Daxel Contra Wristwatches

•4 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

There’s a lot of “go big or go home” thinking in wristwatches now. And I think it’s an economically rational decision. Either get something expensive and fuck-you, or wear something that costs $30 and is basically disposable. The middle-market is a study in irrelevance.

You can see this by looking at TAG Heuer. As little at 20 years ago they were making monstrosities like this – gaudy frankenwatches, slick and wetly chromed like Giger meets Rob Liefeld, the sort of thing you’d expect to get for 10,000 skiball tickets at an LA galleria in 1993. Now they have gone back to their roots to make Autavias like this and this. Which are clean, classy, masculine – at once traditional and smart.

(And Brietling is right behind.)

I expect this reflects six trends: two macro, two micro, two phyto – relating to the global economy, the luxury-good economy, and the watch-world in particular, respectively.

Macro: there is more wealth in the world in general.

Macro: there is greater wealth inequality, and so those who have are more likely to have a lot.

Micro: if you want to wear a watch at all, it’s probably as a statement of value.

Micro: if you want a watch that isn’t a statement of value… you can just buy a Timex.

Phyto: we have much rejected the desparation for novelty that marked the 60s thru the 80s, and just, like, thank God

Phyto: we have much rejected the developing of new fashion trends at all, in favor of appropriating the fashion trends of previous generations.

At its most favorable, I would suggest that the first phyto trend represents an enlightened embrace of quality, and that quality – rather unsurprisingly – can often be found in techniques from the eras and epochs before mass production, when making was hard, repair was difficult, utility was the name of the game, and as a result, the development of quality was just a simple necessity.

It is unsurprising that the use of older techniques brings about an embrace of older designs and aesthetic sensibilities. On the one hand, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, that is fine. But on the other, it is facile to believe that technique and design are separable. The employ of a traditional production method is a great way to realize the wisdom of the traditional design associated with it.

A bit more cynically, I would posit that the second phyto trend represents something a bit more philosophically cumbersome. The backward-looking archaism of wearing a historical watch-style – which is basically synonymous with wearing a watch at all – is a reflection of the fact that, while we have the intelligence to realize that the little variations and trappings of kultur are unimportant, we lack the courage to escape them. A hipster is a person who takes on the aesthetics of others in order to avoid having one for themselves. “We do this ironically,” they say, “because we are all emperors, and yet for some reason, the emperor must wear clothes.”

I would say that aesthetics are contextual, and all too often, we lack context. The contextual basis for aesthetics applies both to production and use. In a globalized world, we can make (or buy) whatever we want, wherever we are. Likewise we usually don’t need specialized clothing or equipment (at least not of a personal nature, to be worn day-to-day).

In the modern world, much of what we wear and use is of sufficient quality that it could be used in most, if not all, common contexts. Jeans and a t-shirt are easily dismissed because they are easily accomplished. In reality, they are the apotheosis of millennia.

Compare to Budweiser. Ever notice how a (traditional) Budweiser can has those gold medal blazons on it? From when, in the 1890s, it was declared the Best Beer In The World. And at the time, it was – because the goal of brewing, for literally thousands of years, was to create a beer that was simple, easy-drinking, clean, stable, and reproducable from every batch to batch. Every medieval maker of ale and amber was dreaming of a pale pilsner. Budweiser was the success of a thousand lifetimes. Just as the dream of every beer-drinker was that it always be late spring, with no need to drink watered lager in the summer heat, nor stout in the winter cold. Now we have indoor heating and A/C (or, y’know, moving to Los Angeles). We can achieve harmony, stability, perfection – not just in production, but in use. Fuck off, Thomas Hobbes: life is communal, rich, pleasing, lazy, and long.

But it’s boring.

So we go backwards, to a time when it was not boring. We make historical beer-styles, stouts and switchels, and we pay five times as much for the privilege and talk about Bud with disdain. Because we miss the variety that came about through necessity. Because all dress is just playing dress-up. Because nothing is necessary anymore.

In the same way we strive for ancient weaves and complex designs because jeans and a t-shirt are easy and dull. They are perfectly acceptable in basically all situations ever (and don’t give me any ‘but Black Tie!’ nonsense – neo-Victorian dress protocols are the epitome of hipsterism; they are just cosplay for those with a lot of dough). I would argue that they have actually been improved upon a little – a Merino base layer, a Patagonia shell, some zipoff ripstop pants, and a pair of trailrunners, and you’re basically ready for anything in the fucking universe. But we’re talking incremental improvements, here – which is to say, diminishing returns. From cotton to wool is not apples to oranges; more like a 1665 to 216600. That is to say, more like Budweiser to Heineken.

