I Quit My Job

Last Tuesday, I put in my two weeks’ notice at work, letting them know my last day would be March 6th. My wife, Grace, did the same. We don’t have any new jobs lined up.

No. We’re not retiring. (Dang!)

However, we’ll be willfully unemployed for the next year or so. You know, to like, walk… and stuff.

It’s been over two and a half years since I started my job after the CDT. I’ve climbed the ladder, done well, gotten the promotions, gotten the raises, and gotten the bug to take off again.

It’s time for something new, something different, and now is as good a time as any.

For the past two years, Grace and I have been saving up, putting away a lot of money each month, and living well below where our income suggests we could. We sacrificed some, but it didn’t feel like much. We still got out nearly every weekend in the mountains, we just didn’t waste any money.

On Tuesday, we’ll drive right from work to Moab. We’ll start caching food and water from Moab to Zion. After we finish, we’ll drop our car off in St. George, and somehow find a way back to Moab to start our hike of the Hayduke Trail.

This will be the typical Hayduke, meaning, it won’t really be that close to what the original suggested route is. Instead, we plan to packraft the Colorado river from Moab to Spanish Bottom (70 miles). We’ll do the Maze instead of the Dark Canyon (this was a tough choice). We’ll raft the Escalante. We wont take the trail up to Bryce Canyon (been there enough), instead doing the Buckskin & Paria canyons (never been). We’ll stay down in the Grand Canyon rather than returning to the North rim. Well, at least those are things we plan to do. But who knows when we get there.

All I know is I’m excited as can be to do this with Grace. It’ll be her first thru-hike/long distance adventure. It’ll also be a much different adventure than my previous. We need to average about 16 miles a day to finish on time, before we head to Scotland (more on that later). I won’t be nearly as UL as I was on my own hikes. Why? Because this hike isn’t just mine. It’s as much Graces as it is mine. And I want her to be comfortable, and find her hiking style, rather than throwing her into the lightest setup. Maybe she’ll grow into that. But the Hayduke is a different beast than the triple crown. It requires longer food and water hauls. We’ll be toting packrafting gear some of the time. And I’m going to take more camera/video equipment.

We’re even bringing a small Kindle so we can read together. It’ll be so romantic, less the smell. Well, ok, maybe it won’t be so romantic. The first book will be the Monkey Wrench Gang. Again, not at all romantic. But give it a read. The route we’re doing is named after the main character in the book, so it’s an obvious choice.

We’ve got a lot more planned than just the Hayduke. But there’s no better way to start (fact). We’ll get our butt’s kicked, get physically strong, and even more importantly, get mentally tough. That’ll set up for a wonderful year of hiking and mountain climbing abroad.