Remember that time I thought Low Gap was cold? That night the temperature got down to 28 degrees (obviously Fahrenheit, Centigrade can suck it). Cold enough to have me in my sleeping bag by 7:30pm. Cold enough to frost my rain fly. Cold enough to make sleeping as unlikely as being at a Gilbert Godfrey book reading.
Compared to tonight- however- merely a mild chill. It’s 7:40pm at Cold Spring Shelter – and already the temperature is down to 33 degrees. There’s a total of 12 people in the shelter’s vicinity and exactly zero of them are not within three feet of the oversized fire or tucked in their sleeping bags. I opted for the latter- I’m a comfy bastard like that.
And of the ~2,000 people on the trail this year, no one is more ill equipped than Whoop and Badger.
Previous to my 2.5 year San Diego stay- I did 18 in the upper Midwest . Anything over 50 degrees was shorts weather (fact). San Diego has turned me into a softy. And I’m not alone- 63 degrees in San Diego translates to a sweatshirt and pants for anyone aside from tourists (cargo shorts are a double giveaway). My acceptable temperature window narrowed to a range of 68 – 76; 77 was too hot, 67, too cold.
Now I’m living in an environment where you can experience four season in 48 hours.
Mother nature pulled a great April Fools Joke on us. Last night’s low got down to 14. Suck. It.
You may be wondering what one wears in weather like that..?
Every damn article of clothing in my pack was on my frosty body. Then the procedure calls to wrap your mummy bag around your head and eagerly await sunrise so the idea of unthawing can start to replace all of the four letter words working their way through your brain.
Silver Lining #1: the extra level of chill didn’t actually seem worse than the Low Gap frost. I think I’m shedding my San Diego skin (that’s good because my Wisconsin skin is made of beer, cheese, and brats- a much better insulator).
Silver Lining #2: Hiking in snow is pretty badass.
Nature will do all that it can to restrict your ability to eat like the rightful monarch that you are. That’s why in this lengthy 35 second video not only do you learn how to eat like a king, but you learn what a beetle/dinosaur looks like in the process.
Just so you know eating like a king on the Appalachian Trail isn’t as easy as what’s demonstrated in this video. This particular skill requires years of meditation and heightened beetle/dinosaur attracting skills. I trained with a monk based out of Cincinnati, considered one of the top 4 beetle attractors in all of Western Ohio, and in that time I obtained the skills necessary for the advanced tactics you’ve just witnessed. This video is not CGI and this beetle/dinosaur is not a paid actor, this is real life drama unfolding before your very eyes. Some call it a miracle. Others aren’t paying close enough attention.
I know what you’re saying to yourself: “but his beard is so rustic that it could drive a monster truck through the fiery gates of hell and not slow down as it plowed over rage infested demons.” I agree with you. Good point.
In my previous post, I laid out the “how to“ portion of my “moving to San Diego” series. The following will serve as the “why”.The previous post also included a sense of humility and an understanding that San Diego is not a one-size-fit-all city. This post will be having none of that.
If forced to describe the Good Badger in 3 words, the general consensus would undoubtedly arrive at: noble, nimble, and ninjitsu (click that). I bring this up simply to point out that “embellishing” is not one of those terms. I pride myself in being a fact-spewing truthbot. So, when I make a claim such as, “San Diego makes every other city in the Universe look like Detroit”, you know that it’s as good as encyclopedic.
Likely you’re already aware that San Diego has great weather, nice beaches, good looking people, etc. I’m not here to restate the obvious. Instead the below will serve as 3 (and a half) “outside the box” reasons
I write it because there are at least a dozen in my immediate circle who’ve wanted to make a transition out of their present situation but have fallen victim to the path of least resistance. I’ve also learned that for every problem I know of first hand, there are thousands who share the same troubles. If I can reroute the routine of at least one person hesitant to change, my time has been well spent.
But first, let me clarify a couple things:
I don’t write this post out of any sense of personal superiority. This isn’t about me. This is about situations. One situation is living life as a victim, constantly fearing what could possibly going wrong, and drowning in regret. The other situation is taking chances, allowing yourself the opportunity to fail, setting and striving for goals, and turning the less than ideal scenarios into learning situations. I’ve lived on both sides. I know first hand that the latter is superior.
Although I use San Diego as the subject of this post, I’m not trying to say that it’s objectively better either. I know plenty of people who would truthfully not enjoy it here (see: Gingers) (yes, that’s coming from a semi-ginger). I genuinely get bummed out if I go long periods without the sun, am exposed to temperatures below 20 F, or have to spend my weekends inside because a monsoon won’t let me play basketball. But, that’s just me.
Enough beating around the bush…I now present to you the Good Badger guide of
The earthquake’s origins were in Baja, Mexico, but the BPM’s of my heart monitor would indicate the quake was isolated inside my apartment. In hindsight, it was no big deal. The walls and floor rumble for a half a minute, your dishes shake, and you pee yourself a little. Kind of fun actually. But it’s also educational. You learn a lot about yourself. Here’s what I learned about The Good Badger during an earthquake .
Entirely unprepared. My initial reaction was to lay in bed. My next reaction was to duck and cover. Luckily I was with gf who is much smarter than I. As soon as she could get me to stop crying, we fled outside.
Entirely unprepared pt. II. On my way out, I forgot to grab my shoes, wallet, keys, or any snacks. Upsetting, but not the end of the world. What is far more traumatic, however, is forgetting my iPhone. How was I supposed to Tweet my paranoia, check in on Foursqure (you’ll see in a minute), tell mom not to worry (in a very worried tone), or even find news about the earthquake. Fortunately 12 of the 12 neighbors around me had their iPhones and were kind enough to show me the drop pin of the earthquake’s epicenter no more than 10 minutes after it occurred (awesome). iPhone, will you ever forgive me?
Technology is Awesome. Within minutes the TwitOSphere was overrun with fellow San Diegons giving their 140 character takes on the situation. True, nothing anyone said saved, prevented, or helped anything, only because their was nothing to save. With that said, there’s a calming presence knowing other people are going through the same thing. Had the situation been worse, however, Twitter has proven to be a life saving resource.
Technology is Awesome pt II. A new social media service has poked its head into the emergency reaction game- Foursquare. For those who are still unfamiliar, Foursquare is a location based, social-networking service, where users “check in” to different establishments to notify their friends of their whereabouts and collect badges. One of the more highly sought after badges, The Swarm Badge, is acquired after you check in to the same establishment with at least 49 other Foursquare members simultaneously. Within a half hour, someone created the check-in location “earthquake”, and over 70 people checked in. I’m guessing this is the first time the service has been used to check into a establishment-less event. I’m also guessing it’s not the last. Either way, I got me a Swam Badge, suckas!
My takeaway from this: Apple needs to invent an iPhone holder which you can put inside of your body. Maybe a surgically attached Kangaroo pouch. The iPouch?
Selfishly, I would campaign for San Diego, but a) we’re over the 500,000 person limit and b) I missed the deadline (3.26).
If timing is everything, this post is nothing.
But I would like to point out a great pitch made from my former home, Madison, WI, as the lucky recipient of the magical Google Fiber. The pitch can be found at the Powered Green Blog, home of the green laptop. If high transfer speeds can remedy intolerable winters, I might be moving back…