Take the “dress watch.” It’s not just a simple, thin watch, because anyone can make that. It apes the earlier style inside and out. It is preposterous archaism – and they make tens of thousands of them a year, selling for at least ten thousand dollars a piece. Not because they’re better than a Daniel Wellington. They are inarguably worse than many a $300 Seiko. Because we have no needs, and so, have no culture. Because we have nothing to strive for today, so we join in the strivings of yesterday – columns on our McMansions, Calatravas on our wrists.

And outside of necessity, attempts to create newness are like controlling a machine through positive feedback. At best you get something kinda cool, like the Ploprof – that is certainly no more useful than a regular dive watch (like the original Rolex submariner, or a $300 Seiko Prospex)… and let’s not forget that this is a very low bar. But more often you get something really stupid, like a Richard Mille that costs more than a condo in Somerville. And I could post two dozen examples of modern “haut horologie” but honestly, I just ate breakfast, I don’t want to look at ’em.

Really the basic truth is that the mechanical wristwatch reached its apotheosis with the Rolex Oyster in the 1930s. Everything since then has been diminishing returns – if any. These days mechanical watch should almost always be a Rolex. The only reasons not to buy a Rolex are to prefer aesthetic differences, or to save money. Both rational justifications – but there is no third.

And that’s not even touching mechanical versus quartz. Which is probably more than Budweiser versus Heineken… and the Heineken in this case costs about one sixtieth of the Budweiser.

On the one hand, I can’t imagine that I would like to live in a world where everyone wore jeans and t-shirts like they were Mao Suits. On the other hand, creating difference without necessity is just very dull. The better thing to do is work on incremental improvements – making things better, and more durable, and cheaper. Concomitant is the goodness of working to see that more people can afford the necessities of life. But best, I would argue, is seeking NEW NECESSITIES – new challenges, new problematizations, new contexts. So that our creations are solutions, informed by need and use. So that the result is not simply faffing about; it is necessary; it is authentic.

Advertisements

Gear changes between the AT and TA

•2 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

This is really comparing the gear that I am ending the AT with, versus what I’m taking when I begin the TA. Will have to revist if and when I finish the TA – and compare to when I started in Harpers Ferry!

Here are the changes:

PANTS:
-ditched kilt, because (oddly) it’s more of a cold-weather thing.
-instead I will be wearing light nylon pants with zipoff legs (i.e. they turn into shorts)
-in point of fact, think I’ll bring 2 pairs of the shorts but only 1 pair of legs, since I expect I’ll very rarely want ‘pants’ – mostly in town
BOOTS:
-ditched hiking boots (a while ago), because generally not needed as a thrubie
-Instead will be using trailrunners
-but now I’ve got heavier trailrunners, with vibram lugs for grip, a rockplate for protection, and “sandpaper toes” for grip… AKA, basically approach shoes
PACK:
-backpack went from 40L internal capacity to 70L internal capacity
-fabric is now thicker (35wt dcf to 150wt woop woop), and also has a small internal frame
-new backpack does not have external pockets. instead it has external daisychains, from which I will hang carabiners and a few lengths of paracord, so I can make my own pockets/hangs as I see fit. we’ll see how this works!
STORAGE
-added two more stuff sacks, just to make internal organization a bit easier
CARABINERS
-biner game has steadily evoled. at this point, am carrying 2 locking carabiners affixed to rear of pack (for max reliability), and 2 quick-release biners on belt-loops (for max ease)
SOCKS
-ditched the ultrapadded boot socks. using lightweight ankle-socks instead
-still DarnTough of course. because… of course.
HAT
-traded heavy wool hat for light wool beanie. because the only time I need more than that is when I sleep, and for that I have The Darth Vader Hood
GLOVES
-ditched the lightweight gloves because they did nothing. mittens for sleeping or snow; otherwise, bare skin
-bringing rain gloves. useful primarily for getting water out of half-frozen springs
POLES
-ditched my carbon lekis, because they kept breaking, sad pandas
-using $20 aluminum poles. even if they do break… twenty bucks, not two hundred
OTHER
-added a Fisher Space Pen (teeny keychain version), because the ability to write is pretty cool
-added a second 2L platy, because there might be some longer water carries
-switched from 5000mAh battery pack, to 20,000. for longer “power carries”
-fresh paracord. #treatyoself

The Process Due

•28 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

For discussion:

When:

1) an accusation is made

2) under oath

3) accusing a person requesting a benefit (and emphatically NOT a respondant in judicial proceedings)

4) of an act or omission,

5) which would, if true, render them unfit to receive that benefit, and

6) the accusation is facially credible;

​THEN​

the accusation should be held to create a rebuttable presumption of unfitness.

