I am a goal setter. Unfortunately its taken a while for me to come up with goals for 2015, but I’ve done so. I broke them down into three parts:
1. Hike at each of the Natural Land Trust preserves in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At the moment I’ve hiked at three of the eighteen – Binky Lee, Stone Hill, and Crow’s Nest. But there are fifteen others, and I expect they are as interesting as the three I’ve visited.
2. Hike the Horseshoe Trail, or at least segments of the trail. I’ve completed stretches of the 140 mile trail in Valley Forge, Warwick County Park, Hopewell Furnace, and St. Peters Village, but there are many other areas to hike. I credit Nate Harner and his hiking the trail to completion for putting this idea in my head.
3. Resume bike riding. The year-long hiatus reminds me how much I miss riding, despite the frustration it sometimes brings. I don’t have any particular reason I stopped, other than I was tired of it and wanted to devote more time to my first love, hiking. I don’t have any particular goals for where to ride, or the number of miles I want to achieve. Just participation is enough. In my own defense I had planned on resuming riding in June, but unforeseen circumstances caused me to decide at the last minute to not bring my bike with me on vacation.
4. Hike the mountains I’d planned on last year: Mount Minsi, Gillespie Point, the Thousand Steps, etc.
5. Hike the Pinnacle and Pulpit Rock. As allegedly the best vista in Pennsylvania, and reportedly one of the most visited, I feel I am missing out by not hiking this eight mile, rocky loop. This will be a major effort on my part, for both the distance and the terrain.
6. Revisit the Catskills. My short 2013 visit didn’t turn out as I hoped. But now I’m better read on what to do in the region. In particular Bellayre is calling me, as the ski slopes are a challenging but not insurmountable climb.
7. I want to spend more time on the water. Despite my problems in a canoe I had a good time, and I understand a kayak might be easier for me to operate.
8. Participate in trail work and cleanup. I’ve been using the outdoors since 2006. Time for me to start giving a little back. In addition to working on a trail or two, in April I should bespending a day helping with cleanup in Centralia. The town is no more but people are using the land for dumping trash, which is both illegal and disgusting.
Goals for the website:
1. As you may have noticed, we are shifting away from the “diary” model to one in which other voices are prominent. There will be more guest posters and interviews in the future, and gear reviews as soon as I can find someone who can write about gear for ordinary people and not people who claim REI as a dependent on their tax returns.
2. I hope to put the A Taste For The Woods YouTube channel to more use. In my speech at Bradford I mentioned shooting video clips and collaborating with companies. We are working on bringing that to fruition this year.
3. Since I’ve now done public speaking, and am good at it, I want to do more of it. Expect more presentations and videos of them in 2015.
Goals for the readers:
Yes, friends, I have a goal for you.
Its one thing to be an outdoor advocate hurling thunderbolts from his cyber-mountaintop. Its another to go out and do. As I’ve said before, I am a doer. But I didn’t start as one. Nor did I self-start. I had a lot of help, with a lot of people going out of their way to assist me. And I’ve been repaying forward ever since.
My goal is to get people outside and participating in some way or another, regardless of the challenges they face. This will mean my active working with individuals. My challenge for readers is that in 2015 you do the same. We all have friends who do nothing in the outdoors. Take one of them on a hike. Teach them to ride a bike or row a boat or ski. Get them on a walking routine or geocache search. Take them fishing or on an outdoor photography session. You are reading this website because you have a taste for the woods, a passion for the outdoors. Share it. If its just one individual you’ve worked with, you’ve still made our world a better place, and a better place for that one person. This is my challenge, and yours. Let’s do this.