I work in one of those brick and mortar bookstores and read pretty much all of my books in paper, so I’m not always in touch with all of the self-published e-books out there. Honestly, there is so much content being self published these days that it is hard to even begin to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been trying to figure some of this out and I found Wool in my radar. I read a couple of posts from people who loved the book and it was making some waves in the publishing world, with movie rights and a print deal in the UK. I picked up a POD copy and gave it a read.
I’ve been reading David Brin’s books for years. I devoured the Uplift books when I was younger and lately I’ve been following his ramblings on the internet as he talks about technology and transparency and the future. I got my hands on an advance copy of Existence, and I am glad that I did. Brin’s vision of our future selves coming into first contact with aliens resonates with the present in wonderful ways.
Next week I am going on a long hike. The plan calls for forty miles over four days and three nights. I’ve never spent that much time on the trail before and though I am looking forward to it, there is a certain sense of dread that accompanies the anticipation. As I go about my preparations, fretting about food and gear choices these sensations continue to grow. To be honest, I suspect that they will continue even as I set foot on the trail and begin my trek.
I really enjoy gear. I like to spend time comparing the merits of different brands and analyzing the performance of the kit that I take out on the trail. I might be a fetishist, yet I think that many hikers would agree that having good gear can make all the difference between a miserable slog and an invigorating hike. Gear can also be the only thing that stands between an inconvenience and a disaster. As such, I am always on the lookout for good books about gear. Trail Tested was written by Justin Lichter, who probably wears out more gear in a year than most people ever own. He hikes thousands of miles a year and he knows a thing or two.
This last Saturday, I took my first hike with one of the local Meetup groups, the Portland/Vancouver Chapter of the Sierra Club. It didn’t quite wind up being the hike that we planned, and the people who I hiked with were definitely outside my usual scene, yet I had a good time and got to hike in Mt. Hood’s rain shadow, in the dry hills of the Badger Creek wilderness.
Sometimes it seems that there are only two types of cars here in Little Bay Root: Subarus and Prius. There are usually a couple of each parked on any given residential block and the roads are just lousy with them. My hiking buddy Z just bought himself a Subaru, the quasi-official vehicle of hikers in the Pacific Northwest. Really, you can’t park at a trailhead without picking a space beside a Subaru. It must be a law or something.