The burden of proof thus shifts firmly to the accused, to either

A) disprove the allegations,

B) demonstrate the incredibility of the accuser, or

C) argue that the allegations, even if true, do not warrant an adverse judgment.

If they are unable to so do, the accuser is given the benefit of the doubt, and the accused is denied the benefit of the position.

 

In such a circumstance, I think that it would be charitable to offer the accused the benefit of neutral, professional investigation, which might produce such evidence, at their request.

Vow of Poverty

•28 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

For discussion: a framework for reducing congressional self-interest:

  1. A person serving as a member of congress shall be barred from doing any paid work, or any unpaid work for a for-profit corporation, or any unpaid work for a registered lobbyist, for a period of time equal in length to their tenure in congress, to begin at the moment they leave office.
  2. A person serving as a member of congress shall receive their full congressional salary, and medical benefits, during the time wherein this prohibition is in effect.
  3. This shall in no way impair the ability of these persons to serve in other governmental positions, in any branch of government, whether elected, appointed, or related to military service.

The Sartorial

•26 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

While I was on the Trail, I dreamed – a lot – about things to buy. I thought about what I wanted to own. Things to define myself. Things to wear. I spent a lot of time on hostel wifi looking at shoes and watches and suits.

This is somewhat natural. When in A, dream of B. When in a wet tent, dream of a dry house. When in Altras, dream of Allen Edmonds.

I’m sure it also sprung somewhat from the fact that I hadn’t packed enough audiobooks and podcasts (and oral arguments galore). A situation which I am working very hard to remedy for Te Araroa. Thank you, 512GB MicroSD card!

But most of all, it originated from my desire to, like, work for a living. To be working towards something. Making progress. Making anything.

Dreaming of the work itself was – is – too painful, at this point. So I dreamt of the life.

The big problem with this – outside of the numerous practical problems which need no belaboring, I promise you – is that it’s actually a bit counterfactual. If I had a fulfilling job, I would want to treat myself to shiny things the less, not the more. And the more fulfilling the job was, the less I’d care about other things – or things at all.

Indeed: the more luxurious my income, the less I’d want to spend it on luxuries. Because when you have very little money, it is perfectly acceptable to dream of treating yourself. To big things. To little things. What’s the difference? Whereas if you have a lot of money, you have enough that you can actually use it to knock some bodies down. You can work towards guaranteeing your security. Your retirement. The undertaking of projects that are orthagonal to work – hobbies, ventures, cough thru-hiking cough-cough-cough. And beyond that, you can put the money to use – to underwriting new ventures, to endowing charitable works, to – in short – making things.

Having a lot of money is not just an improvement over having a little; it is qualitatively different. Because being in the upper middle class may be luxurious – but it is not powerful.

This is not to say that I disdain – or wish I could disdain – fashion, or fabric, or the owning of things. Not at all. Not were I rich, not were I poor. Even emperors need clothes. I just wish my desires, my daydreams, did not exist in a vacuum – that they could complement a life, rather than supplement it.

Much of my attention towards fashion has been practical. My interest in how I present myself sprung from a desire to maximize my odds of success in a business interview. This is important. It pains me that I am only now pursuing it. But it is not creative. It is about surveying what other people are wearing and trying to match course. It is not about self-determination, it’s about guessing what will look ‘okay’ to a 23-year-old HR rep from Mineola. It is observational, barely analytic, and not at all generative. It doesn’t require daydreaming. It doesn’t even allow it.

There is a case to be made that this, then, is an area wherein I should not bother daydreaming. That I lack context, and to dream of self-presentation without specific context is to shout into the abyss – or pee into the wind.

But if I can dream up an outfit, I can dream up a context, too.

If I had a forty thousand dollar a year legal job in rural Maine, what should I wear? Probably the answer is “it couldn’t possibly matter less.” No help there.

Doesn’t mean it would be a bad life. It would be one that would cost me perhaps $100 a year in broadcloth button-downs and AmPrime khakis; certainly it would be economic! But for such a life, I might as well never have learned the difference between twill and tweed. Not only would it be unnecessary, it would not be of benefit – and could very, very easily be counter-beneficial. As I’m run out of town on a rail for sins against the sumptuary.

