earthtrekblog

Adventures of Life


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Let the trail begin!

 

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Every step taken brings me further from society and into the wilderness.  I am here.  There is so much to be said and no way to say it.  The trail is nothing like I expected and everything I’d dreamed of.  Within the first mile I was a fish out of water, gasping to fill my oxygen deprived lungs with air. Slow and steady got me up the mountain and on with my journey.

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Bear bags hung in morning mist on Springer Mountain

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A good day of hiking leaves a tired puppy

I met amazing people within hours of getting on trail.  An older gentleman and I  got to talking while hiking down Springer Mt, it turns out he went through high school in Portsmouth, NH, with my uncles. I came all the way to GA to meet someone who grew up with my family.
I’ve seen remarkable people leave within days. The first two were a wonderful couple from CT,  personal health and the reality of the physical strain the trail puts on your body ended their journey on day two.  Another three left on day three, all for the same reasons.  Day five brought news that Ranger, a 74 year old had also decided to call it after pushing through some rugged terrain.

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Ranger hiking on a misty morning

Star has taken to the trail like it’s where she was born.  Every morning she waits by the trailhead while I pack my bag.  Her love for the mountains is clear,  she can’t wait to know what lies around the next corner or over the next peak.  She has also developed the “hiker appetite” and she will eat everything!  Loves her meal topper of Thrive from The Honest Kitchen.

I have found beauty in the mountains that surround me.

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Forest mist


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Shameless request for donations!

I am having to learn it is okay to ask for what you need, to reach out to the people who are interested in your journey and want to be a part of it in some way.  I have put together a small “wish list” on amazon (click here) – and don’t freak out when the first thing you see is a tent (I do need it but I don’t expect anyone to snag it for me).  There are numerous items ranging from food to electronics.  This journey started months ago for me, learning to speak up and ask for help or to sit and listen to the experiences of others.    Thank you for the consideration!!!
I am hearing rumors the link isn’t working for everyone so you can look up my “wish list” on amazon under “Erin AT Tuveson“.  THIS will link you to where you put in my name.
If you are still having trouble try this direct link to my “wish list”:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/?ie=UTF8&cid=AVGLIVOVHZ5BA

we share

we share

If you are interested in donating and you’d like a part of my trip I will be mailing out my own personally designed thank you cards at the end of my adventure – can’t help but share the beautiful experiences with others!

Here are just a couple possibilities from the trail! This make beautiful cards ;)

Here are just a couple possibilities from the trail! This make beautiful cards 😉

I want to send a huge shout out and THANK YOU to Ruffwear!  Star is very excited about the donation you sent!!!

Digging deep in her new Bivy Bowl

Digging deep in her new Bivy Bowl

She found the goods!

She found the goods!

And she's very happy!  Can't wait to hit the trails and try out the Roamer Leash!

And she’s very happy! Can’t wait to hit the trails and try out the Roamer Leash!

 

thank you


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Count down!

It’s officially countdown time!  56 days until I start hiking the AT!!!

Located at the summit of Mount Mist in NH

Located at the summit of Mount Mist in NH

I had promised to upload my video from my sponsorship attempt, so here is the link to it!  I continued to work on it – I’d hit tech issues  – so I took the time to rectify what time limits I’d hit.

 

There are so many things yet to be done.  It seems every time I think about making a list or trying to sort things out I’m still in the same place I was six months ago (which is kind of true as I’m still in the same old apartment).  I feel like time has some how moved past me without my knowing.  I have spent countless hours writing sponsorship letters to companies asking for their support.  I have had a couple responses with affirmative answers – Star must be irresistible because they are all for her!
Thank you Ruffwear and The Honest Kitchen for your support!
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My greatest accomplishments, aside from dehydrating copious amounts of food – which I still need to figure out how I’m going to rehydrate it and in what form, is the cleaning and my first REAL gear purchase.  When you realize your entire life will be held in a backpack weighing no more than 30lbs it becomes very important to start cleaning out the unnecessary trinkets you have accrued over the years.  My method of cleaning is this – If I haven’t used it in 3 months I don’t need it!  If it has sentimental meaning than there is a special box for it.  My first gear purchase was a Big Agnes sleeping bag!

Big Agnes Mystic 15!!!

Big Agnes Mystic 15!!!

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My other accomplishment, the one you hear about again and again is my knee.  But I didn’t get here on my own, I had a good friend give me a piece of advice – one which I have since considered again and again and even offered out to other people.  I had stated my frustration to him, the lack of strength in my leg, “I can’t wait to get my strength back!”

