Howdy Traipser!

Another year in the books. Thanks for spending time with me and my antics here at Traipsing About.

Full-on winter continues in Central Oregon. A perfect chance for me to disappear into the superb Mistborn trilogy. The final book left me shaking my head in amazement at the author’s skills.

I did put the book down long enough to go sledding with a friend and his kids. Verdict: still the most dangerous activity ever. No steering? Bumps that hammer the spine? Who endorses this?!

OK, fine, the raucous laughter and fun with my friend and his kids made it worth it. Even if I barely hauled myself out of bed the next morning.

Sledding About, Edition 89 features:

-An idea for showing up for a friend's birthday

-Something to get you oriented correctly for 2022

-Bikepacking and watercoloring across Turkey
-Best adventure photos of the year

Catch you in 2022!

From the college archives: that time we threw a WTF party. Not sure where I found an orange onesie... (Context below.)

An idea for a birthday celebration

Want to show up more for friends in 2022? Here’s an idea for celebrating birthdays that I recently concocted!

For a college roommate’s 40th bday, I dug through old photos and created a slide show of our experiences together. (He's the one in the middle above.)

From a spring break raft trip to hilarity around the college house to the time we got busted for illegal camping (guilty), it spanned a few fun years of living with five other people. So much hilarity and ridiculousness.

Once I created the presentation, I Zoomed with another roommate from those days while I flipped through it. WOW, did we laugh hard!

I recorded the entire thing and sent it to the birthday boy, who hadn’t seen most of the photos for 15 years. He was seriously touched (and entertained).

While the existence of the presentation might wreck our dreams of running for public office, the connection with my friends makes it all worth it.

Got a close friend’s birthday coming up? Find a co-conspirator and get that birthday roast video set up. So much fun.

Rounding up the year

I’ve seen a lot of “best of 2021” lists to round out the year. Then I thought of something FAR more useful than “22 ways to have an incredible 2022."

Here you go: all my T. Rex drawings from 2021 in one handy blog post, including a half dozen never seen before! What better way to tee up a successful next year than referencing dinosaurs striving and failing?

By the way, the whole T. Rex thing started when I sketched a piece of Guatemalan art that Chelsea and I have on our wall. I randomly added a T. Rex, then thought “hey, I can do better than that.”

And so it began. Who knows how long I'll continue...for now, it's fun brainstorming ideas and honing (maybe wrecking?) my drawing skills with dumb dinosaurs!

Is there anything better than getting a pair of Go-Go-Gadget arms for Christmas?

Bikepacking and watercolors

This woman’s beautiful artwork from a bikepacking trip in Turkey makes me want to fire up a Skillshare class and learn how to watercolor.

What a cool, meditative way to document a trip versus just photography. It dovetails well with a core aspect of bikepacking: you can’t see everything, but what you do see will feel more special compared to ripping through in a car or flying over it. (Thanks for the link, Barry!)

Best adventure photos of 2021

I have to reference at least one “best of” list: these gorgeous photos of people getting rad in the great outdoors. (As selected by Adventure Journal: check the full ensemble on Red Bull’s website.

I must say that, while beautiful, the photo of mid-winter ice climbing on Lake Baikal did not inspire me to try it. Brrr. I’d much rather go bruise my tailbone on a sled jump.

I'm (slowly) reading Pinocchio in the original Italian, hence Geppetto banging out a Metallica song...obviously.

Thanks for pausing your winter break to sample this edition of Traipsing About.

Unsolicited advice is like spending almost two years (!) quarantining, masking, and otherwise navigating a pandemic: it might help you survive hard things, but it still ain't that fun!

My advice to kick off 2022: Dive into random things that pique your interest, commit to them, and don’t worry about what other people think. Even if (especially if?) you’re drawing T. Rexes.

So that’s it, the end of another crazy year. Looking forward to sharing more newsletters with you in 2022 and hearing what you get up to. Drop a line to say hi, share a cool trip, or just keep reading. I appreciate you either way.
Happy New Year!

P.S. Yup, it's winter. Which means we should be watching amazing videos of people riding bicycles whenever possible. The edits are so slick.

Another birthday prez oldie: me steering a chunk of a dock around Lake Wenatchee. (There's an outboard motor attached to it.) Here's to more ridiculousness like this in 2022!
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