I think this context is probably representative of the majority of middle-class jobs that I could enter into. It encapsulates the better part of ‘business casual’ – which encapsulates the better part of the working world.

Whereas, if I had a partner-track job somewhere, the answer to “what should I wear?” would remain rather asymptotic to “whatever everyone else is wearing.” The inputs would change; the algorithm would not. I would still have to study others; it would not give me much opportunity to study fashion, and even less to study myself.

Whereas, if I achieve even a modicum of success – as an entrepreneuer, as a businessman, as a financier, as a lawyer further down that partner track – then I can wear whatever I jolly well want. Then I have freedom. Which allows me – requires me! – to actually make hard choices for myself, backed by research, paying opportunity cost at every turn. It would give me the freedom to work harder – freedom of my favorite kind.

There is, in short, little need for me to daydream about fashion or Things, outside of concurrently daydreaming that I have a great and fulfilling job that has made me rich.

 

So – let’s pretend that I am rich. That I am successful. That I am fulfilled, day to day.

What do I wear?

I think that larger conundrums can be brought into focus by looking at wristwatches. Not the least because, I know watches way better than I know… anything else, really. Shut up.

Let us look at two wristwatches: the Breguet Type XX, and the Breguet Tradition

The dieselpunk chrono:

Breguet is the house that invented the wristwatch (as well as the self-winding watch, the modern balance spring, the tourbillon) back during the ancien regime and then the Empire. During the World Wars, they were called upon to produce ‘tool watches’ for the military effort. Most luxury houses did the same – Rolex (e.g.) for the British officers; Lange and IWC for the German pilots; Panerai (with Rolex movements) for Italian divers; etc. As a result, some of these timepieces showed lesser or greater amounts of luxury influence. The Breguet Type XX and Type XXI chronographs, made for French pilots, were somewhat at the zenith of this. They are still made today, and are still beautiful watches – and excellent timepieces. Much like Panerai still make the Radiomir, IWC the Pilot’s Watch, and Rolex still, of course, makes the Submariner and GMT-Master that brought us victory and glory in Vietnam. They are functional, attractive, manly I dare say, and full of history.

They are also a watch that was made for a specific context, which is now seventy years gone, and to which I have no connection, nor particular desire for one.

The problem is – this thinking would apply to the vast majority of watches. And… I think it does.

So let us look at a modern marvel of a timepiece.

The steampunk skeleton:

The Breguet “Tradition” is, of course, nothing of the sort. It falls, I think, under the categories of ‘needless ostentation’ and ‘baroque maleficense which aggravates underlying socialist tendencies’. Skeletonized watches always have this effect on me. And I am quite fine that they do. On an intellectual level, they are at best the very model of diminished returns; more likely they are simply and entirely indefensible. They are without function. They gild the lily with abandon. In point of fact they take a (pretty perfectly) good thing and make it more delicate and more difficult to upkeep. It’s not that they aren’t worth the money; they shouldn’t even exist in the first place.

If this is true of skeletons, it is squared and cubed for tourbillons.

On the other hand, these mechanical marvels do inspire in me an, ah, unconscious physical response, the likes of which my forebears might describe as reproductive in functionality.

Why do I like them, if I hate them so? Is it just a response to good branding? Is it just a vague love of the mechanical?

Stepping back, I think it is natural result of wristwatches having become a pure luxury item. Whether it’s there for your pleasure, or to show off to others, is rather immaterial; a wristwatch is an item of the decorous. If you’re going to buy one, buy a nice one; if you’re going to buy a nice one, buy a very nice one; if you have the resources, you might as well skate down the slippery slope, and give Thorstein Veblen a clockwork handjob at the bottom.

In which case, skeletons and tourbillons aren’t just absurdities themselves; they are a reductio ad absurdum argument against mechanical watches in general. They are a blistering indictment of any wristwatch which is not powered by quartz & cased in steel or titanium. They say “if you want to spend $500 on a watch, then you want to spend $5,000, or $50,000, or more. If you don’t, it not from lack of desire – only lack of money.’

To which I might reply: ‘There ought to be more standing between you and being a Wicked Witch of the Wrist than your ability to pay. You should spend your money on other things. Travel and tailor and the tawdry. Spend it. Invest it. Donate it. Give it away. Don’t pay someone to make something that, in truth, ought not to be made. Buy a quartz-powered Seiko, with a sapphire crystal and a bit of WR, and tell M. Breguet to stick his squelette straight up his escapement.”

