Nathan currently lives near Seattle, Washington, but won't be there after April 17, 2022. From April to September he will be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. In October he is relocating to Ecuador to begin a multi-year exploration of South America.
His writing and photography are greatly influenced by the diversity of his background. He has at one time or another worked as a nurse, commercial diver, IT consultant, and for a while was a Buddhist monk in the Khumbu region of Nepal.
The Galapagos Islands, with their incredibly abundant and accessible wildlife, should be on every traveler’s bucket list. As there are literally hundreds of blogs, videos, and websites dedicated to convincing you of this, I won’t duplicate their efforts. I want to focus on helping you get the most out of your trip while minimizing the cost. For those of you wanting to see the Galapagos Islands on a true backpacker budget, I am going to disappoint you. For a number of reasons that I will explain, there is no dirt-cheap way to do this. You can keep costs down, but nobody can really describe a trip to the Galapagos as cheap. Two Ways to See …Continue reading →
In the beginning…traveling by foot was the only option. Then came horses, camels, carts, boats, bikes, planes, trains, and automobiles. While traveling by foot is some part of most travel, in today’s world it is almost always a very small part. The world is just too big, and we are generally in too much of a hurry, to see much of it by foot. So, we choose faster modes of travel. However, there are a few of us that from time to time will revert back to the ways of our primitive ancestors and just set out across the face of the earth on foot. For about 5 months starting on April 19th, I will …Continue reading →
As some of you might know, I plan to retire to Ecuador in the fall of 2022. I have retained an immigration attorney (Sara Chaca, www.ecuadorvisas.com) to help me through the process of obtaining a temporary residency visa, resident ID card, and driver’s license. My move is tentatively planned for October 1st. Some of you have asked about the thought process that lead me to select Ecuador. So, here you go. First, why retire overseas?This is of course a personal decision and not one I can really help you with, but there were three reasons that I started considering this. One, I had no real attachments to the US. My family is all gone and …Continue reading →
As the month of April grows closer, my awareness of the magnitude of what I am about to do grows larger. On April 17th I will break nearly all ties with my current life and move on to something totally new and very different. I will be officially homeless for a few months having given up my apartment, sold my car and most of my belongings, and hopped on a plane to San Diego where I will take a bus to the small town of Campo. There to start a 2650 mile hike beginning at the Mexican border and hopefully ending at the Canadian border. Then, within a few days of finishing that hike, I …Continue reading →
Life is a thru-hike. Every day it’s a matter of waking up and finding a way to repeatedly put one foot in front of the other, minute after minute, day after day, for a whole lot of days. Along the way, you are going to eat, drink, laugh, cry, and sleep. And when you get to the point where you can’t do any of that anymore, then one way or the other you have reached the end of your trail. For some people, the end of the trail comes sooner than later. Some people will find their trail blocked by obstacles, will allow themselves to be sidetracked, or be forced to take a detour, and …Continue reading →
Why is it that so many of us are constantly seeking out new adventures rather than being satisfied with our current situation? What motivates us to spend so much money and time exploring those places that others might pay to avoid? How can you explain that seemingly irresistible urge to see what lies behind the next mountain, over the next ocean, and around the next bend in the path? The answer to those questions may seem self-evident, but it is not. And it does not appear to be something innate to human begins. We all know people who are quite capable of chasing adventure and yet have no desire to do so. In fact, the …Continue reading →
When you first start thinking about your first thru-hike of a very long trail such as the PCT, there are lots of things to consider. And even for the experienced hiker, it is easy to miss some things that might be very different compared to shorter hikes. While certainly not a complete list, here are a few things you really don’t want to overlook…
How in the world do you get yourself to take that first step on the PCT knowing that the last step is 2662 miles away? How does a normal person wrap their head around the idea of undertaking a hike that will last 4+ months and require you to hike 20+ miles almost every day? There are two answers. First, I am guessing that most “normal” people will never make the attempt. Second, you don’t spend too much time thinking about it. What I mean is you don’t really give much thought to the fact that you are taking the first step of a 2662 mile journey. That makes the goal too big and too …Continue reading →
Today, at 10:27AM Pacific Time (UTC -8) I was sitting in front of three computers, with a total of 6 web browsers open, each logged into the Pacific Crest Trail Association website under a different email address. There I sat watching the countdown timer tick off the seconds until 10:30. It was at that time that the site began accepting applications for permits to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2022. The class of 2022 was about to be named. It is essentially a lottery and you need to be logged into the site at exactly 10:30AM at which time you will be assigned a random position in the queue to submit your application. If …Continue reading →
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is one of the world’s great “thru-hikes”. It is 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada through the heart of some of the wildest and most beautiful land the United States has to offer. The trail passes through 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas, and 7 national parks. It climbs nearly 60 major mountain passes, descends into 19 major canyons, and ambles by more than 1,000 lakes. Traveling the full length of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, it is the westernmost of the three great US hikes. The other two being the Continental Divide Trail (3100 mi) and the Appalachian Trail (2185 mi). The trail is easily accessible at …Continue reading →