Our new adventure (and JOB!) starts next week

by Kim on March 17, 2014 · 70 comments

I was listening to the Ted Radio Hour Podcast (they’ve turned Ted Talks into podcasts- yay!) about success while running last week and I was struck by something that one of the speakers, Alain de Botton, said. “All success involves choices,” said de Botton. “Succeeding in one area will probably mean neglecting other areas. Right now, I’m being a bad father, but I’m being a good author, right? So I’m succeeding in the author space and failing in the father space. We’ve got one of the most ridiculous and paradoxical ideas at large in modern society – this idea of work-life balance.”

With less than a week until Brian and I begin our 7-month, 65-stop, 38-state tour of the U.S. delivering our presentation for Backpacker Magazine’s Get Out More Tour I have officially become a very good contractor and a very bad writer and blogger.

presentation notes

Presentation script and notes.

We have thrown everything we have at this thing. We are practicing around the clock. We write and re-write, repeat and re-repeat. We wake up in the middle of the night dreaming about our script. Brian opened his eyes this morning, rolled over, and told me that he’d just awoken from a dream about how tired he is. “I actually dreamed about wanting to sleep while I was sleeping,” he said.

stage

Our makeshift practice stage.

tent

Getting to know our new outdoor gear.

Brian

It’s not every day that someone mails you truncated dummy legs.

But you know what? After the initial panic eased, this process has turned out to be a lot of fun. To create something from scratch and  watch it grown has been quite rewarding.

The problem, however, is that I essentially outsourced my memory to pen and paper about two decades ago so my greatest challenge is remembering everything I’m supposed to say during our 75-minute presentation. It isn’t so much recalling the content as the order of the content, the small nuances and transitions from one topic to the next.

I used to watch TED talks with a steadfast belief that there was no way in hell that I could ever deliver a presentation seamlessly with no notes or prompts. Now, after writing and practicing the same 10,000 words day after day, I do see how it is possible to pull off such a feat. Not that I’m there yet (not even close), but it helps to know that it is within the realm of possibility.

So, in less than a week we will drive out to Bend, Oregon where we’ll stand for our first presentation on March 28th.  I will be a nervous wreck, that much is guaranteed, but as each day passes I feel more prepared.

EB

Boxes of sponsor gear arriving each morning. We have officially tripled the amount of stuff we own.

socks

More sponsor gear- socks this time. (Yep, I need a haircut).

I am so excited to hit the road again. I’ve driven across the U.S. so many times that I feel like I know it like the back of my hand. In truth, though, there are many places I have yet to explore. My feet have barely touched New England and the Southwest and I’m excited to finally make it to Glacier and Yosemite National Parks this year. I am ready to get the dirt of this beautiful country under my fingernails once again.

If you’re interested in coming out to see one of our presentations (we talk a lot about backpacking skills and gear but also share quite a few stories from our travels) you can find our tour schedule here or you can like the Get Out More Tour Facebook page where we’ll share tour updates.

Kim

Celebrating a successful day of work. (Look, I got a haircut).

If you have any tips on places we should visit, campgrounds we could sleep at, or public speaking tips (I’ve spent hours reading the Toastmasters website) please let me know. 

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{ 70 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish Moratto March 17, 2014 at 11:37 am

Are you coming near Sacramento? I’d love to meet up!

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Trish, we are near San Francisco and also San Diego and LA. We might come through Sacramento (where is it- I don’t really know) and if we do it would be fun to meet up!

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Aurora March 17, 2014 at 11:45 am

First off, y’all are going to rock it. Secondly — where is NYC on the list?! Or better yet, Brooklyn?!
Aurora recently posted..What does the Red-Wing Blackbird say?

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I know, I REALLY thought NYC would be on the schedule but it isn’t :( Aurora, will we ever meet in person?!?

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Aurora March 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Kim – we *HAVE* to. Too much in common not to! Hopefully it will be over a beer, while planning a hike! :)
Aurora recently posted..What does the Red-Wing Blackbird say?

