Personal Adventure - recommendations

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seychellois_lib
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Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:13 pm

I have been retired for two years. During that time I have twice participated in a long distance single handed sailboat race. After the second race this July, I sailed my 30 foot boat 2700 miles open ocean to return to home port, also singlehanded.

The timing of my retirement was designed specifically to accommodate the first of these two races. Both of them were great personal adventures. Unfortunately I can't do another one. I won't get into the details but it has nothing to do with finances or health.

This has become a surprisingly demoralizing development. I did not realize how psychologically important it was for me to plan, prep for and execute "great adventures". I am 67 but I am in good physical condition. Having said this, age is creeping up. I don't feel like I have a huge window to knock down one or two more big ones before my physical situation is going to become a significant limitation.

Why, oh why would I want to do this? It's not about abandoning my family, it's about finding a physically and mentally hard thing to do and living in the moment while doing it. There is a lot of talk about living in the moment. It has become cliche, but, for me, it involves being disconnected from the day to day noise we are all exposed to, news, markets, politics, interpersonal dramas. etc. and fully connecting to what is happening to me and the physical world now, this instant. In order for that to happen I have to find something which fully engages me physically and mentally and that thing needs to be hard and needs to be remote so it is near impossible to drop out of the "moment zone" and back into the noise. It involves a moderate to high level of stress but a surprisingly positive kind of stress.

Is this whole thing selfish? Probably. I admit it. So, moving on.

I have been contemplating a very long through hike - say Pacific Crest Trail or the like. But I thought I would reach out to this community to see if there might be other ideas I've not considered.

Here's my definition of a great adventure

1. Planning prep duration - 6 to 12 months, ideally on the low side of this.

2. Physical - Can be physically demanding but not ridiculous. I am 67 years old for God's sake!

2 Risk - Moderate. It's got to be challenging. I won't shy away from risk which is manageable with good planning and prep.

3. Duration - It should be between 2 and 6 months in duration. Not interested in surfing a 30 foot wave at Mavericks. I may be unhinged but I am not NUTS!

4. Assistance - It should be doable with almost no outside assistance other than safety monitor (tracking and emergency comm). I don't want a Sherpa dragging me up Everest (plus the budget for guided mountain climbing is crazy).

5. Budget - $0 to $10K (which is less than the sailboat races)

6. Location - Any, but Stateside, Canadaside makes safety monitoring/emergency response easier

7. Other People - Not interested in a group thing but, unlike singlehanded sailing, the adventure can certainly include physical interaction with other humans. Hiking would be an example where you start solo but may run into interesting characters on the trail.
Last edited by seychellois_lib on Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

barnaclebob
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by barnaclebob » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:20 pm

What about learning to hang glide or something like that?

Climbing Mt Rainier or Denali with a guide company is far from having a sherpa take you up Everest. If you are really determined to be solo it is possible to solo Rainier with a moderate amount of risk if you have the right training. You can start with Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, or Mt Shasta which are safer because they are crevasse free routes on these mountains.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

HereToLearn
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by HereToLearn » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:24 pm

Would hiking the Camino not be challenging enough?

corysold
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by corysold » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:24 pm

Appalachian Trail would be similar.

Cross country bike trip. California to New York. Seattle to Miami. Etc.

ResearchMed
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:25 pm

barnaclebob wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:20 pm
Hiking the PCT seems to fit your requirements.

What about learning to hang glide or something like that?
Another BH'er recently walked cross country (USA).
He had a great blog.
[Can anyone help with who that was?]

Choose a route with more mountains if you'd enjoy that more.

Or PCT and then the Appalachian?

Or bike through all 48/49/50 states?
Throw in the Canadian provinces for extra credit? :wink:

Enjoy the planning!

RM
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Raybo
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Raybo » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:32 pm

You might consider riding a bicycle across the US. There are three well-trod pre-existing routes that you can choose from. Check out https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes ... e-network/.

Riding across the US takes around 75 days. If you expand the route to include some additional national parks or interesting sights, it will take longer.

Advantages:

The bike carries the gear, not your back.
Bikes have gears.
You can travel 50 miles a day and feel like you’re covering some distance.
Wide variation in scenery.
Can sleep in a bed every night, if you want.
Meeting people from all walks of life.
Getting to know the US in a more personal way.

Disadvantages:

Need a bicycle and touring gear (racks, panniers, tools, spares, etc)
Will need to train for several months to be able to comfortably handle the distance.
You will get rained on
Headwinds
Kansas 😊
No matter how long the hill, if you keep pedaling you'll eventually get up to the top.

MeansNotEnd
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by MeansNotEnd » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:44 pm

With the mountain ranges and winds involved in going cross country, biking is high on adventure (for those that define type 2 fun as adventure.) It can also be isolating so I would schedule meet-ups with friends and other social opportunities into your route. We host long distance bikers through warmshowers.org. The cyclists that stay with us seem eager mostly for companionship.

There is much more community on the PCT and other long distance hiking trails.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:49 pm

HereToLearn wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:24 pm
Would hiking the Camino not be challenging enough?
I walked el Camino de Santiago two times, in 2015 and 2016, and will go back in 2019. I have several Bogleheads threads about it (search for Victoria AND Camino). The Camino fits many of the OP's criteria: cheap, safe, challenging, social without being in a group.

