Music, art, hiking, the future

This is a blog, I guess it’s okay to do a ‘bloggy’ post here and there right?

It used to be that I’d sit at my computer and listen to new music for hours and hours and hours (and hours and hours) trying to find music that just perfectly fits my hiking videos to every singe conceivable beat be it visual, auditory, and emotional depending on the scene and what things were like for me while I was hiking and how I perceive them when I’m not hiking.  Most of my time spent editing is actually just dedicated to finding good music.  Everything else is pretty straight forward, I watch a bunch of clips I recorded and throw the ones I like into my editing software and cut it to go with the music.  I don’t like making my videos about me so much, I like them to be about the nature.  So while I point the camera at my face here and there to provide context to the area and have a bit of story in there, so the music needs to tell the story I don’t feel like telling by talking, therefore the music is probably the most important element to me outside of the footage itself.  And just now after typing that I realize it sounds really snobby.

Now I’m doing the same thing but I’m trying to get a good feel for what makes a song a good song, because I’m hitting so many walls trying to make my own music for my videos.  I can make interesting things happen with instruments, I can tweak them around and bend them to sound even more interesting.  But good god I can not layer different sounds on top of each other to create depth to save my life, it always sounds really off.  Either that or I’m just ultra-critical of whatever result happens, which isn’t strange for me.

Anyways, there’s a point to this.  It’s not really all that interesting of a point, but I found a really good song with a really good music video to it that – to date – really sums up best what long distance hiking feels like – er – felt like to me.  Largely it’s just a really weird and indescribable experience, and when it ends you’re kinda just like: “Oooookaaayyyyy… what?”.  On a personal note:  I later found out the video was made by one of the producers of Bojack Horseman (she also just does really great/interesting art in general) which is a wonderful show that hits really great emotional beats.  Largely a lot of themes in that show adequately describe the things that drove me to go out and hike the PCT at all and change my lifestyle completely.  I didn’t hike because of it, it wasn’t until I got off the trail to flip up to Washington and hike southbound that I found it and gave it a shot, because I was sitting around doing nothing waiting to start making resupply boxes and Netflix is always there for you in situations like that.  When I finished what’s been made of it so far I was just kinda like “Oh.. huh, weird”.  So it’ll always remind me of long distance hiking, or probably namely the PCT.  So I guess it’s no wonder a video directed by the same person who leads the design of that show has the same effect.

Though I will go out on a limb and say that twerking plants/snakes with boobs don’t really fit any category (so far..?).  Largely though, since I was alone most of the time out there it kind of embodies that feeling of just being buddies with nature (or being utterly mocked by it) and having it strip me of things that weren’t doing me any favors in life, and sometimes it stripped me of things that used to serve me well then but later replaced it with something more positive.

Some stuff and stuff

I’m finally okay with my second San Rafael hike video after re-making it countless times due to some music not being allowed on Youtube.  I had some really great stuff going on, but you know if artists don’t want their stuff being used: that’s cool.  I’m not gonna complain about it, it’s not my stuff.  It’s rendering right now, I’m gonna upload it over night and publish it when I wake up, so it should be on my channel early tomorrow (er.. today.. later today, but early later.. today..?).  Going forward after this video, everything will be 100% my stuff (er, except for the title font), no more 3rd party music.  It’s kind of a horrifying thought, but I’m excited to get started on it.

Appalachian Trail

I got my campsite below Katahdin reserved, so my official Appalachian Trail start date is August 6th.  Having an actual day for it is an exciting thing.  Part of me still wishes I were back out on the PCT again this year, but I’m also glad I’m not.  First off:  Doing new things is always a good thing.  Secondly:  If I did it again this year a lot of the trail would still be fresh in my mind.  I want to forget about some stuff and then run across it and go “Oh yeah, I remember this!“.  It’ll just be more exciting for me I think.

I’m just having a hard time settling on how to get to the campground.  Do I reserve a shuttle+stay at a hostel with an included meal before I leave, or do I get off the Greyhound, take a public bus as far as I can, and hitch hike?  Starting a long hike through Eastern USA is intimidating to me, it’s totally unfamiliar territory to me.  I’ve been to Georgia once for maybe four days, and it was spent on/near a military base for my brother’s infantry graduation ceremony.  Otherwise I know fuck all about the Eastern end of the USA, so I guess this is a good way to become acquainted with it.

Also working both shifts at work to save up for this is a total bummer.  I’m already really worn out.  I go in for one shift, get off, have roughly six hours to try and sleep, then go in for the other shift and have four hours to try and sleep again.  It’s horrible for someone who sucks at sleeping as it is, so I get maybe four or five hours total over the course of both attempts.  Fortunately I don’t totally hate my job.

2018

I’m re-thinking my plans (“plans”) for next year.  I’m leaning towards trying a bike tour for the sole purpose of taking my dog on an adventure with me.  I feel pretty horrible leaving her behind, she loves and always has loved adventuring with me and going places, but she’s a stubby little Corgi with little stump legs, she gets tired relatively fast and as much as she loves hiking, a long distance hike is way too much.  There’s a lot of different trails I’d love to do (including the PCT again), but taking my dog with me on a trip sounds much better.  She’s seven years old right now, still in good years to handle something like this.  One day she’ll be too old and I’ll probably regret not having taken her out on more big adventures with me.  I think going forward, after my second PCT attempt thru-hiking may not be my primary focus and I may be more involved in my van-living plans so she can be with me on a permanent basis and we can check out a bunch of hikes together.  She’s my little buddy, I can’t just keep leaving her behind.  A few times is maybe marginally okay, but I can’t do it every year.

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She even ultimate-cowboy-camps with me.  In other words lays next to me when I get drunk backpacking and refuse to walk the two feet to my tent.  Good times.  I don’t drink and hike anymore.

I guess that’s it.

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