… and I’ll give it a rest for awhile. I just wanted to provide quick impressions of the people I met over the weekend.
Climb_CA: Much nicer in person. Tall and buff, able to scale impossible rock scrambles on no sleep with toddler on his back without complaint. Doting daddy. Dot-com survivor who handed out getoutdoors.com refrigerator magnets which were, he said, the last remants of the VC money his site scored during the Bubble years. Alpinist who climbs mountains to get away from the bugs at lower altitudes.
John Fedak: Much more talkative in person. Smiles a lot more than we see in his pictures. Also tall and buff, a competitive swimmer in his youth. Makes a living doing geeky Silicon Valley high-tech stuff but hasn’t been ruined by the money-grubbing culture. Comes from Pittsburgh, will never stop rooting for the Steelers.
Szu-ting Yi: Little Po is not precisely “little” in real life. She’s from Taiwan and doing amazing things in the United States, like leading backpacking trips and learning to ice climb in the Alaskan high country. Lives in Philly, where she’s getting studying for her doctorate in very advanced computer science. Strong hiker who has run marathons. Excellent campfire tender.
Rick McCharles: Best Hiker is a Canadian who has been everywhere: Asia, South America, all over the United States. Coaches gymnastics and recruits acrobats for Cirque du Soleil, but hasn’t had actual job for a very long time. Lives to travel, can tell you how to score a hostel bed or a ride into Tibet from China.
Tom Chandler: Trout Undergrounder is one of the smart kids in school who grew up, had a successful career in the big city and moved to a totally cool mountain town to free-lance. Knows all the cool places to camp and hike around Mount Shasta, even though fishing is his main thing.
Russ Beebe: Winehiker host has been camping and hiking since high school in the ’70s. Excellent cook, well-informed student of wine subtleties lost on all of us with untrained palates. Advocates lost art of singing around campfire (singing voice after several glasses of wine suggests why the art was lost).
Great people, a great weekend. Szu-ting and Rick paid for my gas, so all I had to do was point the Hiker Hauler northward and start living it up.