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 6:45 am

Yes! Sounds like the perfect day :)

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Lauren @Roamingtheworld March 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

You’ll both be AMAZING.
You gonna surprise yourselves with how the brain just knows with all that practicing.
I recently had to prepare a speech in Spanish…for an interview. I practiced,practiced and practiced some more. you know what? the practice paid off. I nailed it when I gave it!
Lauren @Roamingtheworld recently posted..A blind-date adventure with Lauren from Sobremesa in Spain

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Good for you. You nailed it! I know all of the info is in my brain. The trick will be staying calm under pressure and relaxing enough to remember it all. I know I can do it but I am so nervous :)

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Elle Beaddie March 17, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Good luck! I think you guys are going to be amazing!

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Thank you Ella!

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Angie Mattson March 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Half the goodness of a great public speaker is passion. You and Brian have that in SPADES! I know you’ll be fabulous. :-)

Aaaaaaaaaand I’m so excited to see you’re coming to Asheville, NC. We’ll stalk you until we find you and then we’ll show you all the great, amazing places to get a great beer while you’re here. Yay!
Angie Mattson recently posted..Then I will vs. Now I will (a.k.a. Making a decision)

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

YES!!!! We are really excited to come to Asheville too. It is one of our favorite cities in the country. We will have to have a beer!

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Erica Louviere March 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

You guys will be in our part of the world in October! Can’t wait to meet you!

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Kim March 17, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Yay! Can’t wait for it :)

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Patti March 17, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Mast General Store in Knoxville, TN is awesome! We were in Knoxville for 2 days and went to the store 3 times, just trying to take it all in. It is very much an old-school general store and I loved it! That’s quite the adventurous schedule they’ve got you on, but you’re hitting some great spots. Glacier is fantastic! Yosemite! The southwest, and on it goes. It’s going to be an amazing 7 months AND you’re getting paid! ;)
Patti recently posted..Leave The Rattlesnakes Alone ~

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 6:46 am

That sounds awesome :) I love hanging out in outdoor stores so this job will introduce me to a lot of them. It’s a crazy schedule isn’t it? We’re going almost everywhere!

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Sarah Somewhere March 17, 2014 at 8:37 pm

75 minutes?! Holy Crap! You guys will nail it. How ironic that you are being sent all that stuff after getting rid of everything. It’s very metaphorical, shedding the old to make way for the new. It’s awesome to see your journey unfolding, I wish I could come see you guys, and will let my friends in California know you are coming!! All the best xoxo
Sarah Somewhere recently posted..Daring greatly

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 6:47 am

It’s long isn’t it?! And, on another note, fun that we are both setting out on new adventures at the same time. Enjoy Guatemala, Sarah.

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Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) March 18, 2014 at 12:38 am

You guys are going to do great, I just know it! I’ve no doubt you’ll be a bundle of nerves this week as everything culminates (kicking off these new adventures are always exhausting, aren’t they?), but once you’re out there it will be smooth sailing. I remember I had about 2 weeks leading up to my doctoral dissertation between submitting my thesis to my committee and actually having to present it (where I had to give about a 45-minute talk) and so all I did was practice that talk until I could pretty much recite it in my sleep (and Tony claims I may have done just that one or two times…).

And boy do I hear you on striking that working-life balance… or in my case, the travel-blog balance. We’re back on the road again, and after 3 months in HCMC where I did my best to post regularly 3 times a week, I’m already struggling and we’ve literally only been out here for just 1 DAY! The thing that I’ve realized, however, is that all we can do is our best and inevitably that means prioritizing some things and letting others slide. If I have writing jobs with a hard deadline (that actually pay a buck or two), I need to focus on those. And if we only have a few days in a city before we have to move on, I’m going to make enjoying my time there the focus, rather than chaining myself to a laptop. We all know how busy you guys are right now and that these transition periods are so busy and frantic and at times like this, the blog gets pushed onto the backburner. But you’ll have time for writing and blogging again once you’ve got a new routine going and we will be waiting for you!
Steph (@ 20 Years Hence) recently posted..Yan Can Cook, We Can Eat

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 6:48 am

It’s a really hard balance to strike, especially when you are moving around and don’t have a normal routine/ workspace. It is something that I know I will struggle with once we hit the road and I’m trying my best to prepare for that beforehand. Like, I’ve designated one of my bags as a “roaming desk” and everything in that will be everything I need to work. I’m just going to have to get better at working for anywhere. But definitely a hard balance to strike.