To paraphrase what he said: don’t ever say you want to be ‘back’ where you were, you can’t go back there, you need to look forward to new goals.
With that said I reevaluated where I was at and what I wanted.  I no longer wanted to be “back” where I had been, walking up stairs.  I wanted to be climbing mountains!  I had bigger goals and a stronger drive to get where I was going because of this short conversation.

Now I know I have already talked of the importance of gaining strength in my leg but I can’t say enough in regards to it.  I have enjoyed these past few snow storms as they provide opportunities outside to go and work my leg out.  Snowshoeing is a challenging and exhausting activity which both Star and I enjoy.  I am determined not to look back but instead continue forward in my journey!

Snow is serious time!

Snow is serious time!

dun, dun... dun, dun..

dun, dun… dun, dun..

And she is irresistible!

And she is irresistible!

Breaking trail is hard work

Breaking trail is hard work

So you just need to let someone else do it!

So you just need to let someone else do it!

Getting ready for the next run!

Getting ready for the next run!

 

 

 

 


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Beach break… A pause in the heavy workload

You hit the end of the holidays, Christmas is over, New Years is over, and the Valentine’s candy is already gracing the shelves of the super market, all the anxiety and stress of getting through the “major” holidays is over, for a couple months.  And yet I have somehow managed to increase my stress level to record highs!

This whole journey of hiking the AT is no small potatoes, so I decided to enter myself in a contest for an opportunity to win a HUGE sponsorship package for my thru hike.  The contest seemed simple enough, make a video explaining: why you are thru hiking the AT, why you want the sponsorship, and why would you hike ALL 2189 miles!  (Here is where I apologize for not keeping up with blogging but I was buried under an assignment) As simple as these questions seem I was at a loss.  I know why I want to hike the AT and I know why I want the sponsorship (who DOESN’T want a sponsorship?!!!) but HOW do I put this into words without boring the viewer.  I spent days upon days coming up with a theme, a common thread to carry you through all 90 seconds of video.  With a less than 24 hours to shoot, assemble and post the rush was on — wonderful people stepped in to help with shooting the video and helping me overcome my technological ineptitude in assembling it.   At this point it has been sent in for review IF it makes it through the first batch of selection it will be posted tomorrow for viewer VOTING!

(Here is my shameless plug)  PLEASE CHECK IN TOMORROW FOR AN UPDATED BLOG POST WITH A LINK TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE WHERE YOU CAN VOTE FOR A FAVORITE VIDEO (PICK ME! PICK ME! and share with friends)

happy days

happy days

To unwind from this I took a day.  A day to get the camera out and just play!  So after much time spent indoors working on a laptop (which almost grew wings multiple times) I went to the beach.  Here is a photo story of the day – and I know they ALL look the same to you – but Star was enjoying herself as was I, so who’s to complain.

 

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Rye Beach, NH Looking out at Isle of Shoals and a tanker

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The bounce

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What’s a little water in January?

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Not even a moments hesitation!

HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!

HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY! HAPPY!

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Look mom! I got it!

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The ever present tongue “photo bomb”

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More than an hour into our cold beach time and she was still at it!

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“you try eating that much sand and see what happens to you!”

 

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Forever happy with her ball! She may need to attend “chuck-it anonymous”

Pebble frozen in place

Pebble frozen in place

Love the view!

Love the view!

 


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A years journey through the lens

“It’s funny how day by day, nothing changes.  But when you look back, everything is different.” ~unknown

The past two years have been full of ups and down for me, new job opportunities, loosing loved ones, climbing mountains, going through knee surgery, and finding myself somewhere along the way.  Please join me for some of those moments while I take you down memory lane.
I have pulled photos from 2013 and 2014 – just to share the true depth of where I was and where I’m going!

***THIS BLOG CONTAINS PHOTOS SOME PEOPLE MAY FIND GRAPHIC***

My life would not be as fulfilling if I did not have my little sidekick with me.  Star has given me more than she will ever know.  She gave me a reason to find my feet again and she is a large part of my next journey.  Almost exactly a year from when I had my ACL replaced we made it out for our first BIG hike, Mt. Chocorua with almost a 3000′ elevation gain.

THE BEST PHOTO BOMB OF THE YEAR

can you spot the intruder?

can you spot the intruder?

JANUARY

Janu art disp

The book collection starts

The book collection starts

Yazhi and Kitchi just 6 weeks old.

Yazhi and Kitchi just 6 weeks old.

 

Winter Pebbles - iPhones can be impressive

Winter Pebbles – iPhones can be impressive

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FEBRUARY

February brought great things!  I got my new and improved knee brace, this meant I had the ability to go out and do the things I really wanted to do and be less likely to seriously reinjure myself doing said things.

We were both so excited to have my feet under me!

We were both so excited to have my feet under me!

Sometimes I didn't stay on my feet - but Star was always there to look over me!

