Over the past few years, my yearly predicted agendas have grown in both their detail and their accuracy (2017, 2018, 2019). I’m sure some version of me considers this to be a bad thing, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that having an idea of what I would like to do and accomplish each year doesn’t mean that life is becoming boring (or maybe I’m completely wrong).
The seasons and years appear to be passing more quickly (is this what getting old is?), and I am finding myself having to choose between one adventure and another – a contributing factor in my decision to quit the PCT last year.
At the end of last year, it was interesting to see how a lot of what I thought would happen did – before things went a little off the rails and went in a completely different direction. But that’s life (at least that’s what people tell themselves). Here’s my best guess at speculating what’s going to happen in this year’s 366 days – hooray for leap years!
THE PLAN FOR 2020
After big changes in 2019 (car, relationship, home base), I’m ready to start up the adventures again in 2020. I’m still drowning under the amount of material I have yet to publish on the blog and I still struggle to balance my time spent indoors in front of a screen with my time spent outdoors trying not to die in the natures. Know that “write a lot for the blog” can be included in practically all of the predictions below because this year, like all previous years, I really hope to do some catching up (I’m talking about you Continental Divide Trail, Manaslu Circuit, Annapurna Circuit, Island Peak, and Lowest to Highest Route).
That said, here’s what’s on the agenda.
- I’m coming in a little late with this year’s predictions and so we already know what happens in January. I spent most of the month in Barbados visiting with friends from Japan whilst getting sunburned and rediscovering rum as an adult beverage. I also got the chance to be featured in a commercial work that I’m not sure if I’m allowed to disclose at this moment, but that will certainly be disclosed once it becomes public.
- WILL: Be splitting my time at the home base in Sacramento, the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe (snowboarding and snowshoeing), and Bishop (bouldering).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Continue my climbing education in preparation for the much climbing I hope to be doing in March (it’s been fun learning new things again).
- MIGHT: Make my way down to Southern California briefly (like for two days at the most?).
- PROBABLY WON’T: Leave the state of California for the entire month (come to Sacramento and visit, friends).
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Fall while climbing or snowboarding and break a piece of my body (I’ve yet to break a bone – unless we’re counting fingers).
- WILL: Be heading to Brazil for the second year in a row para matar essa saudade (it’s hard for me to stay away).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Get to climb up all the large coastal rocks and monoliths that I’ve spent so many hours hiking up and down while in Rio de Janeiro – Pão de Açúcar (Sugarloaf), Corcovado (The Jesus mountain), and Pedra da Gávea.
- MIGHT: Head down to São Paulo for a bit to check out the bouldering scene in the country’s most populous state.
- PROBABLY WON’T: Participate in my first 26 km trail run (although I have a friend there trying to convince me).
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Be assaulted and robbed again (it was fun the first time, but it’s more of a “once-in-a-lifetime kind of experience, you know?).
- WILL: Head to Peru for the first time (this will be the first place outside of Brazil I’ve been to in South America).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Hike the Cordillera Blanca Traverse – a 252 mi / 405 km route through one of the world’s highest mountain ranges.
- MIGHT: Do some shorter hikes/circuits around the
- PROBABLY WON’T: Hike the Inca Trail (I really have no interest in this route) or visit Machu Picchu (I’m just so scared I will drown in my hate of the crowds).
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Be kidnapped by llama shepherds and sold into a life of forced labor.
- WILL: Be spending a lot of time in Yosemite climbing, do some new backpacking loops in the Sierra, and attend my first Taylor Swift concert (@paulinadao has had an impact in my life beyond climbing things).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Hike the Sierra High Route (or some other long and cross-country trail in the Sierra).
- MIGHT: Attend Outdoor Retailer in Denver, Colorado (it was a lot of fun meeting all my internet hiking friends there last year) and/or participate in my first trail race (Broken Arrow Skyrace in Tahoe – I’m on the waitlist for the 26 km).
- PROBABLY WON’T: Venture anywhere east of California, but I might be tempted to head out to Wyoming to hop on the Wind River High Route if the Sierra High Route doesn’t look like it’s going to pan out.
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Spend these two months doing nothing but catching up on blogging because I didn’t get enough done during the first half of the year.
AUGUST: South Africa
- WILL: Head to South Africa (first time on the continent) for a month of climbing (I hope to be somewhat competent by this time).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Not have lost all my climbing fitness due to having spent all of June and July extreme walking instead of pulling onto rocks.
- MIGHT: Head elsewhere in Africa post-South Africa climbing adventures (I should probably take advantage of being over there).
- PROBABLY WON’T: Stay in a very expensive treehouse hotel place and then go and hang out with gorillas.
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Be eaten by a large predatory mammal or get malaria (if I end up traveling somewhere the disease is present).
SEPTEMBER: Utah and/or California
- WILL: Hike the Hayduke Trail in Utah (and hopefully packraft the start of it).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Spend a lot of time in/around Yosemite climbing and/or extreme walking if the Hayduke doesn’t work out.
- MIGHT: Just spend the entire month in California climbing things and furiously cycling on a Peloton (let’s be Peloton friends?).
- PROBABLY WON’T: Head back to Japan for more adventures in the Kita Alps (maybe next year).
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Die in the Utah desert due to a flash flood or poorly-managed water situation.
- WILL: Possibly be heading to Europe by way of Switzerland (this is the part of the year where things get really hazy).
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Make it back to Poland, France, Sweden, the UK, and elsewhere to visit friends and do outdoor things (or indoor things?).
- MIGHT: Try to hit up the Haute Route Pyrenees if it’s looking like a late snow year (but this adventure may have to wait until 2021).
- PROBABLY WON’T: Have time to do a tour of Eastern Europe (one more thing to keep on the list).
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Miss the opportunity to visit all of my Europe-based friends.
NOVEMBER-DECEMBER: California? Nepal?
- WILL: Possibly be back in California and just hanging out for a month or two – or making moves to Nepal in December (after the busy season) to hit up the Dhaulagiri Circuit.
- HOPEFULLY WILL: Have my next year’s version of this post ready to go out in late December of next year instead of February 2021.
- MIGHT: Still be in Europe for part of this time?
- PROBABLY WON’T: Make my way back to Japan (this will be the first year since 2012 I don’t get over to my third(?) home).
- HOPEFULLY WON’T: Not be able to work on the PCT and CDT Surveys because I’m without the internet somewhere in Nepal.
Where is my mind?
As far as the wheels in my head go, I think they’re all well lubricated and turning at an acceptable rate.
Besides the stress of all the writing I still have to do (I really need to just retreat into a coffee shop for a month and not emerge until I’ve written a million words), I’m doing well. It’s been a lot of fun to dive into the world of climbing (something I’ve always been interested in) and see how the community compares to that of extreme walkers (we’re all equally stinky).
Are you going to be or have you been to any of the places listed above? If you have, then we should probably be friends and you should most definitely get in touch. If you’ve made it this far in the post we likely know each other personally (hello, friend) or you’ve been a long-time reader of Halfway Anywhere (remember the Brazil days?) – or maybe you’re new here and are just curious what’s going on (I appreciate you). Regardless, thanks for hanging around and thank you to everyone who has supported me, who reads, and who follows Halfway Anywhere, strangers and friends, you are awesome people.
P.S. – here’s a haiku
Two thousand twenty
Climbing and extreme walking
On four continents