Tallahassee, FL – 6/1/16
Layers of handwritten notes litter my desk, stacked on open boxes, on old photos, on hard drives. To-do lists. Things to remember. Kinnarodden has two ds. No accent on Tarifa. Thoughts that I don’t want to lose, but can’t hang onto in the flood spilling out of my head.
The ends of two hiking sticks lie on the floor where I tossed them a week ago, broken and battered and replaced with new, unscathed, unbent titanium. Equipment is everywhere. An unsalvagable water bottle that leaks near the mouth. A solar panel. Two down jackets that I’ve stared at for months and can’t decide between. A third that won’t make the cut, but I haven’t had time to move. Hats, batteries, gloves, a solar panel, charging cords. An old tarp I don’t quite trust anymore. A tent, wrapped up and stuffed in a sack. I took it out three weeks ago and sprayed a hose on it for an hour to make sure it wouldn’t leak.
A backpack somewhere, buried under it all. A sleeping bag that still needs washing and a patch over a small tear where tufts of down leak out. An air mattress, new out of the box, just replaced. My old one liter cooking pot that I’ve had since the Pacific Crest with its dented sides and fire blackened bottom. An alcohol stove that still burns after ten years. I need a new windscreen, that’s what the roll of aluminum flashing is for. It’s sat for weeks waiting for me to get to it, to cut it into shape, to pop holes in the side that will vent air into the flames.
An emergency beacon. I activated it yesterday, stood outside in the sunlight swatting flies as it beamed signals to satellites in the sky. No bigger than a cell phone and it just might save me anywhere in the world. Twenty feet from my front door, it seems silly. Days away from civilization, it might be the last thing between me and death. I flick it on to check it again. “This is an automated reply to your message” the beacon reads. “I can still save your life,” it says in my head. I turn it off and hope I never use it.
My headlamp is somewhere on the table. I tested it a week ago and as soon as it worked I put it down on my desk. It’s stayed there ever since, slowly buried under paper until only the strap peeks out from under the pile. I’ll need it, but not at first, not in the everlasting daylight of the arctic summer.
Clothes. Boxes of clothes that stack like I’m making a cardboard wall. Shirts and pants, far too many to bring. I’m picking one of each and returning the rest, but I can’t decide. I want to love the choice since I’ll wear it until the threads fray and fall apart, until the back is nothing but strings of cloth hanging off my shoulders after thousands of miles.
A groundsheet. Bandana. Sunglasses. Memory cards. A stack of books that read Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal. A new cell phone that will work in all of those. The books are filled with information that I’ll never get to because I haven’t been able to open one. But what do I need train and bus itineraries for when I have my two feet and a pair of shoes. Two pairs actually. I still need to decide which one goes and which gets sent back.
I need to decide a lot of things, here, while there are options, while I’m surrounded by stacks of things, stacks of decisions to make. I stare at the stacks and wonder if it’s all here, if everything I need to walk across a continent is here sitting in this room, if I can succeed by making the right decisions now.
I stare. I drown in it all. I barely sleep, like I’ve barely slept for weeks, my mind rushing too fast for sleep, only giving in at three or four in the morning when exhaustion finally shuts everything down.
I’ve got to keep going, to keep making decisions. I think about five days from now. I think about when I’ll walk out my door with that pack, when all the decisions will be over, behind me right or wrong, cleared away in the final rush towards the next adventure.
Then everything will be clear.
Just walk south.
Welcome back to Predictably Lost!
I’m glad you are here to join me on this next adventure. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, but once this gets going, I think it’s going to be fantastic. I’m excited to write again and I’m really excited to add video. I’ve worked for the past month to figure out how to shoot, edit, and post video from my phone because, along with the writing, I think it will do a fantastic job of putting you inside the adventure as it is happening.
So, to keep up as this next adventure unfolds, here is what I recommend:
First, follow this blog via email. This way you will automatically get an email of every new post on Predictably Lost. The signup is at the bottom of the page and looks like this:
While you’re down there, feel free to follow the blog on some of the other social media platforms like instagram, twitter, and facebook. Basically, I want it to be easy for you to find out about new posts on Predictably Lost.
Second, subscribe to the new YouTube channel. Here is a link to the Predictably Lost page on YouTube: www.youtube.com/predictablylost. Go there and click the subscribe button so that you can stay connected and easily find the videos on YouTube. Here is a picture showing you the button (you’ll need a google account to subscribe. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, you can always just go to Predictably Lost’s YouTube page or search YouTube for “PredictablyLost” and watch any of the videos, subscribing just makes it easier to find):
Finally, share the blog and YouTube channel with anyone who might be interested in following along on this adventure. The best time to start a story is from the beginning so the more people who are following near the start the better story they will get! Share it with friends, hiking buddies, travelers, whomever might get a kick out of it!
