Wandering Hops: The Urban Runner

Wandering Hops: The Urban Runner

San Francisco, the city by the bay. This sprawling metropolis is purported to have it all, fine dining, upscale hotels, one of a kind experiences, history, and tourist traps aplenty. But what about hiking? Can you even hike through an urban landscape, and find something that’s challenging, enjoyable, and memorable? That was the question rattling around in my mind as I descended upon Oakland last week, wondering how I was going to get a Wandering Hops in, while I visited…

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Wandering Hops: Disappointments

Wandering Hops: Disappointments

Growing up in the deserts of West Texas gave me a special appreciation for the ocean, and temperatures below 115 degrees.  Our summers got so hot, I became convinced that heat was one of our chief exports to hell. No matter where you are, it seemed like  it was always hotter somewhere in Texas. However, being on the beach does not make you immune from the sun. I learned that living in Southern California, but at least the breeze coming…

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Wandering Hops: The Prep Day

Wandering Hops: The Prep Day

Preparation and testing is the key to knowing how your gear will perform while out on the trail; the idea goes without saying… save that I just said it. Anyway, moving right along, stay with the tour, and hold all questions till the end. Thanks.  Now, preparation can come in many forms, from watching youtube videos about gear and its uses, to setting up your tent in your fitness room because it’s raining outside, and you have to heft it…

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Wandering Hops: The Overnight

Wandering Hops: The Overnight

Dreams are funny things, and, in many ways, are the fuel of ambition. What starts as a simple notion, a far off impossible idea, can gradually resolve into something more concrete. Ultimately leading one to push past their limits, and strive for that impossible goal.  Of course, our definitions of the impossible change as we grow. There was a time when I thought it impossible that I would ever be published. There was a time when I never thought I’d…

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Wandering Hops: Epicenters and Fears

Wandering Hops: Epicenters and Fears

Fear makes things bigger in your mind than they are. This is especially true in my case taking that I have an anxiety condition.  For me, there is very little chill, and every issue, even a perceived issue can become a massive crisis in my head in an instant.  This is one of the reasons I hike. Conquering miles and rough terrain, helps turn down the volume on all the static surging around and empowers me in my day to…

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Wandering Hops: Black Holes and Blast Zones

Wandering Hops: Black Holes and Blast Zones

Cliches, I feel, are annoying because they are a reminder of simple, near universal truths. No matter how clever, or accurate the wisdom they hold may be, just hearing them reminds me of something I should have never forgotten, and thus, I cringe.   All of this is, of course, natural. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, get ahead of ourselves, mislay our car keys, all of that; thus life is full of cliches to remind us…

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Wandering Hops: The Hardy Ridge Loop

Wandering Hops: The Hardy Ridge Loop

Now this was more like it! Starting the day near the crack of noon (About 11:15am) after a 1.5 hour drive through the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, I arrived at the Beacon Rock State Park, awash in old memories and new expectations. Last year, long before the re-release of the website, I completed my first pacific north west trail in this park, the Hamilton Mountain Loop. It is a heavily trafficked and grueling uphill climb that proved worth the effort;…

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Wandering Hops: Tarbell and Thrillium

Wandering Hops: Tarbell and Thrillium

Welcome, dear reader, to Wandering Hops. Hiking is one of my major passions in life.  In spring, after a long hard week spent over a keyboard, I turn my attention towards the mountains and hills of my home, and begin planning adventures. While I was out this time, an idea dawned, why not do write ups of my adventures on the trail and post them on the website? And thus, a new blogging segment is born. ^_^ I do hope…

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