Completed: #59 of 101 | Start A Podcast

With our hiking adventure project to hike the full length of the Pacific Crest Trail and our urge to document the process of the planning and also while we do the long 5-6 month thru-hike, we thought it would be fun to launch a podcast. We could talk in some episodes leading up to the hike with the planning, thoughts, and fears leading up to it. While on it we can use it as a platform to check in with family and friends on how we are doing as we talk about the steps of where we came from and what’s up ahead on the trail. After purchasing a domain and setting up some basic social media tools we signed up to the Anchor.fm App that is free and super easy to use.

We decided to call it “A Long Walk North” since we would be hiking from the border of Mexico up to the border of Canada. The Anchor App is great for recording and building segments, transitions, and adding background music. We are also using Audacity with more detailed editing of it when we get into episodes. We created two trailers for it. Using Anchor, we pushed it to the Spotify platform and our podcast is on Apple Podcasts. People listening on Anchor can use a voicemail/message feature and leave us messages with feedback or they can ask us questions.

Click here to view the podcast on Anchor.Fm

The two trailers are a “play” against the other person. Does he/she really know? It’s fun to poke fun at each other.

Click here to open the podcast and listen to the two trailers we created.

Making the podcast will be fun. We have started brainstorming about thinking about possible episode topics we can cover. Now the trailers are completed… we are working in Evernote to write out the show notes with a little 15 min welcome to the podcast episode to introduce ourselves. We would love it if you followed along where you enjoy listening to your podcasts.

89 of 101 Things To Do | The Pacific Coast Trail | Planting Seeds for 2023 w/ Chantal

The Pacific Coast Trail Map

The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. It is a National Scenic Trail. It reveals the beauty of the desert, unfolds the glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, travels deep forests, and provides commanding vistas of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range. The trail symbolizes everything there is to love—and protect—in the Western United States.

Pacific Crest Trail | A Walk Across The United States from Serge Pikhotskiy on Vimeo.

The starting point when traveling northbound is located at the USA/Mexico boarder near Campo, Californina. The finish line is located on the USA/Canadian boarder at Monument 78. If you measure the distance between Campo and Canada in a straight line it would measure around 1,000 miles.

The average time it takes to tackle the PCT is roughly 4.5 – 5.5 months. Most hikers average about 20 – 30 miles per day so they can finish before winter sets in near the Canadian boarder. Usually people going northbound will leave near the end of April so when they hit the high Sierra Mountain section the snow is melting and they finish it before the snow returns.

You need to bring a Bear cannister and use it after Kennedy Meadows as you hit the Sierra Mountains and into Yosemitie National Park.

The PCT covers 24 National Forrrests, 37 Wilderness Areas, and 7 National Parks. The trail climbs nearly 60 mountain passes and decends into 19 major canyons. It moves past roughly 1000 lakes.

Fewer people have hiked the PCT than climbed Mt. Everest. The highest point along the PCT is Forrester’s Pass at 13,200ft or 4000m. It has a total elevation change of 421,000ft.

Untold thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this international treasure each year. Some only travel a few miles, while others complete every mile in a single season. Tying the trail together is a community of volunteers and passionate outdoor enthusiasts. Together, we explore, create and support one of the best experiences on Earth.

Watch her Vlog below…

Above is a young woman’s hike and documenting her journey in 2019. She covered the hike in 137 days. My goals are to watch this series with Chantal and see what she thinks about the hike. Her playlist of the hike is here. I think a good goal is to do this in three years’ time. We will also watch the other docs that cover this trail. She needs to know that this hike is extremely difficult and it’s not all Instagram posts every hour. It’s incredibly challenging mentally and physically challenging and it would be a crazy struggle for both of us to finish this trek without injury that forces us both to quit.

Update: March 31, 2020 – Chantal and myself finished watching the nine-chapter vlog. Elina aka Tip Tap shown above on the summit of Mt. Whitney. Chantal is in. She wants to do it. “My friends won’t understand when I tell them that I’m going for a walk with my Dad for four months”, she said. If I could pick her trail-name now it would be “Cheese-Eater”. She wants to watch another series with me and I picked out another woman doing the PCT that we will start watching virtually online.

Update: April 12th, 2020 – Chantal and myself are watching Mari Johnson and her man’s vlog of them walking the PCT. Tonight we wrapped up episode 15 and they are just entering the mountains into the snowy Sierra Mountains. You can catch her vlog here. We want to launch a website about the trip and we will make YouTube Vlogs on the planning and the trip and also produce a podcast on the trail of the trip as we go. I’ve also started doing our trail notes in Evernote and working on the first 40km of 4,200 lol

Update: April 22nd, 2020 – Created a website after buying a domain and just adding structure and content to it. Securing different social media accounts with our branding. Created the shell of the podcast and now working on a trailer for it. Chantal is in school so we are watching our hiking vlogs usually at around 11:30 pm a couple of times a week.

