I have been very quiet on social media as of late given a number of uncertainties - some of which are still up in the air, but the following I can share.
Catherine Patla (my wife) has completed all but 126.8 miles on the Appalachian Trail stretching 2,189.2 miles from Georgia to Maine. This summer I accompanied her through New Jersey, New York, Vermont and into New Hampshire. Many were her challenges. For me, I just dropped her off each morning and met her at the end of the day wherever I could – often hiking in to meet her. She had to camp out overnight on several occasions but I managed to get our compact RV into some pretty challenging situations offering a shower and a good nights rest. Catherine has been at the trail on and off for the past thirty years making her a section hiker as opposed to those who do it on one season and are known as thru-hikers. All have “trail names” and hers is “B Rock” for if she sees a rock of a suitable height she rests her butt on the rock. Sustaining a patella injury she decided to do the last few miles next year commenting, “the mountains will still be there.”
Now for me, there are three events on the horizon. The first event is to bicycle across America, 3,000 miles in 30 days plus rest days. I am organizing this event to raise funds for the Foundation for Physical Therapy and my next blog will focus on this ride. The ride will be following the well established Southern Tier Route. For now I am interested in inspiring a small band of dedicated riders to join me and attempt the entire 3,000 miles averaging 100 miles a day to raise money for research and scholarship. If interested in cycling the entire way, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The second event is a little private in that a group of us are planning to motorcycle from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Key West, Florida, a distance of some 5,300 miles, in 7 days. I have twice motorcycled across America from coast to coast, some 2,380 miles in less than fifty hours each time – so it’s doable. The start date is July, 2016.
The third event is not yet decided and it’s a third attempt to solo circumnavigate, to be the oldest to do a non-stop voyage and to do it green. The last two attempts failed when on one voyage the deck fittings failed and on the last attempt the mainsail tore in half. So I am looking at a new boat and will be in Europe in January to see a sister ship in build. If I like it I will order it with some serous modifications based on all my team and I have learned from these past two failed attempts. If I do try again I will be 80 years old and will of course seek to raise money for the Foundation – last time having raised more than $125,000 for this good cause. My decision date for this event is February next year.