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Oliver March 18, 2014 at 6:23 am

Quite a good impression of how much “work” the entire project actually is! Some scary amount of boxes indeed and quite a lot of organization required. Even though you might be a bit in two minds when it comes to finally “hitting the stage”, but I’m sure you can’t wait to hit the road and spread your vision… Best of luck and I’m sure you will keep growing along the way, so enjoy the ride!! :)
Oliver recently posted..Berlin, Berlin ~ Nehemias Colindres

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 6:50 am

Yes, I think (hope) that for the most part the work comes upfront and once we start actually delivering the presentation it will be smooth sailing. But it has been fun and I’m really enjoying the process.

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Renee March 18, 2014 at 7:21 am

Sweet! You’ll be in Apopka, FL in June! Looking forward to meeting you both! Hope your poor hubby gets enough rest over the next week before the tour starts so that he doesn’t have to continue to dream about getting more sleep.

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm

I hope he does too! We both wake up reciting the presentation in our minds. It sort of makes you crazy after awhile!

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Marilyn March 18, 2014 at 7:23 am

Since I retired from teaching three years ago I have been an independent workshop presenter, so I can truly empathize with your jitters and worries about being prepared. One really helpful resource I have found that has made a difference in my own presentations is a book by Eric Jensen, a brain research educator (his most famous book is Teaching With the Brain in Mind). Sizzle and Substance: Presenting With the Brain in Mind offers many ways to keep your audience focused and loving your stuff. It is slightly old, published in 1998, but many of the strategies are still useful, and you don’t have to read the whole thing, just pick out the parts you need. Like try to get your audience up and moving and doing some kind of activity every so often; I have my attendees chat for a couple of minutes about how they might use the strategies I’m teaching them. People can sit and listen only for about 15-20 minutes before becoming antsy. I’m sure you will be an excellent presenter — you have a lot of “sparkle” and you are passionate about what you do. That is the biggest key to success!

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Kim March 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Thank you Marilyn. I will definitely check out that book. I do worry because it is a TON of talking and stuff we have to jam in during the timeframe. I need to keep remembering to breathe and to talk slow– even if it makes the presentation a bit longer. I’m SO NERVOUS and excited to get the first few presentations out of the way.

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Rhonda March 18, 2014 at 7:45 am

woohoo… finally hitting the road. I can imagine your panic over the impending first couple of speeches but you guys are so much fun and are such a fountain of information you’ll quickly get in the swing of it! It is ironic, that after shedding the “stuff” of your life, you are now being given so much but hey, free camping gear is always a plus :) Think of us next weekend as you sip your Boneyard RPM. We would love to come to Bend to see you but have already committed to a joint birthday sleepover with my niece and nephew and you know we’d never be forgiven for canceling that! XO
Rhonda recently posted..Holiday in Goa

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:26 am

I would definitely not want you to disappoint your niece and nephew! We will see you in PDX in September– we’ll be old pros at the presentation by then.

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Steve C March 18, 2014 at 9:20 am

Kim and Brian, Oh Boy, It’s Show Time! I can see you both up on that stage doing a great job. I suspect that by the time you reach Livermore, CA, (the closest to me), you’ll be very seasoned and will be very capable of handling that heckler in the back row with that black Greek Fisherman’s hat. lol :)

I know you’ll have the time of your life. Give it a few reps and you’ll be as comfortable as you are telling travel stories to your friends while sitting around having a few beers! Just think of all those people standing out there in front of you as fellow travel buddies. A little tip: As there are two of you and you both will know each others lines, if you ever get brain freeze, just glance over to the other for help. You’re a team and team players come to the rescue when needed. It’s not like you’re standing out there all alone and all you can think about is President Obama sitting in the front row.

Who knows, after this tour, your next big decision will be whether or not to accept the offer to host the next big travel show on TV! The sky’s the limit!

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:28 am

Ha, yes, I bet by the time we reach California we’ll know how to handle everything (even a heckler in a Fisherman’s hat).

As we practice we are definitely trying to get comfortable to have the other prompt us when we suddenly forget a line (it’s always those damn transitions!). It is so much nicer to have two people and someone to rely on instead of being up there alone. See you in California!

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Kristin March 18, 2014 at 9:29 am

Hi Kim!