I usually go on Camino Frances starting on either side of the Pyrenees, but for extra challenge, the OP can start in France, Germany, or even Italy.

Victoria
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Andyrunner
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Andyrunner » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:51 pm

As other people said, hiking the AT or bikepacking are good ideas.

There are also several multi-day races like this one: http://rasdak.com/, or you can do some ultra marathons, (obviously need to train).

fishmonger
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by fishmonger » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:53 pm

Go to Alaska

corysold
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by corysold » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:54 pm

How about driving the length of the Pan-American Highway?

There are a few places you have to avoid, but I think it is doable with shipping your car a few times and flying a bit.

Theseus
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Theseus » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:06 pm

I will be watching this thread with interest. I don't have a desire to do something this long in duration, but I may get some ideas from this.


Since you asked for something in the duration of 2-6 months, I recommend hiking in Nepal without a sherpa or a guide. The vista and scenery are eye-popping, it is physically challenging and you can set your own pace as the shelter and food is easily available along the way. If you don't like crowds then start in end of October and you can probably hike your way around until some time in January. It will be cold, but I have done two hikes in December and I was able to manage it with help of porters but hardly any people on the treks. This is fairly cheap and can be done on a budget of $25-$50 per day - excluding airfare.

Just came back from a hotel to hotel trek in Germany for 8 days. That was challenging and fun at the same time. You can consider something like that where you develop an itinerary that can go on for two months or more.

Another option may be bicycling your way around Europe. Even though I did only 8 day bike tour, I felt that was an amazing way to see small part of Germany. If you focused on central and eastern Europe, it can be a lot less expensive.

There are companies that can help book and transfer luggage from hotel to hotel (or hostels to hostels) as you bike along.

Good luck and please post your trip reports for the rest of us.

PVW
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by PVW » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:17 pm

Bike the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. 3,000 miles of mountain biking along the Continental Divide. I always had dreams of doing it, but the opportunity has probably passed for me.

mak1277
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by mak1277 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:34 pm

I'd start by making a list of acceptable/desired modes of travel. If "on foot" is the only option, that limits you obviously. What about bike, canoe/kayak/packraft, skis?

When I read your OP, the three places that popped into my head were Alaska, Patagonia and Antarctica. I don't know anything about sailing, but my impression is that the PCT or AT might be a little too "paint by numbers" after sailing 2700 miles single-handed.

seychellois_lib
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:38 pm

I knew I could rely on this community for some interesting ideas or different perspectives on ideas I had already considered and passed on. It literally took an hour to get some worthwhile feedback.

I thought about the Camino when I was writing my original topic post. I had passed on it, but I think I am going to add this to my list of ideas. Sailing offshore in a small boat was absolutely not my Wife's thing and neither is long distance hiking in general, but long distance hiking in Europe along the Camino may be something I could get her to buy into. Being with my Wife was not on my criteria list primarily because she just isn't into the "roughing it" lifestyle necessary at sea on on the trail. I didn't think it was likely I could come up with anything which would be attractive to both she and and I. But the Camino might have enough appeal where she could tolerate the rough edges and I could get what I need out of it too.

I also had not considered biking... long distance to wherever. I do have a work colleague who did the cross the USA ride and he had mixed reviews. Primarily related to our brethren who are, shall we say, not the most courteous automobile drivers. Having said that, this is an interesting idea and will also go on my list.

Something as far afield as Nepal does not immediately attract me but I will certainly think on that.

I really appreciate the enthusiastic feedback. And, by the way, if it's not immediately obvious, guess what I am doing... planning!! Yeeha!

ResearchMed
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:39 pm

This would be shorter, or part of maybe a cross country, but Colorado has an amazing bike path paralleling much (all?) of I-70, right up and over the passes, and through a gorgeous canyon (that part is a breathtaking drive, too).

RM
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seychellois_lib
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:48 pm

corysold wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:54 pm
How about driving the length of the Pan-American Highway?

There are a few places you have to avoid, but I think it is doable with shipping your car a few times and flying a bit.
Man I would love to do that! I just fear it might be too much "in the world" if you get my meaning. This would be something for an off year or, possibly to combine with another posters idea of a hike in Patagonia, etc. I've seen some videos of hikers in Tierra Del Fuego. Imagine putting together an trip which involved driving down to Southern Chile/Argentina (with requisite ferry rides) and then hiking to Cape Horn or as close as one can get from the land side. That's probably going to be the closest this sailor will ever get to Cabo de Hornos.

Heck, flying down there and then doing a long hike would be fascinating.

On the list.

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Watty
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Watty » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:50 pm

Some other shorter things that I have mostly not done. Some of these you might want to put on your list for when you are older.

1) Long bike trails, there are "rails to trails" where they have converted a railroad line to be a bike/hike trail. Here is an example.

https://bikekatytrail.com/

2) There are cabin to cabin hikes through New England.

3) There is a coast to coast hike across England where you stay at a B&B each night.

4) You can drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and extensions.

