A Week in Southwestern Montana

Becky and I had a wonderful week in Montana visiting my parents

My parents had been wanting me to visit their home in Ennis, Montana for a bit now since they moved out there, but I wasn’t able to due to the pandemic. Well, fully vaccinated and feeling comfortable with flying, Becky and I made it out to Montana and spent a week with them. We had a great vacation where we hiked a bunch, relaxed and read, and explored Bozeman.

Travel video I made from the footage I recoded on the trip
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Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running

Everything I wish I knew when I started trail running

Trail running is one of my absolute favorite hobbies because it gets me out moving my body and immersed in nature. It’s different than road running in many ways, even though the core of it is the same. Trail running is dynamic and challenging, which makes it more rewarding to me. The more I’ve gotten into trail running, the more I’ve come to enjoy it.

Here are the things I wish I knew when I started!

Video I made while out on a trail run where I share my thoughts on how to get started trail running
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Vivobarefoot Primus Trial II All Weather FG Shoes Early Impressions

Thoughts on wearing minimal, barefoot shoes for the first time for a week while trail running

Run vlog video I made centered around the shoes

I got some new trail running shoes! They’re barefoot shoes, which means they’re minimal, flexible, have a wide toebox, and zero-drop (flat). I finished reading Born to Run recently and wanted to give something more “natural” a try.

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24-Hours in NYC

What’s a book-loving vegan to do with limited time in the city?

Now that Becky and I have been fully vaccinated for over a month and it’s safer to travel to more densely populated places, we hung up our hiking boots for the weekend and planned a quick trip to New York City. We’d both been there plenty of times before, but it’d been a while, and we wanted visit my good friend Dan who lives in Manhattan. Here’s what we got up to this past weekend in the big city!

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Backpacking the Old Loggers Path

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I published anything on my journal. I’m sure that’s what everyone with a blog says these days. But a lot has happened in the time since my last post about backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in Michaux State Forest. I’ve continued to backpack and hike, as well as get more into trail running. I’ve also started to dabble with making videos of my adventures. My partner Becky and I backpacked the Old Loggers Path (OLP) in the Loyalsock State Forest in early April, and here’s how it went.

A video I put together from the trip!

A quick intro: The OLP is a ~27 mile loop with quite a lot going for it—scenic views, varied terrain, some challenging climbs, and beautiful waterfalls and runs. We started at night on the first day and were finished before noon on the third.

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail from Caledonia State Park to Tumbling Run Shelter and Back

My first backpacking trip in a decade

I started seriously hiking again for the first time in nearly a decade. I moved to Lancaster, PA in early June, and I’ve been getting to know the region by exploring the different trails. Day hikes are great for getting started, but I wanted to go backpacking for an extended period of solitude in nature. Challenging myself physically and mentally while getting away from it all was important to me. Plus, there just isn’t a ton to do right now in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. A friend recommended I explore Michaux State Forest, a large forest a tad west of Gettysburg and about a 90 minute drive from Lancaster.

Browsing the trails, I found an ideal route for a single night of camping. For ease of preparation and ease on my body, I thought it best to not overdo the length of the trip. The Appalachian Trail goes through through Caledonia State Park, located within Michaux State Forest, and is about 10 miles north of Tumbling Run Shelter, a rest stop along the A.T. Perfect for my first solo backpacking trip, so with that and the dates decided, I began to prepare for the trip.

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A Look at the Comics and Illustrations from “Intentional Finance”

A handful of early illustrations and comic strips from the personal finance zine I’ve been making

I’ve been focused on making my zine Intentional Finance. It’s been an enjoyable project to work on and a fun change of pace from fiction comic creating. I recently finished laying out all of the text, so I’ve been drawing a bunch of comics and illustrations to go supplement the writing.

Here are some of my favorites so far.

Wolfie makes a bunch of appearances throughout the zine
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Watercolor Ship Paintings

A few paintings I made in Fall 2018

When I was really into drawing spaceships last year, I took some time to paint with watercolor a bit. It’s challenging but a lot of fun. The resulting texture is interesting, and it’s fun mixing colors.

Babylon flying over a planet
Mesa from Lost Ship surrounded by space debris

I definitely intend to do more with watercolor in the future.

Introducing “Intentional Finance”

Information about my next project, a zine about personal finance

A big interest of mine is personal finance. It’s something I started learning about in earnest six years ago and started really diving into over the past two years. I find it really fun and empowering to learn, think, and talk about finance. So I’ve been working on a zine called Intentional Finance. It’s a simple guide to improving one’s relationship with money.

Financial Wizard

It is a bit of a departure from the sci-fi and fantasy comics work I’ve been focused on in recent years, but I’m quite excited about it. The premise is simple:

What if a book about personal finance was an art project?

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