). It was my first New Year in the southern hemisphere and it would not be my last. In fact, as I write this, I am celebrating the New Year in New Zealand (and by “celebrating” I mean sitting alone with a bottle of Shiraz in a hostel with excellent wifi – a rare find in this country).
First, let's look back at some of my (and your) favorite posts of the year, yes? Yes.
- A total of 53 posts were published on Halfway Anywhere this year (I blame being on the CDT for this low number, but I also promise to make it up in 2018).
- The fifth annual Pacific Crest Trail Thru-hiker Survey was published.
- The second annual PCT Survey Gear Guide was published.
- I started my trip report on the Continental Divide Trail – read Day One.
- I finished my tales of Australian Outback bicycle touring.
- I finished my trip report from Nepal's Three Passes Trek.
- I got big into the gear review game and have been refining my reviews to make them more useful for readers.
- I made a lot of changes to my gear list (even more changes coming in 2018).
So where did I go this year?
This year I made my first trip to Tasmania (an Australian state, not a country). I made it back to Japan, New Zealand, and finally to the United States. I also crossed the border into Canada for all of five minutes (but I got a stamp so it counts).
Here's where I managed to set foot this year:
- New Mexico
NEW ZEALAND REGIONS
- Bay of Plenty
- Hawke's Bay
- West Coast
WORLD HERITAGE SITES
- Tasmanian Wilderness
- Te Wahipounamu
- Tongariro National Park
- Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
- Yellowstone National Park
NOTABLE EVENTS & ADVENTURES
- Hiked the Continental Divide Trail.
- First overnight kayaking trip in New Zealand's Bay of Islands.
- Hitchhiked 900 mi / 1,435 km across Japan from Fukui to Sapporo.
- Went to a castle, dressed up in medival armor and shot arrows into haystack.
- The hip belt of my Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest was destroyed by Air New Zealand (I will be replacing it with the same pack but in black).
- Visited Disney Sea in Japan (I was told to go here instead of Disneyland Tokyo because beer is not sold at Disneyland Tokyo – it is at Disney Sea).
- Worked alongside an awesome group of beautiful people at the Hop Temple in Ballarat, Victoria (Australia).
- Made good on my promise to get a working-holiday visa for New Zealand and spend some serious time in the country.
- Ate my first spoonful of Vegemite – can confirm, it's disgusting.
- Celebrated Australia Day (best name ever for a holiday) in Australia (although this ‘holiday' is quite controvertial Down Under so let's say I was more present than celebrating).
- Was nearly consumed by forest fires in the Bob Marshall Wilderness near the final stretch of the Continental Divide Trail.
- Hiked the entire length of Wyoming and Montana without seeing a single grizzly bear (will have to go back).
- Hiked through the San Juan Mountains for my first experience trekking through snow for days at a time (and my first time having to use an ice axe).
- Slept in an internet cafe in Japan (as in spent the night, not just falling asleep after a Dota binge).
- Completed all of New Zealand's Great Walks on the South Island (the off season is the time to do these things).
- Made it to Slope Point – the southernmost point on New Zealand's South Island.
- Went to Portland, Oregon for the first time – was not overly impressed.
In terms of places I walked around and/or up? From what I can remember, I could have been found at/along the following at some point during the year.
TRAILS, HIKES, AND STINTS IN THE MOUNTAINS
- Continental Divide Trail, USA
- Gila National Forest, New Mexico
- Grays Peak, Colorado
- Mount Elbert, Colorado
- Knapsack Col, Wyoming
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- New Zealand
- Abel Tasman Coast Track, Abel Tasman National Park
- Caples Track, Fiordland National Park
- Dore Pass, Fiordland National Park
- Greenstone Track, Fiordland National Park
- Heaphy Track, Kahurangi National Park
- Hooker Valley Track, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
- Kepler Track, Fiordland National Park
- Luxmore Cave, Fiordland National Park
- Milford Track, Fiordland National Park
- Mount Luxmore, Fiordland National Park
- Round The Mountain Track, Tongariro National Park
- Roys Peak, Wanaka
- Urupukapuka Island Kayak, Bay of Islands
- Cape Raoul, Tasman Penninsula
- Cradle Mountain, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
- Federation Peak, Southwest National Park
- Freycinet National Park Loop, Tasmania
- Frenchmans Cap, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park
- Mount Anne Circuit, Southwest National Park
- Mount Ossa, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
- Overland Track, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
- Remarkable Cave, Port Arthur
- Western Arthurs Traverse, Southwest National Park
Before I disappear back into the mountains, I want to give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who reads and supports Halfway Anywhere. Your comments, messages, and emails motivate me to continue pursuing whatever it is I'm after in the world (despite being entirely unsure what this is). So THANK YOU!
If the next year pans out the way I'm imagining, then we'll be visiting a bit more of New Zeland before heading back to Nepal, Japan, the United States, and then possibly back to Europe or Brazil, but that's a long way off. We can worry about that when (if) we make it that far into 2018.
Try not to die out there, friends. Happy New Year.