5) I took a six week photography course in Montana this summer(but there was a lot of classroom and group time) I did about a 2,100 mile road trip each way and took about two weeks each way stopping at lots of places and camping.

6) Buy an RV or trailer and try to see every national park. You could do this well into your 70's.

7) Hut to hut hiking in the Alps( I know some people that did that.)

8) Canoe or Kayak the Mississippi River, or Missouri River, or the St Lawrence seaway

9) Train to run a marathon.

10) Drive cross country on a motorcycle.

corysold
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by corysold » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:51 pm

seychellois_lib wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:48 pm
corysold wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:54 pm
How about driving the length of the Pan-American Highway?

There are a few places you have to avoid, but I think it is doable with shipping your car a few times and flying a bit.
Man I would love to do that! I just fear it might be too much "in the world" if you get my meaning. This would be something for an off year or, possibly to combine with another posters idea of a hike in Patagonia, etc. I've seen some videos of hikers in Tierra Del Fuego. Imagine putting together an trip which involved driving down to Southern Chile/Argentina (with requisite ferry rides) and then hiking to Cape Horn or as close as one can get from the land side. That's probably going to be the closest this sailor will ever get to Cabo de Hornos.

Heck, flying down there and then doing a long hike would be fascinating.

On the list.
I'm glad it sparked some ideas.

To be honest, I'm loving just reading this thread and seeing what there is to do in the world. As someone who hasn't gotten much beyond my hometown, these are all bucket list ideas for when I approach your stage of life. Thanks for posting.

remomnyc
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by remomnyc » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:54 pm

- Ironman Hawaii
- Ultramarathon Patagonia
- Ice diving Antarctica

ResearchMed
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:57 pm

Watty wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:50 pm
Some other shorter things that I have mostly not done. Some of these you might want to put on your list for when you are older.

1) Long bike trails, there are "rails to trails" where they have converted a railroad line to be a bike/hike trail. Here is an example.

https://bikekatytrail.com/

2) There are cabin to cabin hikes through New England.

3) There is a coast to coast hike across England where you stay at a B&B each night.

4) You can drive the Blue Ridge Parkway and extensions.

5) I took a six week photography course in Montana this summer(but there was a lot of classroom and group time) I did about a 2,100 mile road trip each way and took about two weeks each way stopping at lots of places and camping.

6) Buy an RV or trailer and try to see every national park. You could do this well into your 70's.

7) Hut to hut hiking in the Alps( I know some people that did that.)

8) Canoe or Kayak the Mississippi River, or Missouri River, or the St Lawrence seaway

9) Train to run a marathon.

10) Drive cross country on a motorcycle.
Depending upon your physical condition, how about, instead of - or after - a marathon, an Ironman?

Our trainer does those, and we cannot even begin to imagine! :shock:
(He's got his young daughters in training; his wife does marathons.)

RM
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xb7
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by xb7 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:59 pm

I've thru-hiked the "big three" trails: PCT, AT, CDT. Of the three, I'd recommend the PCT --- they all can be challenging in their own way, but the PCT offers better trail quality and better trail grading, just generally "better walking" than does the AT, and a lot more in the way of views and more of a 'remote' adventure. I've talked to people who hiked the AT because they felt that the PCT was harder; in general I would suggest that they're just "differently hard". If hiking in snow at all bothers you, then maybe the AT (but don't start on the early side ...). The AT has its own challenges --- the White Mountains, ticks (Lyme), slick roots/rocks sometimes (particularly in Maine).

Either the PCT or the AT offer a surprisingly rich social life experience for the long distance hiker, as does the Camino that someone else mentioned but with a somewhat different flavor. I've hiked the "French Way" (Camino Frances) twice --- the one that most people refer to as "the" camino. Last year I hiked the longer version of the Portuguese Camino, and if you contemplate that, I'd suggest that for most people the shorter one (from Porto) is a better choice (or work in a Fatima variant or ... whatever).

There are lots of Camino choices; my wife and I will hike the Via Podiensis in France next year; this one is nearly the same length as the most commonly walked Camino (about 450 miles) and ends where that one begins. She and I also hiked the Wainwright trail in England, and I'd recommend that or other hikes in England for someone that wants more civilized longer walks but really just doesn't want to deal with foreign languages, plus the English people are very nice.

So: lots of places to walk. I bias now to more expensive hikes such as the Caminos because my wife doesn't like to sleep outdoors a lot, and I don't want to leave her alone for months at a time too many years. Anyway, walking is certainly an excellent option.

My wife biked across the U.S. "a few states at a time" over a period of a few years, and liked that well; I joined her for some parts, but I would generally rather backpack than do long distance bike rides in the U.S. as too often you're either working a convoluted route to avoid traffic, or riding on busy highways with trucks sometimes zooming by close. We rode a few hundred miles along the Danube a couple of years ago, from its source to Vienna, and that was wonderful, a lot of bike path or quiet roads with traffic generally considerate. There's a lot of biking like that in Europe, I think particularly in Germany and France.

I have a friend my age (also retired) who set out to climb some impressive mountains all in the same year. I've been up some mountains but am not a climber.

