Where am I going, what am i doing....

This is the only way I can keep up with stuff. Write it down. These blogs are not for you, they are for me. In my old age, I can't remember what happened in this short life. Revised plan, '09..

April 24.....start hiking the PCT at the Mexican border and try and make it 1200 miles
June 25.....get off PCT and head to Tahoe to pace my friend at Western States
June 29.....fly home from Reno
July 1.....drive to Colorado with son Max for two weeks playing
July 11....run the Hardrock 100
July 15.....put Max on a plane in Denver heading to Memphis
July 15.....head to Leadville and leave the car and head to Durango
July 18.....Start thru hike of the Colorado Trail Durango to Denver/ 500 miles
August 15....Arrive Denver and meet friends
August 16....return to Leadville
August 21.....run the Leadville Trail 100
August 24....head home and open a microbrewery.

Man....what all is gonna happen in this span of time. This is gonna be damn good.

Peace out.....


Taking Stock of the Situation

'08 is pretty much in the bag and it looked nothing like '07. 'Blowing in the wind' pretty much sums up the year. I didn't make allot of choices, the choices kinda made me. So how am I gonna make sure that when i look back on '09, i'm not singing that same song? What you do is, you make a plan.

Here is the plan......On the AT Karl trip this September I met a guy named Brian Dobler. Brian was hiking southbound on the AT when i met him in Pennsylvania. The deal is, Brian had already hiked from Springert Mountain, Ga to Kitahdin in Maine, turned around and headed back to Springer. Yea, thats right, sorta like a long out and back run but the first part was 2175 miles. Well, Brian finished up his southbound hike and became from what i can see, the fastest guy to yo-yo the AT. Congrats dude.

When I met Brian that day in Penn, we started talking about the PCT, Pacific Crest Trail. I was saying that I was longing to hike it and if the stars lined up, '09 might be a great year to do it. He was like, yea, me too.

Short story is, we have stayed in touch and it looks like things are coming together to do just that. Hike from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington, 2650 miles, starting in late April of '09. It should take us about 3.5 months. I couldn't have asked for a better hiking partner. This guy is smart, strong, and has a great sense of humor. Nice.......and another cool thing is that Brian is thinking about turning around at the Canadian border and heading back to Mexico. If that happens, he will be the first person to ever yo-yo two of the major trails. How cool is that.

If i'm successful thru hiking the PCT, that will give me two of the long trails in the USA and will definately do the CDT (Contenental Divide Trail) in the future.

Who knows what this adventure will lead to but It will likely lead to good things, they always do.

More later.



The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like the fabulous roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars......Jack Kerouac penned these fantastic words in his book, ON THE ROAD.

Coming back from Colorado every year is a big huge low for me. I find it hard to see alot reason here after spending time in such a pristine place. I want to walk down to the river to cool off, I want low humidity, I want my roads to made of dirt, I want to be able to get up high, above tree line, where I can see a world with no buildings. I want my friends to be more interested in relationships and experience than work, work, work.....but mostly I want my girl back home, I need my girl back home. If she doesn't get back soon, I might not make it. I see why so many people (including myself) drink so much from time to time around here. It's a good way of dulling the reality of things.

There are so many things I still want to do. God, there is so much out there.

Dylan knew when he sang, 'I'm stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis blues again.'

I hear ya Bob.


The Hardrock, Nervana at Altitude

It's hard to sit down and write about The Hardrock. There is so much to say about it. If I wrote all day, I could never do the experience justice. I guess this year more than any other, it was about the people, my tribe. This was my 4th run at The Hardrock.

Memories come in all forms and these are a few.....Kyle the wunderkid breaking 24 hours. Playing horshes in the town park every night with James, Steve, Kyle and Peter. My good friend James waiting at the finish for me and nursing me home. I love you man. Great food at Kyles house. Tom, proprieter of The Avon being such a great host those last few days. Nate, Petra and their beautiful daughter, Piki walking down the road to the trailhead to escort me to the last aid station where Kyle, James, Peter, Hiroki were all there to support me. Nate had paced Kyle the last 42 miles but took the time to drive out and support me and Kyle had just run the race of the century and came out too. It almost made me cry when I saw them. Doing about 30 miles of the race with Marcus Mueller, who, last year was the reason I kept going. I have gained a great new friend. The mountain goat at Grant Swamp pass posing for me and Craig Wilson. Running with Craig for the first 20, Craig, you will get it next year my man. John Dewalt, guaranteed tough. John is 72 and finished his 13th Hardrock. Sitting by Kirk Apt at the pre-race meeting, a man who I admire for his talent but more for the way he lives his life so humbly. Kirk has 14 finishes, more than any other man or woman. The hike to the Hundred dollar ming boarding house with Steve and James. Talking to Mike Burke after a hike about life and relationships, real stuff. The Kyle lottery. Olga and Mike. Soaking legs in the creeks. Peter picking me up at Cunningham for the last 9 and breaking out a beer on top of the last climb. What a nut. The incredible halucinations, the wolf, the frogs, the lights. Dale and Lois. Crewing Krissy and James on Sunday. Lots ans lots of snow and lots and lots of wildflowers. Kissing the Hardrock.

