Saturday, October 24, 2009

Walkabout 2009, Part II

This is the second half of the travel journal. The sketching worked well
because it forced me to slow down, which wasn't a bad thing.
I'm not in as good of shape as 40 years ago
when I started this backpacking thing. There's no hurry. I usually get in trouble when I have flashbacks of the energy levels of youth and try to do it now. Gotta keep grounded and hike smarter, especially since I'm solo. Don't need any overuse injury complicating things. And this trip showed me the enjoyment level is just as high as when I covered twice the distance. Actually more enjoyable because I'm absorbing more of what I see and smell and feel.

In reading what people are posting on the web about solo backpacking, one said that it's not better that going with a group, it's just another form of backpacking. It's still fun to go with a group but it's a totally different experience because you're always interacting with the others. That communication is fun but distracts from experiencing what's around you. I think that says it well. That's also why it blends so well with sketch journaling, which is also about absorbing what's around you. They were made for each other.

One last thing I wanted to note here. When Wilma and I took a week in July '08 to see Glacier National Park I created my first travel journal. It was a combination of pre-trip, trip, and post-trip sketching and photo transfers. I like that approach for big trips. But another approach is to have a goal that when the trip is over, the journal is over. I wanted to try it, so for this trip that was the goal. The sketches you see are done live (one from memory) or not at all. The only exception is the map (which took some post-trip analysis) and a couple factoid inserts. My conclusion: the "sketch now or never" is OK if you're in control of your time, but I don't think it would work for trips with others. That said, it sure is nice to be finished with the journal and not drag it out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Walkabout 2009, Part I

Last year I took a 2 day/2 night solo bicycle trip to stretch my legs. It was backpacking the two prior years. This year I decided to try backpacking again. I like to have something to plan for and to exercise for. That gives me a chance to be in fair shape one week out of each year. It's a goal. Maybe I'll be in fair shape two week out of a year in the future.

Since I sketch more now, I'll pack my sketch gear. Had to reduce some, though. The graphite pencils and erasers and gel pens didn't make the cut. Only the watercolor pencils and Pitt Artist pens. The journal is the one I just made from Roz's class in Minneapolis. Looking forward to trying the new paper, and to carry my own handmade creation.

This day's post is the first half of my travel journal. The other half will follow. The trip went well. With no long distances planned and only myself to accommodate, I'd stop hiking when something struck my fancy to sketch, and I could hang around camp to get sketching in. Works well. Missouri has some beautiful country out there.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Minneapolis Weekend

Had a great long weekend in Minneapolis. Roz was offering a bookbinding class thru Minnesota Book Arts (web addresses in my journal page). The wife and I pulled an extra day off work and had a look see. Quite the organization and city. Quite the teacher. Now I have my first hand-made hard cased journal with a new paper to explore for sketching. Roz says it's good stuff so I'm itchin' to try it. More later

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Rodent Wars

Well, it's that time of year. Rodents attack us so I attach them. War. They've invaded our garage and the Taurus. Today I washed the Taurus, removed back seat, vacuumed the mouse turds and nesting material, and shampooed the cloth interior. The darkened mouse piss wasn't fun to wash off the seats, but at least it didn't penetrate into the seats. It cleaned up well. I know . . . TMI (too much information), but this is my daily life. Can't figure out why they got into the car, though. It's spotless with no food source. Maybe they just like Fords.