“There’s nothing quite like waking up by yourself in an unfamiliar place with nothing to do but explore. It can be simultaneously invigorating and unnerving.”  Elite Daily, July 2015

Hello, I started this site to share photos and random thoughts from my  travels with friends and family.

On the Florida Trail

On the Florida Trail

I grew up in Colorado, hiking and backpacking with a close friend in the summers and skiing in the winters. In 1985 I moved my family to Florida, where we traded the mountains for the beach and flip flops. Then in 2009, at the tender age of 58 I started backpacking again. First, on the Applacian Trail in Georgia, then in 2011 I discovered the Florida Trail. Afterwards, I started spending much of my free time hiking sections of the FT with my favorite hiking companion, Sugarbear. (Don’t let the white fur fool you. The schnauzer morphs into a hiking machine when she has a trail in front of her. (Until she hears thunder!)😂

On the FT With Sugarbear

On the FT With Sugarbear

In 2013 I spent 6 weeks hiking 1,000 miles of the Florida Trail. I found Backpacking in Florida to be different than in other parts of the US. Florida has a completely different culture, lots of hunters, not many hikers.

When people see you at a road crossing carrying a backpack in Colorado or anywhere along the Applacian Trail, they immediately think your enjoying nature and pursuing something noble. In Florida, they immediately think you’re homeless. I’ve been stopped twice by passing cars while walking along roadsides and offered change for food. I refused the first offer.😀

March, 2015 I took my first solo trip abroad, where I spent 5 weeks in South America backpacking in Peru and Southern Patagonia. The trip was on a shoestring budget. I spent nights in small Bed N Breakfast type Guesthouses or camping in national parks..The total expense for the entire 5 weeks was under $2,800 and I was very comfortable the entire trip.

The Fitz Roy Range

The Fitz Roy Range

I found the Inca history and beauty surrounding Machu Piccu to be breathtaking and the views in Patagonia were equally stunning. At the same time, the notorious Patagonia winds and sudden changes in weather could be very humbling. In Patagonia, the shear vastness of the area and raw, untamed weather swirling around the spires can make you feel small and vounerable and yet never more alive!

To be able to backpack under the spires of Las Torres in Torres del Paine and Cerro Fitz Roy in El Chalten were truly amazing experiences.

However, as amazing as the scenery was, what really made the trip special for me were the people I was able to meet, hike, camp, and share food with from all over the world. I was particularly touched by many of the local people who helped and showed me kindness, even though I couldn’t speak Spanish.

En Cusco con mi amigo Miguel.

En Cusco con mi amigo Miguel.

I knew I wanted to return and experience more, so in November, 2015 I flew to Quito, Ecuador, enrolled in immersion Spanish classes and am living with the instructor’s family. In January I’ll move to Banos and stay with a different family for more of the same.

I don’t have an itinerary other than to spend the next few months learning Spanish and Ecuadorian culture before continuing on with my travels.

South America is an amazing continent with a diverse geography and rich history and cultures.

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Thanks for stopping by,

Doug Knox