I like long distance hikes because for the most part the logistics are not too bad, so long as you're willing to hitchhike on occasion and especially if you have a "support person" at home to mail you food or whatever (shoes, prescription drugs, that sort of thing). I also really love how I feel after a few weeks and I'm pretty lean and feel "trail strong" --- I'm in my early 60's, but sometimes I feel like I'm 20 on the trail after I've toughened up a bit.

If you do try the long distance backpacking approach, I would encourage you to collect (borrow if possible to start with) all the gear you think you might use and then do about a 50 mile solo backpacking trip (easiest if you can find a loop, or just go 25 or so miles and then turn around!). Take careful notes each night in your tent of what's working and not, both in terms of gear and of "style", approaches --- things like which (if any) meals you use a stove for, what kind of water treatment works best, etc etc. If you find you have a LOT of changes, then tinker for a while and then do another one. Iterate until you're in the right ballpark of "stuff works well now". Doing this before committing to a hike of a couple thousand miles or more can IMO really increase your odds of success and happiness. It's also an excellent test of "is this sport really something I will like?" --- before you stake a lot of time, money, and perhaps personal pride/ego into the thing.

Yet another approach might be to extend your hike length by increments. You could hike something like the Wonderland Trail (93 miles) or the John Muir trail (211) miles. If you like that, consider upping your distance to the 400 - 500 mile range, perhaps the Colorado Trail. Or knock out piece of the PCT or AT, not in relatively short sections, but in several hundred mile chunks per year. This "chunk" hiking is my favorite style now, perhaps 4 - 8 weeks at a go depending on the particular trip.

Best wishes, and please report back what sort of "bigger adventure" you settle upon, as I'm always interested in trying things like that. Kayaking for example ('water trails') --- hmm ---

Shallowpockets
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:06 pm

Look on Amazon books. Search solo adventures and see what pops up. Perhaps one will direct you to an endeavor and you can go in the footsteps, so to speak, of aomeone else.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:08 pm

Buy a wrangler and join an offroad club. Go on club "runs". Fun, less physically demanding than lots of activities and something new with ever present challenges. I just started doing this a few months ago and have been having a great time
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seychellois_lib
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:10 pm

mak1277 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:34 pm
I'd start by making a list of acceptable/desired modes of travel. If "on foot" is the only option, that limits you obviously. What about bike, canoe/kayak/packraft, skis?

When I read your OP, the three places that popped into my head were Alaska, Patagonia and Antarctica. I don't know anything about sailing, but my impression is that the PCT or AT might be a little too "paint by numbers" after sailing 2700 miles single-handed.
Re On mode of travel - should have specified that. Just about any mode will work. I would strongly prefer something that requires me to be physically involved in the locomotion.

With regard to sailing, nowadays the act of sailing long distances at sea is more of a planning and prep exercise IMO and this includes the period during the actual passage. Technology provides remarkably reliable weather forecasts (at least in the East Pacific) and position is no longer in much doubt with GPS. Even steering is managed by an autopilot, almost exclusively, when sailing singlehanded. What one faces is the utter remoteness of one's situation and the reality that bad weather and equipment failure frequently stand between you and the destination. This is the challenge.

I did a short report on the trip back, it is here if you are interested

http://sfbaysss.org/forum/showthread.ph ... Jacqueline

mak1277
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by mak1277 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:18 pm

seychellois_lib wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:10 pm
mak1277 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:34 pm
I'd start by making a list of acceptable/desired modes of travel. If "on foot" is the only option, that limits you obviously. What about bike, canoe/kayak/packraft, skis?

When I read your OP, the three places that popped into my head were Alaska, Patagonia and Antarctica. I don't know anything about sailing, but my impression is that the PCT or AT might be a little too "paint by numbers" after sailing 2700 miles single-handed.
Re On mode of travel - should have specified that. Just about any mode will work. I would strongly prefer something that requires me to be physically involved in the locomotion.

With regard to sailing, nowadays the act of sailing long distances at sea is more of a planning and prep exercise IMO and this includes the period during the actual passage. Technology provides remarkably reliable weather forecasts (at least in the East Pacific) and position is no longer in much doubt with GPS. Even steering is managed by an autopilot, almost exclusively, when sailing singlehanded. What one faces is the utter remoteness of one's situation and the reality that bad weather and equipment failure frequently stand between you and the destination. This is the challenge.

I did a short report on the trip back, it is here if you are interested

http://sfbaysss.org/forum/showthread.ph ... Jacqueline
Thanks for the link, I look forward to reading.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:24 pm

OP.
"I have to find something which fully engages me physically and mentally and that thing needs to be hard and needs to be remote so it is near impossible to drop out of the "moment zone" and back into the noise. It involves a moderate to high level of stress but a surprisingly positive kind of stress.

Is this whole thing selfish? Probably. I admit it. So, moving on."