Sometimes I didn’t stay on my feet – but Star was always there to look over me!

Some things take you by surprise - the first wave did! Was pinned against a wall with water up to my knees.

Some things take you by surprise – the first wave did! Was pinned against a wall with water up to my knees.

Four months in to growing out the hair!  Time to make this FUN!

Four months in to growing out the hair! Time to make this FUN!

People wonder about me - I'm very special - but if you noticed I am wearing very good foot protection now!

People wonder about me – I’m very special – but if you noticed I am wearing very good foot protection now!

MARCH

True preparation for the AT begins - food storage a must

True preparation for the AT begins – food storage a must

March style

I moved over a ton of bricks during my time working on the house.  They were beautiful

I moved over a ton of bricks during my time working on the house. They were beautiful

APRIL

An afternoon of raindrop photography with my reversing ring

An afternoon of raindrop photography with my reversing ring

My VERY FIRST OFFICIAL HIKE SINCE KNEE SURGERY!!!

My VERY FIRST OFFICIAL HIKE SINCE KNEE SURGERY!!!

 

 

MAY

Exactly a year out from torn ACL and meniscus

My first steps on the AT!!!  I decided I had to make it back here and start in Georgia!  Almost a year to the day of actual injury

My first steps on the AT!!! I decided I had to make it back here and start in Georgia! Almost a year to the day of actual injury

No need to say more

No need to say more

JUNE

When you can't get out for the laughs they come to you!

When you can’t get out for the laughs they come to you!

 

Made it out for a day with the animals before I went under the knife

Made it out for a day with the animals before I went under the knife

PBJ is signed above my knee cap - they don't tell you how badly it hurts

PBJ is signed above my knee cap – they don’t tell you how badly it hurts

You can still make it out if you're determined!!! It was slow and not very far

You can still make it out if you’re determined!!!
It was slow and not very far

Enjoying the view from just under 4,000' This hike did me in for days :D

Enjoying the view from just under 4,000′
This hike did me in for days 😀

Sunset after an awesome day on Mt Chocorua

Sunset after an awesome day on Mt Chocorua

JULY

He's so cuddly!!!

He’s so cuddly!!!

This is how you prepare for a journey stack a ton of bricks!

This is how you prepare for a journey stack a ton of bricks!

Termite destruction in an 1800's house

Termite destruction in an 1800’s house

They had me come back in!

They had me come back in!

AUGUST

Second Art show for me!!! Go EARTH TREK PHOTOGRAPHY!

Second Art show for me!!!
Go EARTH TREK PHOTOGRAPHY!

Where you're still to sore to walk get the boat out!

Where you’re still to sore to walk get the boat out!

Rocking out all the up and coming styles!

Rocking out all the up and coming styles!

This pup likes to play hard and dress nice! Thank you RUFFWEAR for your donation to our hike!

This pup likes to play hard and dress nice!
Thank you RUFFWEAR for your donation to our hike!

Sometimes you get the right message at the right time

Sometimes you get the right message at the right time

SEPTEMBER

sept trillium

Sept sunset

sept field

sept skies

A day tromping through the waves playing with a full moon rising

A day tromping through the waves playing with a full moon rising

Sept Hedgehog mt

Sept hair

Sept work

OCTOBER

oct acadia bay 2013 copy

oct acadia 2013

Skiddy didn't want to be left out of the surgery party!

Skiddy didn’t want to be left out of the surgery party!

Oct ETdew on leaves

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MY FIRST 4K!!!

Mt. Pierce - a true fairytale

Mt. Pierce – a true fairytale

Oct pierce macro

NOVEMBER

Feeling so blessed to have had the opportunity to capture this time for this strong and beautiful woman!

Feeling so blessed to have had the opportunity to capture this time for this strong and beautiful woman!

Nov CA

Nov CA macro

Nov CA Skyline

Loved my campsite

Loved my campsite

Not happy about bringing fleas to the puppy sitters

Not happy about bringing fleas to the puppy sitters

DECEMBER

California was hit with major rain while I was out there the river went from pushing out 500 CFS to 60,000 CFS of water over two days!!! The river rose 20 feet!

California was hit with major rain while I was out there the river went from pushing out 500 CFS to 60,000 CFS of water over two days!!!
The river rose 20 feet!

Dec seaweed

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Do you see the caterpillar?

Do you see the caterpillar?

Do you see the "water bear"?

Do you see the “water bear”?

 

HAPPY NEW YEARS!

HAPPY NEW YEARS!

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There is so much to be done in the new year.  My journey has not ended but only just begun.

AT


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Final day in CA!

I am not ready to depart this beautiful and rugged land. As the day draws to a close I realize just how much I will miss the people I have met and the beautiful land I’ve been surrounded by.
Thank you CA for the insights and experiences you have allowed me!