This is, I think, the perfect representation of my thoughts concerning the sartorial. If I have a cheap job… who gives a fuck. If I have a true Profession, a Career… I will do what dother people do. Even if that means I have to buy a fucking Rolex. But if I were successful… fulfilled, and flush o’ cash… I do not think I would wear a Very Expensive Timepiece. Not a Rolex, not a Sinn. I think I’d probably choose not to wear a mechanical watch at all.

Maybe an SBGA081. Maybe a Snowflake, if I wanted variety. If only the VHP were a little dressier… BUT I DIGRESS.

 

This logic, I think, applies equally to clothing.

Look at shoes. Leather is archaic. At best it pays homage to naturalism, in a way that reminds me far too much of the renfaire. Mostly it simply showcases our inability to redefine the fashionable apart from the definitions of a previous generation – one part hipsterism, ten parts cowardice.

On the other hand, what are you gonna do, crush hi-tech sports shoes day-to-day? Why?

It’s the chronograph and the skeleton again. Rejection of the ancien-for-the-sake-of-the-ancien does not require us to embrace the self-consciously moderne. They should both be rejected. In favor of practicality. Elegance. Simplicity.

What should I wear? Good slacks. Tailored dress-shirts. A pair of jeans. A killer sweater or three. Merino polo when it’s hot, LL Bean flannel when its not. Seriously – what more does one need?

Really, I should just wear Altras forever.

Needs

•19 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

Thru-hiking has offered me a really interesting perspective on my relationship to material goods.

When hiking, I need only what’s in my backpack. (Definitionally. If I need something that I don’t have, then – well – enjoy recovering my body from the mountaintop.)

I rather thought that, at home, I would explode into greater needs. But I’m finding that this isn’t quite so.

-Part of this derives from redundancy. A lot of my hiking gear is just as useful off-trail as on. Good hikin’ shoes are good runnin’ shoes are good everyday casual shoes. Now that I’ve worn merino, I will keep wearing it – I will never, ever, go back to cotton.

-Part of this derives from necessity. I have none. I have no life. That’s fair – I’m about to go hike for another 4-8 months, so, life-having is not a present expectation. But this only goes so far. I’m 31 years old, I have a fair idea of what is needed in my life – and what is needed in Business Casual / Upper Middle Class life across-the-board. And, well, I basically have it. Could step into Life at a moment’s notice.

-But a large part of it is a result of a change of attitude. During the brief time that I’ve been – well – indoors, I find that I’ve brought a certain minimalism back from the Trail. Basically I’ve realized that I would not only be just as happy to own less stuff, I would in fact be happier.

I’ve spent the last few weeks rather aggressively triaging my belongings. I thought I might take a moment to list what I’ve kept. In part as a little day-in-the-life time capsule. In part to remind myself that I have a lot as it is!

-KITCHEN. Chef’s knife (Miyabi birchwood). Rice-cooker (Betty Kawaii). KitchenAid. Blender. Immersion blender. Sous Vide wand. Pasta maker. Cast iron: dutch oven, skillet, broiler pan. Teflon: omelette pan, baking sheets. Silicon: steamer basket, strainer, hand-tools. Wood: cutting board, chopsticks.

-CAFFEINE. Manual coffee grinder. Goose-neck kettle. Pourover cone. Aeropress. Teapot. Infusion basket. Half a dozen mugs – but down from a dozen.

-OFFICE. Desktop computer. Laptop computer (chromebook). Headphones. LED lamp that’s as bright as a major solar event. Might get a projector for watchin’ movies.

-BATHROOM. Electric razor. DE razor. Shaving brush. A dopp kit containing too much product – but I ain’t complainin’.

-CLOTHING. Two long-sleeve dress shirts (white, blue). Three long-sleeve buttondowns (black cotton, light gray linen, dark gray denim). Three short-sleeve button-downs (light gray, light brown, dark brown). Two heavy flannels. Three pairs of chinos (light khaki, mid khaki, dark khaki). Two pairs of raw denim jeans (preposterously light, preposterously heavy). Two polos (merino). Two overcoats (black cashmere, camel trench). Five sweaters (black, dark gray, mid gray, light gray; green donegal that’s my favorite thing ever).

-SUITS. A navy three-piece. I’d like to have several more. But then, I’d like to have the sort of life that requires me to suit up. Or even allows it. I don’t have that. Until I do, it does no good to pretend otherwise. Dream of the life, not of the life-adjuncts!