This will be a hard one to include all the above. Most things suggested here will allow for being able to drop out. High level of stress is subjective and not sure what you mean there. And hard. Is that physically hard? How hard?
Perhaps being able to drop out presents the mental challenge of still going forward.
You limit many options due to the 2-6 monh time requirement.
Since you are a sailor and like the water, look at WaterTribe.com and their events. I would think the stress and remoteness would be right up your alley, although even these extreme events would not go to the timeframe you desire.

seychellois_lib
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:24 pm

xb7 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:59 pm
I've thru-hiked the "big three" trails: PCT, AT, CDT. Of the three, I'd recommend the PCT --- they all can be challenging in their own way, but the PCT offers better trail quality and better trail grading, just generally "better walking" than does the AT, and a lot more in the way of views and more of a 'remote' adventure. I've talked to people who hiked the AT because they felt that the PCT was harder; in general I would suggest that they're just "differently hard". If hiking in snow at all bothers you, then maybe the AT (but don't start on the early side ...). The AT has its own challenges --- the White Mountains, ticks (Lyme), slick roots/rocks sometimes (particularly in Maine).

Either the PCT or the AT offer a surprisingly rich social life experience for the long distance hiker, as does the Camino that someone else mentioned but with a somewhat different flavor. I've hiked the "French Way" (Camino Frances) twice --- the one that most people refer to as "the" camino. Last year I hiked the longer version of the Portuguese Camino, and if you contemplate that, I'd suggest that for most people the shorter one (from Porto) is a better choice (or work in a Fatima variant or ... whatever).

There are lots of Camino choices; my wife and I will hike the Via Podiensis in France next year; this one is nearly the same length as the most commonly walked Camino (about 450 miles) and ends where that one begins. She and I also hiked the Wainwright trail in England, and I'd recommend that or other hikes in England for someone that wants more civilized longer walks but really just doesn't want to deal with foreign languages, plus the English people are very nice.

So: lots of places to walk. I bias now to more expensive hikes such as the Caminos because my wife doesn't like to sleep outdoors a lot, and I don't want to leave her alone for months at a time too many years. Anyway, walking is certainly an excellent option.

My wife biked across the U.S. "a few states at a time" over a period of a few years, and liked that well; I joined her for some parts, but I would generally rather backpack than do long distance bike rides in the U.S. as too often you're either working a convoluted route to avoid traffic, or riding on busy highways with trucks sometimes zooming by close. We rode a few hundred miles along the Danube a couple of years ago, from its source to Vienna, and that was wonderful, a lot of bike path or quiet roads with traffic generally considerate. There's a lot of biking like that in Europe, I think particularly in Germany and France.

I have a friend my age (also retired) who set out to climb some impressive mountains all in the same year. I've been up some mountains but am not a climber.

I like long distance hikes because for the most part the logistics are not too bad, so long as you're willing to hitchhike on occasion and especially if you have a "support person" at home to mail you food or whatever (shoes, prescription drugs, that sort of thing). I also really love how I feel after a few weeks and I'm pretty lean and feel "trail strong" --- I'm in my early 60's, but sometimes I feel like I'm 20 on the trail after I've toughened up a bit.

If you do try the long distance backpacking approach, I would encourage you to collect (borrow if possible to start with) all the gear you think you might use and then do about a 50 mile solo backpacking trip (easiest if you can find a loop, or just go 25 or so miles and then turn around!). Take careful notes each night in your tent of what's working and not, both in terms of gear and of "style", approaches --- things like which (if any) meals you use a stove for, what kind of water treatment works best, etc etc. If you find you have a LOT of changes, then tinker for a while and then do another one. Iterate until you're in the right ballpark of "stuff works well now". Doing this before committing to a hike of a couple thousand miles or more can IMO really increase your odds of success and happiness. It's also an excellent test of "is this sport really something I will like?" --- before you stake a lot of time, money, and perhaps personal pride/ego into the thing.

Yet another approach might be to extend your hike length by increments. You could hike something like the Wonderland Trail (93 miles) or the John Muir trail (211) miles. If you like that, consider upping your distance to the 400 - 500 mile range, perhaps the Colorado Trail. Or knock out piece of the PCT or AT, not in relatively short sections, but in several hundred mile chunks per year. This "chunk" hiking is my favorite style now, perhaps 4 - 8 weeks at a go depending on the particular trip.

Best wishes, and please report back what sort of "bigger adventure" you settle upon, as I'm always interested in trying things like that. Kayaking for example ('water trails') --- hmm ---
Excellent info. Thanks very much. I have to admit, the PCT has been heavy on my mind. I live in Norcal, the logistics are reasonable and the south or north trailheads are accessible. My Son lives in Washington state. If I decide on a hike I will absolutely do test runs to nail down equipment and routines. In sailing we were required to do sequential qualifier races of increasing distance offshore to accomplish exactly the same objective.

boatdriver79
Posts: 5
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by boatdriver79 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:28 pm

We just returned from the Camino de Portuguese a few weeks ago. It was fantastic. I was concerned that my wife might not enjoy the physicality of the trip but she loved it. (we are both 57). The trail(s) are challenging but not overly so. The only recommendation I would give would be to stay in hotels or B&Bs vs. hostels (auberges). The costs are not high (50-60E)per night and the accommodations were awesome.

The fall is the perfect time to do this. Smaller crowds and great weather.

Buon Camino!

seychellois_lib
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:05 am

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:53 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:24 pm
OP.
"I have to find something which fully engages me physically and mentally and that thing needs to be hard and needs to be remote so it is near impossible to drop out of the "moment zone" and back into the noise. It involves a moderate to high level of stress but a surprisingly positive kind of stress.