If you’re around San Francisco tonight, you may want to check out Adventure Drinks:

http://hardwaterbar.com/
Tuesday March 18, from 6-8:30pm

“AdventureDrinks isn’t a formal organization, it’s just a bunch of us finding a public place to grab a drink with our adventure travel colleagues once a month.”
Kristin recently posted..Best RTW Travel Planning Articles for Your Own Big Trip

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:28 am

Thanks Kristin, would have loved to have gone… I’m in Ohio still for now!

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Steve Whitty March 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Good luck in your new adventure. I am sure it will be a success.
Steve Whitty recently posted..Fernandez & Wells – A Review

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:29 am

Thank you Steve. I sure hope you are right :)

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Janet March 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I’ve been doing travel programs for the last ten years. I organize my comments around photos and graphics. All I do is look at the picture and it reminds me what to say. Any data, dates, etc, that must be exact can be added to the photo for a prompt. It will get much easier after several presentations. You’ll be great!

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:30 am

Yes, that is good advice! Ours is more of a backpacking seminar with our stories thrown in (it isn’t a full 75-minutes of our stories- which would be a lot of fun :)) I’m sure after a few go’s at a live audience our nerves will calm (I sure hope so!)

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Adam Nutting March 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm

Kim is there a schedule posted anywhere? Will you be coming to Arizona at all? Good luck to you on this awesome adventure!
Adam Nutting recently posted..Adventure Monday

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:32 am

Adam, the link to the schedule is here. We do come through Arizona! http://www.backpacker.com/gom-2014-full-tour-event-listings/articles/18402

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Emily March 18, 2014 at 3:26 pm

My last job was essentially ‘Public Speaker’ where I had a roster of ~4-5 different presentations…and when I started out I was MEGA nervous (one of those presentations was a 2.5 hour training session), but after a while it became second hand. My reams of notes eventually became a security blanket that I toted around with me but rarely looked at, and my presentation became a well oiled machine. You will definitely get into the groove after doing it a few times, and it will become apparent when you find yourself peppering in ‘fresh material’ like jokes and anecdotes that your notes didn’t include :) Good luck!
Emily recently posted..Uncovering Ancient Societies

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:33 am

BAH! 2.5 hours! And I thought 75-minutes was long! Thanks for the tips Emily.

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adelicia March 18, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Great! I see you’re coming to Burlington, MA in June. I’d love to see your presentation and meet you. I’ll be sure to come introduce myself! Good luck in Bend!
adelicia recently posted..In the lush valley (or Napa is a Pisshead’s Paradise)

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:33 am

Yes, definitely make sure that you do!

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Martha March 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Wow – there’s a zigzag trip across the country – hope to catch you in New Jersey!
You guys will be fabulous!

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:35 am

Thanks Martha. See you in New Jersey (hopefully!)

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Lindsay March 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

You guys are coming to my neck of the woods, but not until two months after I move to Budapest! Bummer. :(

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:35 am

Oh, that sucks. But Budapest is going to be AMAZING!!!! What side are you going to live on?

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Kristin Thomas March 18, 2014 at 10:28 pm

Woo hoo! See you in San Diego!
Kristin Thomas recently posted..The Northeast

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:35 am

Sweet! See you there :)

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Sam March 18, 2014 at 10:36 pm

That’s gotta be so much fun trying out all that gear! Glad to see that you’ll be coming through the Bay Area in September, I’ll plan on seeing your presentation and saying hi! I’ll be fresh off my John Muir Trail section hike that I’m doing in August :) And if you guys want any tips on visiting Yosemite, let me know! I’m pretty familiar with the Park. And good luck with your first presentation in Bend!
Sam recently posted..Photo Essay: Inland Yucatan

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:36 am

Ah, I want to hear all about the Muir Trail. It’s on my bucket list (along with so many other walks!). I’d love to hear tips on Yosemite as well. If you have any blog posts about Yosemite could you put the link in the comments? Thanks Sam.

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Sam March 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Cool. I don’t have any Yosemite posts yet, oddly enough, but you’ve inspired me to work on one, and I’ll put up the link once it’s ready :) I’ll no doubt be writing about my JMT experience as well; I don’t have the time or desire to hike the entire trail all at once so my goal is to hike a section of it each summer. We’ll see how it goes! Happy travels (and trails!) to you and Brian.