I hope you all enjoyed this beautiful picture of the White Mountains (directly below) that I posted, uploaded the wrong image from my phone.  Here’s take two (bottom image)!

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The CA mountains are a little less green, or so the case was when this picture was taken.  After the rains the mountains came to life with bright green grass and moss.
CA mountains

 


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Passing moments

The world flashed by viewed from the back of a truck, trees, rocks, cows, and mountains. Watching the land roll past I saw new things which should have been laid out ahead of me but were now only passing memories. I could enjoy a life of travel where you look not at where you are going but appreciate where you could have been and know that when the time is right you’ll get there.

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Redefining beauty

There is something awe inspiring and beautiful about the world when seen from above.  I always fight for my spot next to the window in the plane, I will abstain from drinking if it means I won’t have to disturb the people I’m sharing a row with, this trip was no different.  I happily situated myself against the window my only carry on bag wedged beneath the seat in front of me.

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The world above the clouds

Once the flight was under way I had my nose pressed to the glass. I never tire of the endless sea of clouds, the constant change in texture, light, and density a feast for my photographers eye.  Turbulence kept us all belted to our seats for the first hour.  I  consider myself an amateur connoisseur of inexpensive flights.  This one was one of my finest finds at less than half the price of a normal ticket but with the price cut came an outstandingly long line for the bathrooms.  In fact the minute the seatbelt light turned off the line stretched almost twenty rows deep, this line remained for the entirety of the six hour flight. I’m not sure what they were serving but it definitely took a toll on the patrons.
As exciting as the never ending bathroom line was I found much more intriguing things outside the plane.  The clouds mystified me, when they finally broke apart the landscape below was no less mesmerizing.  I tried to pick out what state I was in by the lay of the land, unfortunately no one has drawn state lines or color coded them the way my third grade map was.  Despite my geographical disorientation I still knew we were somewhere between the west and midwest as the fields were a vast checker board of colors, and those are the only things west of the east coast.  Each irrigation circle in contrast with the surrounding land.

 

wpid-wp-1416616217287.jpegWe crossed from crop lands into the western mountains where the clouds took over.  When the earth was once again revealed it was the mountains of California.  They looked to be fabric draped across the land, sharp angles, knife edges with folds upon folds hiding mysteries within the shadows.  I am so excited to be searching out some of these mysteries and sharing them.

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Drunk on sleep deprivation

There is a point in time where your body hits a state of drunken euphoria, when you are trying to function off a couple hours of sleep a night. I was at this point. Walking up stairs was safer at a crawl, I had a false sense of happiness which can only be attributed to my body working as hard as possible to keep me functioning on some same level. If you tell yourself enough times everything is in order it still won’t be.
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I have been wrapped in a whirlwind of adventure over the past couple of weeks. I made it up another 4000 footer in the New Hampshire White mountains. Mt. Osceola was a fun hike which challenged me physically. The Rocky terrain kept me on high alert as I climbed, stepped, and scrambled my way up. In some ways I was thankful the trail held few distractions, there was no reason for me to stop and pull out my camera, the trail was bare of flowers, moss, or other macro opportunities.

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Summit view from Mt. Osceola

This was an exciting day for Star, since she’d been left behind on my last hike. I even borrowed her boyfriend for the day and Tamarack was along for the adventure. The day became a training day for Star, it was all about trail manners, these included but not limited to, giving way on the trail, ignoring other dogs, not begging from other hikers, and learning to pose. The posing became a very serious situation both for Star and Tamarack. I don’t know if it is the fact that both dogs are absolutely adorable or if it is the dog packs they wear.

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Pup-arazzi

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Never can get them to both look at me

My days streamed one into another. Work was a constant reminder to the day of the week and the dwindling time before my trip.
Thursday came and it was time to hit the road. Hopped a bus to Boston where I met up with my travel companion, picked up the rental car and we were off. Two drivers one car and almost a thousand miles between us and our destination. Twenty hours later, meals on the road, string cheese wrapped in turkey, and too many “no public bathrooms” I was happy to find our motel.
The next days were full of friends and celebrations as I watched two good friends give their vows to each other. The wedding day was one of a kind. Running around Myrtle Beach looking for a white shirt for the groom, or ending the night with the bride tip toeing into the pool dress and all!
I can’t even start to describe the whirlwind of my trip so here are some pictures from the day.

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Sealing the deal

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Palm fronds

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With another twenty hours on the road I land with my feet back in NH. I have less than twenty four hours to repack my bag and hop a plane to CA where I will see the red woods, revel in the beauty of the world and take time to reconnect with me.
I will do my best to post semi regularly with high quality photos from my phone.