Solo Selfies of 2016

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Last year I slammed the be-stickered lid of my MacBook shut and sought out the outside. Over the course of 2016, I slept in the woods for at least one cumulative month, spending as much time on day hikes and other adventures as possible. Because I was most often alone, a lot of that time is kind of strange to recall, sort of surreal beyond the altitude weirdness and calorie deficits. It wasn’t lonely, usually. Just sort of quiet, a stillness shaped by the perceptible absence of someone to share the moment. And many of those moments were spent seeing some of the most beautiful mountains, glaciers, flowers, canyons and everything else that I’ve ever seen.

Usually I’d take a selfie, just to be sure I was still real. Behold, a concise tour of my 2016 adventure life in sun-squinted selfies.

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My year in the woods

This year I quite literally went into the wilderness.

And yet, here I am. I set out to write a book about VR, which hasn’t exactly materialized because I think you do in fact need a cabin for that, a tent will not suffice. The irony is not lost on me.

About nine months later, I came back to the daily tech news cycle. It’s second nature, scanning tweetdeck much like riding a bike. It feels as though nothing changed. With a few exceptions, stories I’d followed for months with loose ends, it was all the same. Tech didn’t change, and that felt confusing. In the months I spent hiking, dragging my tent up a mountain, plunging into crystal clear glacial waters, watching wildlife, I didn’t feel pulled away. Cursory updated confirmed: indeed tech’s big players remained, VR has yet to manifest on a consumer level, and no one I know is wearing a smartwatch.

How could this be?

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The starting place

Dog Mountain

I’m happy when I spend time outside. It’s the one thing I really need to do to feel good.

It’s taken me a full 30 years of my life to get to that realization, but I’m glad I’m here now. After 15 spent ambling through mirror-image suburban wastelands and at least six sandwiched into the urban thicket of lower Manhattan/various corners of Brooklyn, I moved to the Pacific Northwest and started figuring some things out. Right now, I’m figuring things out full-time.

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