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Sweet. Yes, I would love to read your recommendations and I can’t wait to hear about your time on the JMT.

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Carmel March 19, 2014 at 12:20 am

Goooooo Kim & Brian! You guys are going to rock this. That is a long time to talk, though.

I really hope you’re not camping in Bend in MARCH. Holy cow, that would be cold.
Carmel recently posted..HALFWAY HOME

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:37 am

We are so camping in Bend in March. We’re basically living out of a tent the whole time. Good thing we’ve got good sleeping bags!

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Corinne March 19, 2014 at 1:51 am

Kim, It looks like quite the schedule. We’ll try and hit one of your east coast talks, when we’re in the States for a couple of weeks this summer. I hope you really have fun while you are visiting all the different states!
Corinne recently posted..Batu Caves in Malaysia

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Kim March 19, 2014 at 5:37 am

Thanks Corinne. I’m so excited to start exploring the U.S.A.

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Karyn @ Not Done Travelling March 19, 2014 at 8:57 am

Good luck! You will do great!

I agree, to succeed at one thing you do have to neglect another thing. As the saying goes, jack of all trades, master of none. So let yourself master this. We will all forgive you if it’s a while between posts.
Karyn @ Not Done Travelling recently posted..Up Rapids To Fiji’s Wild Interior

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

I’m glad you guys will forgive me. I think once we get this cross-country drive out of the way things will settle into routine. Thanks for hanging in there with me :)

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Maddie March 20, 2014 at 6:57 am

Your guys are going to nail this! Plus, you’re going to have such an amazing adventure at the same time. Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves to try and be everything to everyone, just enjoy this part of the journey and see where it takes you. Wishing you the best of luck :-)
Maddie recently posted..How can you afford to travel? a.k.a our most asked question

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

Thanks Maddie. I sure hope you are right. First presentation is two days away and we are excited/ nervous!

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TammyOnTheMove March 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Sounds so exciting. Good luck you guys. You are going to rock these presentations.
TammyOnTheMove recently posted..Smoking gods, love potions, and llama foetuses – Welcome to La Paz

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Thanks Tammy :)

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Holly March 24, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Best camping near Bend is along Century DR. (Cascade Lakes Hwy). Our favorite is Hosmir Lake. Now that I’ve told you that, I believe they are currently closed. But file that info away for next time. I suggest sampling the many breweries in town. Last time I was in town with Luanne and we did the Bend-Ale-Trail. 11 breweries in two days! Look me up when you get to Portland. http://www.visitbend.com/Bend_Oregon_Activities_Recreation/Bend-Ale-Trail/
Good Luck! You guys will be great.

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:32 pm

I’ve done the Bend-Ale-Trail too– you think I’d miss out on a thing like that ;) I love that you did it with Luanne!

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Sandra_Kathleen March 25, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Hi Kim!

Great blog! I see that you’ll be in Bend- me too! I’m visiting family in Central Oregon 3/29-4/2. Let me know if you need any recommendations for anything. If you get the chance, hike Smith Rock- super easy but gorgeous views and nice for this time of the year. I’ll probably be out hiking there this weekend as well.

Cheers and good luck on the road!!

-Sandra

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Hi Sandra! We are going to try to make it to Smith Rock. We love Bend- it’s where we got married in 2007. Maybe we’ll see you there!

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cynthia March 26, 2014 at 12:23 pm

I see you’ll be in Cody, WY (where I was born!). That’s basically on the doorstep of Yellowstone (as I’m sure you know). And in August! A fabulous time to visit if you have a few extra days! My mom is actually working at the front desk of Old Faithful Inn this summer so if you are in the mood for a room by then feel free to hit me up for discount. :-)
I now live in San Diego, though, and will definitely try to come see your presentation when you make it down here. Have fun!! Looks like a good route and lots of great stops.
cynthia recently posted..12/52 Swinging & Smiling

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Kim March 26, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Sweet, thanks Cynthia. We have some time off around Cody so we plan to do some backpacking there! I will get in touch if we swing through Yellowstone. I really appreciate it!

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RenegadePilgrim March 27, 2014 at 4:22 am

I’ll catch you guys at PCT Days…I’ll probably be there with the Gossamer Gear crew! Have fun in Bend!

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Kim March 28, 2014 at 7:51 am

Sweet! See you there Heather.

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