Chantal is still in. Says she can do it. After Mari’s vlog we will watch Darwin’s PCT hike next. When we watch them we write down where they stay and what they eat in town so we have something to look forward to. 😉

What about Noah? Two years after doing this… it will be time to do something like this with Noah since he will be finished High School. After 13 days of walking through the desert, he will ask when are we going to get to Canada. Plus they don’t sell extension cords for his Xbox longer than 50 ft.

More information on the project:

Click here to check out our website (tablet or laptop view is much better than phone)

Updating my 101 Things To Do In 1001 Days

Couple more days and this will be down to exactly 1001 days. I still have things to add to my list. I kind of failed on the last reset. Being stuck inside and thinking about life and approaching being 50 years old soon… makes you think that you need to get some stuff done.

I have some entries that I need to think of still and add to my list. I need to blog more… so this list will allow me to make some blog posts of things I want to do and it will give me the opportunity to blog them after they are marked completed.

They all don’t have to be epic. They can be simple. Simple as connecting with an old friend or a restaurant to try or a simple day trip somewhere that I’ve been meaning to get off my ass and explore.

You can view my list of 101 Things: HERE

You should make a list also. (just saying)

All you have to do is get some paper. I’m sure it will take you about 5 days with little pockets of time writing down things and ideas. Maybe you will think of 130 things. Maybe 90 and you will keep 11 spots open to add later.

TIP: Think of categories: Health, Family, Kids, Finding/Keeping Love, Money, Minimalism, Around the house, day trips, bigger trips, Food, Journaling, Gratitude, Work, Organization and pets. If you have some categories you can think of small things or big things and put them into categories.

If you make a list and want to share. Please do! Message me and share it. You can set up a free WordPress blog by signing up and creating one and you can have your list there and you can blog about each one that you complete. It’s fun. It’s how this blog started in 2012 when I created my first list and started blogging to bookmark things on this quirky, silly blog.

#2 of 101 Things To Complete: Explore Thailand + Vietnam | The Big Leap in 2021

In 2014, I posted this Vimeo Staff Pick called “Somewhere in Vietnam” and that started it for me.  Follow that up with Casey’s video called “The Vietnam Notebook”  which he took with his son in 2012 to Vietnam to rent a motorcycle and travel the countryside.  That video made me want to rent motorcycles and travel the countryside and not get killed with my kids and have them expierence a way different culture, beautiful sweet friendly people and eat food that is outside their comfortzone of pasta with butter.

With what is happening in the world with the Pandemic virus, it would be wise to push this trip and keep saving for it.

The yummy street food of Hanoi

I thought it would be fun to fly into the old formerly named city of Siagon, which is now called Ho Chi Minh City (map) (Kara & Nate Vlog) and sleep off some jetlag and venture out and see the busy city sights and taste some yummy food. This city is in the south of Vietnam and I thought it would be fun to travel up the coast to Hanoi in the North. We would have to do a sleeper bus for fun and also by train (YouTube Video) & more videos to watch. There are some beach cities along the way to stop and explore. By the time we get to Hanoi in the North, the kids will be a little more settled with the food. Before going on this trip, we need to dine at a Vietnam and Thai restaurant in Toronto and sample some food and I don’t mean taking a bite. I mean eating 25% of four different dishes and we will do this about 5 times. I’m not going to force them to eat bugs and things on a stick that looks like they are still thinking inside. If you want to watch Kara & Nate’s Vlogs in Vietnam… you can find them here.

So travelling north along to the coast to Hanoi would be fun. Hoi Ann & Hue are two nice spots to explore. In the North, I would like to Hike in the mountains near Sapa before making our way to beautiful Halong Bay for a little cruise and explore the incredible bay and islands.

Vietnam Sleeper Train
Halong Bay above

In Halong Bay, you have to do a little 3-day cruise and visit some of the floating villages in the bay and do some kayaking. Boats will shuttle you to beaches and also take you to some places you can hike and climb up the cliffs on paths to the top to see the views of the bay. I decided to post two Kara & Nate’s Vlogs showing the cruise they took in the Bay to give you an idea of Halong Bay.

Halong Bay, Vietnam

Then move to Thailand to rent some motorcycles and do a loop in the northern part of Thailand.

