About the Author
After retiring from the print/prepress world a few years ago, I have been busily pursuing my "second" career as a writer and web-site developer. This has involved going back to school and various free-lance efforts. This site was developed as part of my training at ROP, the Regional Occupational Program's Technology Center in the San Francisco Bay area. But classes aside, I would not have expended the considerable effort required by this project were it not for the great inspiration I received during my hike of the John Muir Trail in 2003.
That said, my actual hiking experience is much more limited than many others. During my younger years, I did a number of camping and hiking trips, but this all stopped when I started raising my family. After my three children grew up and started their own families, I began to feel the call of the wild, once again. My wife doesn't share this wanderlust, but she is tolerant of my hobbies (and probably doesn't mind me being out of the house once in a while). Consequently, I've taken up hiking and camping once again in later life. It seems that there are quite a number of us in that category judging by those we met along the trail.
My partner on this hike, Dr. Craig Rice has been on a number of guided treks in diverse parts of the world, but a self-directed thru-hike was a somewhat different experience for him as well. We met while snowcamping with the S.F. Snowcamping section of the Sierra Club, and subsequently participated together in additional winter and summer trips. Late in 2002, we decided to section hike the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), beginning with the John Muir Trail, which is part of the PCT. Over the next few years, Craig finished the PCT, section by section. I joined him during a section hike in 2004, but had an unfortunate trail accident—a broken leg! Subsequent issues have thus far prevented me from pursuing the PCT, but it's still there beckoning me. I'll be back soon!
Despite our limited experience, I have tried to use appropriate and credible information on this site. Wherever possible, I referenced or linked to more experienced thru-hikers. In particular, I tried to keep in mind that the majority of hikers and campers are those whose experience is limited to weekends or other short duration trips. Experienced thru-hikers can easily sort out the myriad of information they encounter on the web, but ordinary weekend campers may be misled. There are some concepts that all long distance hikers agree upon: go as light as safely possible, eat right and plan well. I've tried to emphasize those areas of agreement, and discuss openly where alternatives exist. The trail log section explains what we did, what worked well, and what we could have improved upon. On the very first page of the site, I cautioned the reader that they should do their own research and make their own plan.
Besides hiking, I enjoy a number of other outdoor and indoor interests. Chief among them is an interest in writing about social, political and spiritual issues. I'm pretty convinced that a failure to understand history will led to considerable social travail. I'm less convinced that people collectively, much less me individually can do much to avert the pain, but I'd like to do what I can. Despite that gloomy short-term assessment, I'm a long-term optimist—hey, otherwise why even try?
During my University days (long ago), I studied environmental issues at a time when ecology was a word only used in text-books, but never in by the national media. I've lived long enough to see it become a public issue—one mangled beyond recognition by our politicians and popular media. I try to keep up on issues related to the environment, and ardently hope for more light and less heat upon this subject.
I enjoy using computers, and have a small home network. During my prepress days, I used a variety of Macintosh operating systems to run the usual graphics applications: Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, InDesign and others. We also have a Dell workstation at home, which dual boots with Windows XP and two varieties of Linux. There's a new aluminum iMac at home too, and I enjoy getting these various systems running well, and playing nicely with one another. Which do I like best? Honestly, I enjoy them all, but admit to a love affair with Linux for the last three years. I recently set up a laptop which boots directly into Linux, but runs Windows XP in a VMware virtual machine within the Linux OS. What Linux distros do I run? I started with Fedora Core-3, but have since moved to Debian-based distros. My favorite is sidux, but I like ubuntu as well.
I also love dogs, in particular the retrieving breeds: Labs and Goldens. Unfortunately, I'm currently dog-less. I lost my long-time buddy, Copper, a Golden Retriever, a few years ago, and haven't gotten another yet. Probably a lab for me, next time. I love the biddable nature of Goldens, but labs are excellent learners too, and have fewer hair and skin issues. Ever try to clean up a Golden that has picked up every burr in the county?
Text on this site was written by the webmaster, Ron Pepper. You may print it or otherwise use it for personal purposes, but may not use it commercially in whole or in part. Photographs on this web site were taken by myself, Craig Rice, Gurjeet Saund, or Eric Tay. You are welcome to use any of these photographs for non-commercial purposes, but please credit us with the copyright, preferably with a link back to this web site.
The small topographic insets on this web site, ultimately originated from U.S.G.S. topographic maps. These were licensed and digitized by National Geographic for use in their GPS program, Topo! I have used them with National Geographic's permission. Please do not reproduce or link to these images. If you wish to use similar images, you must obtain permission from National Geographic.
Images on this site may not be used for commercial purposes without appropriate licensing payment. Using them for commercial purposes without my consent violates international copyright law and constitutes theft.
Copyright © 2006-2009 Ron Pepper.