The Hardrock 100 is the most real thing with the most real people. It is a gathering of like souls who have come to test their metal against the powerful mountains of the southern rockies known as the San Juans. 33,000 feet of climb and 33,000 feet of descent run mostly in the backcountry at an average elevation of over 11,000 feet. You climb 7 passes over 13,000 and one over 14,000. You climb only to drop and do it all again, over, and over, and over, and over. It is wild and it is tough. She is beautiful.

I made it around in 41 hours and 7 minutes. It was by far my slowest time, but considering my phisical conditioning, it was by far the most satisfying. I'm so happy I made the decision to line up. It's like Ive always said, never pass up an opportunity to see exactly what you are made of.

Peace out there......Billy


A Vanishing Florida

We hear alot about endangered species these days but one of the most endangered is the oyster fisherman of the Apalachicola Bay.

I just got home from a few days in a remarkable part of our country. Apalachicola Bay sits about 75 miles SE of Panama City and 90 miles SW of Talahasee Fla. but for all practical purposes it could be a million miles from nowhere. For sure the wealthy have built there beach houses and wreaked havoc on some of the essential dunes, but there is still a timeless quality about it and there you can still find the Florida I fondly remember as a young boy in the 60's.

Apalachicola Bay is fed by a river of the same name which originates some 800 miles north and is called the Chatahoochee. The Chatahoochee is also largly responsibe for supplying the city of Atlanta it's fresh water. Unfortunately, in our efforts to civilize and dominate our environment, the good citizens of Atlanta have made watering their lawns a more important priority than saving a little for the vital flow of fresh water to the Bay. The Apalachicola river feeds the Bay with nutrients and is essential and critical to the ecosystem of that forgotten landscape. If something isn't done now, and thankfully there are things being done now, another beautiful and unique system will be forever changed by the mad march of industrialized mankind.

My son and I fished out of our canoe (and ate what we caught), skinny dipped in the middle of the day in the Gulf of Mexico (there is just nobody out there for miles) and learned to appreciate some rugged individuals who make their living supplying our markets with fresh seafood. 90% of Florida oysters are havested in the Bay and the tecnique hasn't changed in a century. It's still done for the most part out of 16 foot boats by hand.

I am happy to get to travel to new places and understand why it is important to fight for our good mother earth. We must be different than others. We must try our damndest to not partake in the degridation. It's hard I know. But there is so much beauty left out there to fight for.


Here's to Cactus Ed

"A true patriot is not afraid to defend his country from it's government."

There is about a million things i'd love to say about Edward Abbey but there is no way with my pea sized brain and my memphis public school education vocabulary, i could get close to doing him justice.

He was a true libertarian, a defender of the american west, a lover of many women, a man's man with taste for good whiskey and cheap beer. Ah, we must somehow be brothers.

If you havn't, read everything he has written and start with the "The Brave Cowboy" and go all the way to "A Fools Progress". You will be inspired to live a richer life and examine your reasons for being on this mother ship we call home. He lived his life his way.

Thank God, whoever you are, for Cactus Ed.


Karl's AT Speedrecord Attempt

The cards are dealt and the chips are in. I heard from Backcountry.com yesterday and they are buying my plane ticket to Allentown, PA on the 28th of Aug. Another fine mess you've gotten yourself into. When you look back at your life and try and connect the dots as to how you got where you are, it's amazing. I meet Karl thru Nate at Hardrock in '06. He is a good guy. Just a regular guy with big goals and huge tallent. He finds me up in Pensylvania last year while I'm thru hiking the trail and spends some time. We hook up at Hardrock again in '07. He casually mentions the AT speedrecord. Now a year later, I'm getting my expenses paid to go out on a cool adventure crewing Karl for the second half of his trip. There is no telling what will happen because of taking this step. Huge fun for sure. All I can say is what I've been saying all along, if an opportunity presents itself, do it. Do not limit your experience to 'inside your own mind' or 'too close to home'. The world is a big place. Every experience leads to new and better experiences. Don't be afraid, don't be shy, make your life an open book. The years go by faster and faster and faster and faster. I want my kids to say, "my dad was an adventurer."