Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The beginning...my Project

So, a couple of years ago, I read "The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" by A.J. Jacobs about a man who decided to read the Encyclopedia Britannica in a year and I thought now this was a man with way too much time on his hands. But I also admired the fact that he gave himself a goal and stuck to it until he completed it.

Then I watched the movie Julie and Julia, about a woman who cooked her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and then blogging about it.

Which got me to thinking about a Project(with a capital P) for myself. I could read the encyclopedia or cook everything in a cookbook, but those have already been done. Besides, I already know way to many facts about all kinds of stuff, and living in Alaska, getting all the ingredients for French cooking would cost a fortune.

Nope, I had to come up with something else. So then I thought, what does Alaska have? What does Anchorage have? Then one day I was looking at the sunrise over the Chugach mountains and thought, "well, there are some beautiful places in this state, like those mountains." And so I found the book "
50 Hikes in Alaska's Chugach State Park". Which it turns out was written by two guys I went to high school with.

And as I read it, I started to think that doing all of the hikes in that book would be a worthwhile project to do. It would be something not impossible, but a definite challenge. Hiking is something that I've always enjoyed, but never been seriously gung-ho about. So then I realized that I needed a deadline, and since a year worked for the two inspirations, I decided it would work for me also. Of course, I'm a bad Alaskan in that I don't like to be cold, so I'm really planning on doing these hikes between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Which comes down to about 2 hikes a week all summer long. Hmmmm. Maybe I could do a couple of shorter ones during the winter to get them out of the way.

Anyway, that's what this blog is about. I hope you enjoy taking my journey with me, whoever you are.


  1. I'll be keeping tabs on your project James. I may even join you for a few hikes. The biggies like Cantata, Symphony, and Bold peak might require professional help. Getting some of the easy Winter friendly ones out of the way right now would be good though. Eklutna peak, Harp Mtn, McHugh to Windy, Middlefork, Wolverine, Winner Creek, ect. All good Winter walks. Good luck and I hope to see you in the hills!

  2. Good luck my friend, I will join you on any that I can get the time off to go on. Aaron is right, there are several that are very winter friendly. Bird Ridge is a good spring hike and Bird Peak is a May trip (wear long pants at any time of the year, there are a LOT of thorns in them bushes out there). Good luck with your project.