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.