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Archive for April 21st, 2006

Friday, April 21, 2006
This Journal would not be possible without the help of those who have graciously agreed to transcribe my chicken scratch. Many hikers the last few years have taken to carrying a small device called “pocket mail”. This piece of technological marvel allows you to type into a small PDA like device and then send your text to an email address over any phone line. Once in an email it is pretty simply to cut and paste into trailjournals. Not for me however. With the exception of my digital watch/compass/altimeter and my digital camera I have decided to do this hike unplugged and will attempt to write my journal by hand. I think this is going to be much harder than it sounds as I do all my writing on the computer and have for a few decades now. After I write it, I will then send them to the transcribers via snail mail and hopefully they will be able to figure out what the heck I meant as I misspelled every other word.
So thank you in advance to Teresa and Liz who have agreed to transcribe for me. Teresa will be on duty for the first month and then Liz will take over after she returns from Aqua Dulce. Now Teresa says she is going to take full liberty on embellishing my journal if it is boring, so if you read anything totally outrageous it likely never happened. Rather, Teresa simply made it up. Friday, April 21, 2006
This Journal would not be possible without the help of those who have graciously agreed to transcribe my chicken scratch. Many hikers the last few years have taken to carrying a small device called “pocket mail”. This piece of technological marvel allows you to type into a small PDA like device and then send your text to an email address over any phone line. Once in an email it is pretty simply to cut and paste into trailjournals. Not for me however. With the exception of my digital watch/compass/altimeter and my digital camera I have decided to do this hike unplugged and will attempt to write my journal by hand. I think this is going to be much harder than it sounds as I do all my writing on the computer and have for a few decades now. After I write it, I will then send them to the transcribers via snail mail and hopefully they will be able to figure out what the heck I meant as I misspelled every other word.
So thank you in advance to Teresa and Liz who have agreed to transcribe for me. Teresa will be on duty for the first month and then Liz will take over after she returns from Aqua Dulce. Now Teresa says she is going to take full liberty on embellishing my journal if it is boring, so if you read anything totally outrageous it likely never happened. Rather, Teresa simply made it up.
This Journal would not be possible without the help of those who have graciously agreed to transcribe my chicken scratch. Many hikers the last few years have taken to carrying a small device called “pocket mail”. This piece of technological marvel allows you to type into a small PDA like device and then send your text to an email address over any phone line. Once in an email it is pretty simply to cut and paste into trailjournals. Not for me however. With the exception of my digital watch/compass/altimeter and my digital camera I have decided to do this hike unplugged and will attempt to write my journal by hand. I think this is going to be much harder than it sounds as I do all my writing on the computer and have for a few decades now. After I write it, I will then send them to the transcribers via snail mail and hopefully they will be able to figure out what the heck I meant as I misspelled every other word.
So thank you in advance to Teresa and Liz who have agreed to transcribe for me. Teresa will be on duty for the first month and then Liz will take over after she returns from Aqua Dulce. Now Teresa says she is going to take full liberty on embellishing my journal if it is boring, so if you read anything totally outrageous it likely never happened. Rather, Teresa simply made it up.

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After returning from some gear testing last week during a snow shoeing trip I was totally surprised to come home to a house full of family and friends who gathered to give me a proper send off for my trip. The warmth of family and friends is very difficult to describe….I am truly blessed.
During the party the Old Goat read a poem he had written in honor of the occasion. Each time I read it, I discover another clever verse that truly captures my life. Thank you Old Goat, I will treasure this forever:

By the Time I Get to Jawbone* She’ll Be Risin’
We assemble to observe the departure next week
Of Robert Francisco the thru-hiking freak
He was born in Corona to Peggy and Bob
His goal by age forty: to be out of a job
He was raised in Mojave at the level of snow
Fished and hiked hard like a boy on the go
A long-distance track star, he longed for the trail
His wish was soon granted when his family made bail
He washed dishes in Lyle’s Pine Manor Café
Where they served mystery meat and a nice trout filet
Drove a milk truck in Foothill with a college degree
Didn’t pay all that well but the ice cream was free
No stranger to Mother Nature, in fact Her fav’rite son
Sleepin’ out in the snow is how he has fun
He’s outa Big Agnes and up with the sun
Casts a seven-X taper with a Pale Morning Dun
Under the stars and the heavenly sights
He’s already logged a whole year’s worth of nights
Eight hundred calories on his featherlite stove
“How come I hiked when I sure coulda drove?”
Dr. Seuss says, “Oh, the places you’ll go!”
To dry, sandy deserts and passes of snow
You’ll live with the marmot, the pika and bear
Spend idyllic days breathing clear mountain air
You’ll first reach ten thousand just north of Monache
Just like raising the flag on Mount Suribachi
Shooting star and penstemon of scarlet and vi’let
Approaching Mt. Whitney you’ll encounter sky pilot
Seven weeks later you’ll pass over the border
Where the terrain for hiking is made right to order
Through Ashland and Fish Lake, Mazama, Olallie
There’s Mount Hood – we’ll make it, by golly, Miss Molly!
In late August you’ll enter the Evergreen State
And fly o’er the trail as though toting no weight
That’s eighty-one down with just nineteen to go
Tarry long there and you’re caught in the snow
Then fin’ly it happens: you can see through the clearing
It looks like the Washington obelisk you are nearing
There’s the break in the timber – the line between lands
The border at last, where two nations join hands
You race down to meet it midst the hemlock and pine
The goal you’re pursuing – Monument Seventy-nine
Some bubbly, some photos, some hugs shared with friends
Eight more miles to reach Manning, where the Trail fin’ly ends
In six months we’ll convene here again in the fall
To salute Robert Francisco whose new name is go-small
We wish you a full house, not just one or two pairs
And for now we release you with our good thoughts and prayers

Old Goat/2006

*Jawbone Canyon Road – Near Robin Bird Spring, Mile 602 NOBO

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