Is this whole thing selfish? Probably. I admit it. So, moving on."

This will be a hard one to include all the above. Most things suggested here will allow for being able to drop out. High level of stress is subjective and not sure what you mean there. And hard. Is that physically hard? How hard?
Perhaps being able to drop out presents the mental challenge of still going forward.
You limit many options due to the 2-6 monh time requirement.
Since you are a sailor and like the water, look at WaterTribe.com and their events. I would think the stress and remoteness would be right up your alley, although even these extreme events would not go to the timeframe you desire.
Maybe I was being overly dramatic because I am in a bit of a funk.

Good questions. Hard is in the context of something that demands a substantial amount of planning and prep up front and significant physical and mental effort to execute. With regard to metrics. Let's say summiting Everest in expedition but with no physical assistance is a 10 and sitting here writing this response is a 0, I would say hard is maybe 6-7. I don't know how else to quantify it.

With regard to good stress. I did not know what it was either but recently i read this article and thought, gee wiz, that's what I experienced when I got home from my long distance sail. Funny, I used the term funk above before I had re-read this article.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/using-fear ... ge=1&pos=5

The WaterTribe link is interesting, I am going to read through it.

Austintatious
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Austintatious » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:55 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:25 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:20 pm
Hiking the PCT seems to fit your requirements.

What about learning to hang glide or something like that?
Another BH'er recently walked cross country (USA).
He had a great blog.
[Can anyone help with who that was?]

Choose a route with more mountains if you'd enjoy that more.

Or PCT and then the Appalachian?

Or bike through all 48/49/50 states?
Throw in the Canadian provinces for extra credit? :wink:

Enjoy the planning!

RM
It was Jazztonight (his forum handle)

seychellois_lib
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 12:05 am

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by seychellois_lib » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:59 pm

boatdriver79 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:28 pm
We just returned from the Camino de Portuguese a few weeks ago. It was fantastic. I was concerned that my wife might not enjoy the physicality of the trip but she loved it. (we are both 57). The trail(s) are challenging but not overly so. The only recommendation I would give would be to stay in hotels or B&Bs vs. hostels (auberges). The costs are not high (50-60E)per night and the accommodations were awesome.

The fall is the perfect time to do this. Smaller crowds and great weather.

Buon Camino!
OK, your report is definitely pushing the Camino up on my list. Maybe the Camino with my Wife being able to sack out in a decent room will be an adventure for the two of us which will allow me to push for a little rougher singlehanded adventure before I go completely over the hill physically.

ResearchMed
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:02 pm

Austintatious wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:55 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:25 pm
barnaclebob wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:20 pm
Hiking the PCT seems to fit your requirements.

What about learning to hang glide or something like that?
Another BH'er recently walked cross country (USA).
He had a great blog.
[Can anyone help with who that was?]

Choose a route with more mountains if you'd enjoy that more.

Or PCT and then the Appalachian?

Or bike through all 48/49/50 states?
Throw in the Canadian provinces for extra credit? :wink:

Enjoy the planning!

RM
It was jazztonight (his forum handle)
Right! Thanks.

His written reports were just awesome, for those of us unable to do quite that kind of thing.

OP: In addition to searching jazztonight's posts here (and embedded links), you might also want to follow Raybo's here. He cycles around Europe every so often, and posts beautiful photos from along the way.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

detroitbabu
Posts: 295
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by detroitbabu » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:14 pm

May be 4 or 5 out of 7 summits??

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Summits

pmac
Posts: 7
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by pmac » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:24 pm

+1 on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Trail.
It seems to fit your criteria for planning, (lots of planning required for a self-contained mountain bike trip involving alot of camping in remote locations); physical nature (2745 miles Banff to the Mexican border with significant daily elevation gains); risk (definitely some with grizzlies in Canada/Montana, weather, mechanicals, etc); duration (2 to 3 months); Assistance (doable alone, but generally accomplished in small groups for safety and sanity. Bring a SPOT for tracking purposes); Other People (there are a fair number of people riding the Divide every summer, often with many ad hoc groups riding together for days or weeks, plus regular towns for resupply.) If you want to add to the "adventure" aspect you can start with Tour Divide Grand Departee racers in June from Banff.

There is also an east-west off road ride, Trans-America Trail, originally developed as a dual sport dirt motorbike trail, but some folks do it on a mountain bike.

MeansNotEnd
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by MeansNotEnd » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:37 pm

If you are considering the Camino ... time to switch forums for more detailed info.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/

In April we biked 400+ miles Lisbon to Santiago staying at pensions in the price range quoted above. Since we had not previously done a mixed surface or a non-supported ride, it was an eye opener in that my plan of 40+ miles days was hard for me ... which is why a shake-out trip is key. Still, I can't wait to return to bike (with shorter days) more in Portugal and other rural, friendly, beautiful inexpensive countries.