-ACCESSORIES. A few belts. Suspenders. Collar stays. Cufflinks, tux studs, just in case. Couple of scarves. Small box of Darn Toughs. Fifty neckties… but that’s down from 100, I think that earns me partial credit?

-SHOES. Black dress oxfords. Tan dress boots. Trail runners. Mid-weight hiking boots. Blue suede boat shoes. Might dream of a pair of workboots – Truman’s in Moss Mohawk, anyone?

-WATCHES. White metal, white dial, dress. Stainless, black dial, luxury sport. Yellow metal, white dial, luxury sport. Stainless, black dial, diver, daily. Can still daydream, but basically I’m good.

-MAKER STUFF. A Dremel and press. A Singer and walking-foot. A tool-chest full of crap. A real hell of a Bugout Bag.

-A CAR. And A BIKE. And. Enough hiking gear that I could pass as a Seattle techie.

I may not have a life – but at a moment’s notice, I am ready for one.
 

Some Thanks

•16 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

I just hit Katahdin and I have some thanks to give.

The Appalachian Trail is a thousand things but first and last it’s the people. The people you meet, the people you talk to, the people you can look at and know “we’re all in this together” and that’s really the best feeling in the world. So to all of you who got me from Georgia to Maine, I want to say: thank you.

Thank you Pigpen and Pollen Moon, Squire and Stretch and Remix, Defib (and the whole Walhalla crew!), Spoons, NoName, Detail & Maverick, the Family – the Crawfords – Ben Kami Dove Eden Seven Memory Filea and Rainier – I miss you guys, Shitsicle, Mongrel, Robin & Buck, Ghost, Sail, Postcard, Fritz Lang (du Legende), Momma Kish & Not Dead, Pit Boss & Play-by-Play ya dingus, Peanut & Floater, Smalls Too and Database, Granite Man, River, Cotton and Lodi, Sunshine and Kylo (its private property!), Grits you crazy lunatic, Darwin HOO HAA HAA, the Bounders, Bookie, Bluegrass, Ringer, Foxtrot #doublecrown, Scars, Honeybear, Inside Out, Professor & Moose you total nutjobs, Pretzel at Neel’s Gap, Kuya at Bear’s Den, GIBBIE!, Service, Helen of Troy, Nurse, the fourth sobo whose name I can’t remember ><, Ramblin’ Man, Greengrass, Ishmael and her boy, Red Hawk & Cribbage, Hopalong, First Aid, Old Man & Cowboy you armadillo-painting lunatics, Bilbo, Bob Dylan, Morotcycle Mama, Lumberjill, Hedwig, Brand New, Beast, Spoons’ parents, One Tee and Raindance, Armor, Tall Boy, Crazy Tree in all his glory, Hops, Soldier Mike, Cave Beaver, Energizer, the man the legend SHARKEY, Flint & Steel, Legs and the other Legs, that dude in the bunny ears, Captain Caveman, the great Sparkplug, Canuck, Woodchuck, Beaker & First Sergeant, my summit buddies Lauren Nat Leland and Troutwater, Pappy you mad lad, JP and all the croo in the Whites, the friggin’ ghost hunter and all the other hostelers along the way, all the trail angels (Pig & Pollen & HENRY), the army preacher and everyone else who stopped to give a stinky forestjew a hitch to town, all the ridge runners and the trail crews and volunteers – THANK YOU, all the ultra runners who blew past me, all the section hikers who gave me a piece of fruit or a can of beer, yes even the god damn day hikers, and I’m still missing DOZENS, and the people off-Trail: the Kousiaes (Kle, Limey, Chubbins, DonDon, who knew you all had trail names?), Mark Hagen, Daniel, Alicia, Glynnis, Lauren Kate, my chatroom of sad Maine Law cockbags, Andy’s dogs, IZZIE!, Glenn & Alys and Dana & Rob, hell yeah Jeremy, THANK YOU MOM!!!, everyone I’m forgetting who got me from Georgia to Maine, and Joe Dodge, and Jensen Bissell, and Grandma Gatewood, and Benton motherfucking McKaye.

And to the Class of 2019 and beyond: do it. It’s wonderful. It’s the life of kings. It’s America. And most of all: hey, the Trail won’t hike itself. So hike your own hike, keep on choochin’, and have some tmaj for me.

-silver

AT class of 2018

…dolla dolla billz yall

 
%d bloggers like this: