Currently living/working in: Our Subaru/Leave No Trace contract ended Oct. 15 and we are in the midst of several Backpacker deadlines. We’ve been hanging out in Denver this whole month & plan to be here most of winter actually, you know, “visiting family,” which translates to squatting. Actually, we have a good mix of petsitting responsibilities, so we feel like we are proving our worth!
Current mood: Juggling a million concerns and a large to do list, but taking it one day at a time.
Currently thankful for: No speeding tickets, flat tires or accidents on our 2018 Subaru Outback we borrowed as part of our job the last 4+ months. We will hit the road again for Subaru/Leave No Trace again in January, so I am hoping for the same track record with the 2019 Ascent we will use!
Currently worried about: I still have anxiety over all the packages we received recently, as we have been putting together the 2018 Online Holiday Gift Guide for Backpacker. We are burgeoning at the seams in our Denver 10ft x 3ft storage unit and Justin seems unconcerned about the amount of stuff we have.
Currently proud of: Trekking Pole testing mileage! For the second year in a row, I am the category manager for trekking poles in Backpacker’s Spring Gear Guide (Justin is heading up knives/tools again). We both have awesome individual testers!! I’ve heard people poo-poo gear testing, saying it’s all fabricated. But as a gear tester myself and now a category manager, there are so many moving parts and you’ll just have to take our word for it when we say we get in as much testing as time and season allows. I am blown away that my testers logged nearly 9,000 miles collectively on their poles!
Currently not excited about: Transitioning into new technology. My MacBook Pro is my life. Seriously. While I have a backup, everything is on the laptop at my fingertips. Need a picture from 2006? It’s right there in my nicely labeled and organized files. Hence my laptop holding the key to my everything. So when it showed me the screen of death this month, I was just about devastated. An appointment with Apple’s Genius Bar diagnosed it as a broken hard drive bracket cable, and $100 later, I was back in business. But, my discussions with the Apple folks left me dismayed. Never again will they have a laptop with 750GB and a DVD/CD drive, all things I am having a difficult time giving up. In his words, are they going to bring back 8-track players? Move on to the wave of the future, lady. (Okay, he didn’t say that last line).
Currently excited about: Justin endured his 3rd surgery in 2 years this month. He doesn’t like to talk about his personal medical issues here on the blog, and well, I don’t blame him. So I will keep it vague and just say that he continues to be a rock star and we both believe this was the last surgery for a very long time to get him on the road to good gut health.
Currently amazed by: 12 years of marriage! Gosh time sure does fly by. I remember October 28, 2006, like it was yesterday. Justin, well, that is another story.
Currently regretting: While we visited a few more national parks this summer (up to 46/59), we are lagging on our high pointing (43/50). In fact, we literally drove right by the road to Nevada’s Boundary Peak. It’s a day hike, but the road to get there is supposedly TERRIBLE. We just didn’t have the time and didn’t want to risk driving the road in our borrowed Outback. Feels like a missed opportunity though.
Current guilty pleasure: Denver may not be my favorite place to hang in our off time (much to the chagrin of my in laws—they know it’s not them; I’m just NOT a city girl), but it allows for quality family time. We were even able to celebrate Justin’s birthday with his family and even a long-time friend who shares the same bday!
Current confession: People talk about how awesome van life is, but there’s a dark side. Our van is sitting in storage and we have new tenants moved in … mice! Anyone have suggestions? We’ve tried traps, Irish Spring soap & moth balls!
Currently reading: I finished Pursuit of Endurance by Jennifer Pharr Davis. Jen is my heroine. She is an endurance backpacker who has crushed fastest known time records, which is way beyond my realm, but ever since I read her first book & saw her speak in 2011, I’ve been in awe of her. This most recent book is less about her and more about all the Appalachian Trail fastest known time record holders over the years.
Currently watching on Netflix: Unlimited WiFi means we can stream again! Earlier this month, we binged through Haunting of Hill House. The first half of the season was fantastic and terrifying, but the second half kind of went downhill. Still worth a watch!