We would then fly over to Thailand which is right beside Vietnam to the West. In the North is Chiang Mai. We will rent two motorcycles. Chantal will have one and Noah will be on the back of mine. We will buy and strap a pillow to make it comfortable for Noah. If he is sleepy like he was on our Europe trip then I will tie him to me so he doesn’t fall asleep and fall off.

The hardest part of renting motorcycles is finding our way out of the city and dealing with the crazy traffic which is like the start of a marathon when you get a red light.
If it’s safe for 62 fishy’s and a family of 6 on one… then the 3 of use should be fine on two bikes.
Northern Thailand is not that crazy to ride a bike and this loop should be fine once we are out of the city.

The Mae Hong Son Loop can be done in about 4 days. This trip in total we would need about 3 weeks to do all the things we want to do. Flying there is the most expensive part. Vietnam and Thailand are super affordable for logging, eating and visiting things. After northern Thailand, we will fly down to Bangkok in the south and explore the city before going south to the incredible Thai beaches down near Phuket. Maybe I and the kids should have not watched this movie together. Hopefully, the kids don’t remember the opening scene of the movie (The Impossible from 2012)

After southern Thailand, it would be to fly home through Vietnam or maybe when booking we could come home via Bangkok back to Toronto. All I know is that it would be a wild trip and after taking the kids to Europe for 19 days last August… a trip like this to the other side of the world would be crazy fun and such a great experience for them and myself. I already have a Trip Planning Book all set for this trip to fill with ideas and information.

If you want to watch Kara & Nates Travel Vlogs filmed in Thailand… you can view them here.

First Quarter Update | 2020

Looking back… I didn’t do a good job of updating this blog with infrequent updates. the last one was the same time last year. The last 12 months have been a bit of a blur. 2020 for me has a focus on health in many aspects. This new year brought with it a new focus on meal planning and watching what I eat. I’ve been very happy with the first 3 months of 2020. I have to now step up my gym game. I’m basically up 17lbs from the same time last year. I will do a fitness blog post soon as we get into April.

Raptors are second in the east. So many injuries this year and it’s the next man up mentality and they have done so well. I have cable at home so this year is the first year in so many… that I can set the PVR and record games and watch them. The Bucks are crazy deep and is who is standing in the way of the Raps this year. The Playoffs start in less than 40 days. Kobe’s tragic accident with his Daughter hit hard. I never really followed Kobe, but with the outpouring on Twitter and the stories that came out of him and his drive is remarkable. It reminded me of the passing of Anthony Bourdain who passed away in June of 2018. Both of them touched so many people in person and virtually. With music, so many new tunes are flowing into my earbuds. My playlists on Spotify are reaching a little over 80 public playlists. I’m always dumping albums into a playlist to sort and decide if any songs deserve to go into a playlist. Since I’m always asking people what five artists would they listen to on a road trip across Canada… so I thought I would type mine out. I fell off the bandwagon of posing my songs of the quarter, so I thought I would list my song of the year for 2019. Banff Film Fest hit PTBO again, and I went for the third straight year.

A new laptop helps to work and organize things virtually. London Fog’s at Cork & Bean in PTBO is the drink of choice with Soy Chai Tea Lattes. My man-crush Roger is still working on the court. Can’t wait to see some Tennis this August in Toronto at YorkU. 8 years ago was the split of my marriage and I always enjoy the little reminders of living alone with my empty fridge above. A year ago at this time, I was boarding a flight for a business trip to Seeheim, Germany for a Conference and after that conference was a little side trip to Italy by myself to check it out and scope out the Amalfi Coast. My travel planner always has room for more adventures.

Jennifer (above) still is lovely. Currently single and working on me. I will be actively looking for someone sweet to spend time wth soon. Breakfast at Whistlestop is a nice treat. Ben Howard still is #1 and if you ever want a little concert at home to play… here you go. I wanted to plan a trip to Vietnam & Thailand this summer with the kids, but with the outbreak sweeping the world, it’s better to say away from any virus and probably push the trip to the following year. One trip that is creeping into my mind from watching some little docs on YouTube is completing the PCT (Pacific Coast Trail) and I think this would be a great goal for 3 years in time. Completing the trip would take about 4 months and would be an incredible trip to plan, train and complete. I’m sure Chantal would be up for it and not sure if Noah would be up for it since there is no Xbox on the trail. My new bike is itching to get out this spring.

I’m in the process of resetting my list of 101 Things in 1001 days. I fell asleep on this current version and a reset is needed. I’ll do that over the next two weeks.

I set up reminders to type like this on a quarterly basis. I can see this blog changing more to show my work with getting healthy. I want to vlog the process on a little bit of a regular basis since it’s a slow process. I miss making little films. Until the next time, I type… I hope you are well and catch up soon.