Thanks so much! Looking forward to having you with me on this crazy trip! I should start posting regularly in about 3 weeks so be sure to check back in, but if you go ahead and follow the blog and subscribe to the YouTube channel, you won’t have to remember, you’ll know as soon as new posts and videos are up!
17 thoughts on “Europe N to S: The Next Adventure (6/1)”
Holy moly this is exciting!! Can’t wait to follow along on another one of your epic journeys! -Breeze
Thanks Breeze! Oh my mom is going to be sad you beat her to the first comment! 😉
I’m so excited! Safe travels, Daniel.
Finally, a new adventure awaits! Can’t wait to follow you along the trail once again. Safe travels!
Great to read that you are about to hike again. I look forward to the read…
Loved the video for the trip. What a beautiful world you have traveled in and I look forward to seeing and reading how the Old World compares to the New World.
Hi Daniel, The photos arrived yesterday along with a flood of memories. You, a tiny speck down the lake…growing and growing until you were standing on the dock. Cooking”Dirty Clothes” hunched over the pot. And finally wishing you a Bon Voyage as you headed to Canada. Now you are off on another adventure, one that we can live through you, vicariously. Honestly, don’t think I could sleep on the ground anymore. John and I started up a kayak tour business here in the Champlain Islands..Check it out in all your spare time kayakislandpassages.com Wishing you all the best of luck. It looks like you might being going through Provence. We have dear friends who run a hostel for artists etc a bit west of Nimes. He is a high wire artist, she a stunt woman. They would welcome you for as long as you need to rest. Check out their website at maspinet.com It would be a perfect stop. Let me know and I will pave the way for you to their doorstep. Looking forward to your blog and youtube videos. Safe travels, Berney
OMG Daniel â Welcome Back J You have been missed xooxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxooxox
Be well and Happy! oxoxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxooxoxoxoxoox
Welcome back, Daniel. I’m ready for your next adventure.
So fun to watch your ever expanding adventure. We fondly remember meeting in “Little Current” aboard our trawler “Journey” We are still cruising but “Journey” is for sale as we plan on land travel around the US and Canada. Looking forward to read about your trip Tom, Melesia and Mango
been waiting for the next adventure. its been too long! will be following. take care and be safe.
Oh my gosh Dan. Your so my idol! I only wish I could do what you do. Your simply amazing. I would do almost anything to meet up with you again. My children and I were out kyack ing the Hudson River and my daughter just asked me this weekend mom do you ever get posts or anything from Dan the predictably lost guy. It’s so quincidental you sent this email mail out I was so excited to hear the news. I’m ready to explore this next adventure with you. I only wish I was going with you. Lol. I hope you remember us, we are from Athens NY Missy,Bailey,and Sage. I wish you good luck and health along with safe travels,
Daniel, I hoped you would resurface and continue living my dreams of freedom, raw adventure and exploration. Welcome back. I will be reading and watching the whole journey with great anticipation and excitement. Thanks! Steve
Hey D! Fantastic journey!!
Your tía & sobrinas in Madrid are curious about your route. There are so many variations on “Mehamm” going down Norway, it’s difficult to guess how far you’ve gotten, but the assumption is that you will be walking into Denmark and not through Sweden or Finland. We would love to see you in Spain, whether you pass through Madrid or not. Please let us know your tentative trajectory as you get closer, maybe when you are in France. Depending on when you reach the Iberian Peninsula, we are pretty flexible and can meet you somewhere on little notice. You have so many incredible options! For instance, theoretically you could go to Mont Blanc, though it’s a little out of your way with some tough passes, but it is the highest massive in Continental Europe. Your sobrina and I trekked the Tour du Mont Blanc 3 years ago. Spectacular. Besitos y abrazos MUY fuertes.
Laura, Amaya and Sofía
Yay! Of course I will let you know when I get closer. I can’t wait to see you! I’m curious about my route as well, but I know I’ll be in Spain for quite a while!
I’m just starting, a mutual friend was raving about your Kayaking trip recently, and she finally gave me your details and I find this… It will take me a couple of days to catch up on your current trip, this walking through Europe… I’m ecstatic to go through it. I was watching the YouTube videos, I think it will be best to follow the blog first and catch up. More power to you man, this is AWESOME!!!
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