I prefer nature so if I was on foot I would want a more rural camino like the Northern Route thru Spain.

xb7
Posts: 30
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Location: WA State, USA

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by xb7 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:47 pm

A comment w.r.t. the Portuguese Caminho:
The only recommendation I would give would be to stay in hotels or B&Bs vs. hostels (auberges)
I think the heavy majority of pilgrims hike from Porto to Santiago. In the Lisbon to Porto stretch pilgrims are a lot thinner on the ground, and sometimes accomodations are too. Just to adjust to desired per-day distance, my hiking partner and I stayed in a couple of fire stations along the way, something I think uniquely Portuguese --- that often fire stations will allow pilgrims to sleep on a gym floor or similar for ~free (a "donativo" is suggested).

On the most common (Camino Frances) Spanish Camino route, accomodations can get gonzo --- real competition for a bed sometimes, even if you think you're hiking in a shoulder season. Unless you're pretty thrifty, I don't recommend the Municipal albergues (called "Xunta" albergues in Galicia). But private Albergues can be a good way to meet and mingle with other pilgrims. Staying in private rooms --- whether hostal or Casa Rural (a sort of Spanish B&B equivalent), you typically interact a lot less. If you have earplugs that work for you, I'd suggest that a person or couple stay in some albergues along the way. When I hiked the Camino Frances with my wife, she was getting some insect bite reaction and got a little freaked at the possibility of bed bugs --- I don't think that's what it was, but the result was that we shifted to private rooms of various ilk from then on.

We did still meet and mingle with folks, but more so "on the road", just striking up conversations with folks as we encountered them along the way. That can certainly work too!

Some people have written some pretty negative things about the Camino Frances, and while of course there are downsides, I've found it so very delightful to walk and talk with people from a variety of countries. I normally don't like to hike a long trail twice, but this was an exception for that reason. Given the right circumstances, I'd happily hike it a third time, and I seriously thought about volunteering at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago for a few weeks.

Wilderness Librarian
Posts: 70
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Location: Idaho

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by Wilderness Librarian » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:51 pm

About the same age as the OP and also retired 2yrs. I might like many of these myself. However the thought of hiking a long distance trail such as the whole AT or PCT doesn't really appeal to me. Too many long dull stretches and too much pressure real or imagined to rush through the appealing parts. I would prefer the planning and execution of many shorter segments through a variety of landscapes ecosystems and seasons (seashore, desert, grasslands interior, high alpine etc.) often employing a base camp strategy with lots of packless trailless rambles.

Bicycling is also appealing and I think more oriented towards the activity as an end in itself with continual daily progression a desired goal. I solo bicycled Landsend to John O' Groats (southern end England to northern tip Scotland) with light gear staying in hostels & B&B's. Absolutely wonderful. This kind of thing through various countries would appeal to me. I would agree that doing long distance in US might be too much rude heavy traffic. As others mentioned long distance mtn. bike trails might be a good compromise.

One could go on for ever with suggestions but in 80's I went hut to hut hiking in Iceland (fortunately before Iceland became a mega destination). Another excursion I would repeat but longer on the ground this time. Also northern BC & Yukon are pretty nifty and others have already suggested many countries besides US & Canada would provide with similar opportunities. I would completely avoid socially oriented ventures such as the Camino (but that is just me). I might also try to construct a series of bicycle trips through agriculture areas such as the Sand Hills of Nebraska possibly using Amtrak to get you through cities and avoid heavy traffic. Actually I have thought agriculturally oriented trips (and I do not mean winery tours) are probably underrated excursions.

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MP123
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by MP123 » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:53 pm

As a fellow old sailor how about a "Great Loop tour"? Down the Mississippi river, up the ICW, through the Great Lakes. Lots of water, and shore time (or not) depending on your mood. Not as isolated as a solo ocean race but that might be good. You could probably do it in anything that floats and strikes your fancy.

A couple years ago a guy took a stand up paddle board down the length of the Columbia River in BC, WA, and OR.
A thousand miles or so but you have to portage dams.

Cycling is great too, maybe a TransAm tour?

heyyou
Posts: 3172
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by heyyou » Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:01 pm

The Arizona Trail is 800 miles, trans-state, with far fewer, other hikers than the Big 3 longer trails. A few, more or less full-time hikers do it as training for the Pacific Crest Trail since the AzT season ends about when the PCT season starts.

A different suggestion: One guy hired and helped a well known small boat builder in western Canada put a pedal powered, propeller drive into a 20' boat. Starting on the Milk River in west central Canada, he floated to its junction with the upper Missouri River, then on to the Mississippi, to the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) going east in Louisiana, then to southern Florida where the ICW crosses to the Atlantic side, north on the ICW to the Hudson in NY state, upstream to the Erie Canal, downstream on the St. Lawrence to home in Newfoundland, over a two year period. He spent part of the winter in Louisiana refurbishing the hull, before he continued on the second half. The boat plans were available, a decade ago.

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VictoriaF
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Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:00 am

xb7 wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:47 pm
A comment w.r.t. the Portuguese Caminho:
The only recommendation I would give would be to stay in hotels or B&Bs vs. hostels (auberges)
I think the heavy majority of pilgrims hike from Porto to Santiago. In the Lisbon to Porto stretch pilgrims are a lot thinner on the ground, and sometimes accomodations are too. Just to adjust to desired per-day distance, my hiking partner and I stayed in a couple of fire stations along the way, something I think uniquely Portuguese --- that often fire stations will allow pilgrims to sleep on a gym floor or similar for ~free (a "donativo" is suggested).

On the most common (Camino Frances) Spanish Camino route, accomodations can get gonzo --- real competition for a bed sometimes, even if you think you're hiking in a shoulder season. Unless you're pretty thrifty, I don't recommend the Municipal albergues (called "Xunta" albergues in Galicia). But private Albergues can be a good way to meet and mingle with other pilgrims. Staying in private rooms --- whether hostal or Casa Rural (a sort of Spanish B&B equivalent), you typically interact a lot less. If you have earplugs that work for you, I'd suggest that a person or couple stay in some albergues along the way. When I hiked the Camino Frances with my wife, she was getting some insect bite reaction and got a little freaked at the possibility of bed bugs --- I don't think that's what it was, but the result was that we shifted to private rooms of various ilk from then on.

We did still meet and mingle with folks, but more so "on the road", just striking up conversations with folks as we encountered them along the way. That can certainly work too!

Some people have written some pretty negative things about the Camino Frances, and while of course there are downsides, I've found it so very delightful to walk and talk with people from a variety of countries. I normally don't like to hike a long trail twice, but this was an exception for that reason. Given the right circumstances, I'd happily hike it a third time, and I seriously thought about volunteering at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago for a few weeks.
I walked only Camino Frances, not other Caminos. For me, staying at municipal albergues was a part of the experience. The OP is asking for an "adventure," not for a comfortable way to see the Camino. Staying at municipal and parochial albergues, sleeping on the floor or in rooms with 60 bunkbeds, lining up for showers, and sharing washing machines are parts of the adventure.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

thatme
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:54 pm

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by thatme » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:10 am

While a shorter trip (7 days), I've done the RAGBRAI twice and I would recommend it to anyone. It's probably not a proper "adventure," but it's a heck of a lot of fun.

https://ragbrai.com/

btenny
Posts: 4551
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by btenny » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:47 am

You obviously like boats so I second the recommendation to take a long boat trip around the "Great Loop". It takes 2-12 months or even multiple years if you do the loop in segments. It takes a lot of planning. It is fun single handed or for couples or families. You can spend a lot of time on board or a lot of time in lots of towns along the way. You choose how much company you want and you can vary it over time. It becomes a lifetime adventure. I meet about 15 of these "Great Loop" people on a ocean cruise through the Panama canal. They all meet and formed a special club when they did their trip and now they get together every 2-3 years. See below.

https://www.greatloop.org/
http://captainjohn.org/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Loop
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZb1Hodw84g
http://www.thousandislandslife.com/Back ... nture.aspx

btenny
Posts: 4551
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:47 pm

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by btenny » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:58 am

Buy a boat and cruise the canals of Europe for a summer or a year or more. Or buy another boat and cruise the Carribean islands.

https://www.french-waterways.com/practi ... terranean/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IG ... excused-20
https://unexcusedabsences.com/

daheld
Posts: 312
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:14 am

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by daheld » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:59 am

Are you a paddler? A long distance kayak trip seems like it would be a good fit.

amazonchic
Posts: 44
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by amazonchic » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:27 pm

I have always wanted to save up for an ultralight or light sport plan, something along the lines of a large go cart with a huge fan on the back to power me through the sky. You do not need a pilot's license or need to file a flight plan. Obviously it is smart to take lessons prior to going solo. You can buy or build your own aircraft with the accessories and take enough lessons to be a good pilot of your own ultralight for under $5000.

livesoft
Posts: 62776
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by livesoft » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:40 pm

A good source of information about hiking and thru-hiking is YouTube.com.

This year, Evan did the Appalachian Trail and he has high-quality productions of the prep work and the hiking:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_CbZ4 ... YxBwkSd2Sg There are many others.

I have found it better to watch videos made by people of similar age and physical ability. So I myself never liked thru-hiking vlogging by people under 40-years old.

I think basically almost all "personal adventure" things have shown up in some form on YouTube.com multiple times, but especially backpacking and hiking.
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ThankYouJack
Posts: 2241
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:54 pm

The Great Loop also came to my mind when I read this post. Especially since it seems the OP loves the water.

OP, I feel similar with adventures. What about some short ones mixed in to help get out of the funk? Where are you located? You could paddle to and camp on uninhabited islands. Do long distance jet ski tours? Even if they're short, they still take some planning, can be physical and mentally challenging especially when conditions aren't ideal.

ThankYouJack
Posts: 2241
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by ThankYouJack » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:57 pm

Ride the Divide is a great documentary on the mountain biking the Great Divide - trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhrtPyr1KQI
movie - http://www.ridethedividemovie.com/

cyclist
Posts: 49
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Re: Personal Adventure - recommendations

Post by cyclist » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:07 pm

I enjoyed cycling solo across the US on the TransAm trail, but I don't think it meets your criteria. It was a fabulous experience and delightful to share campsites and camaraderie with others on that popular route, but it was a lot less solo than I expected.

One more +1 for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route -- less people, less asphalt, more climbing, more bears. It's on my short list.

If that doesn't do it for you, you can always join the small club of folks who have cycled from Alaska to Argentina...

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