Closing Up Shop

•March 20, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Has been a long time since I posted consistently on this blog.  I am going to leave it up for those bikepackers looking for route info + trip ideas in East Africa and SE Asia.

You can follow me on Medium via Mercy Corps Ventures.

wordpress“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” — Jack Kerouac

Trail Update: Smugglers’ Trail (Cardamom Mountains)

•March 24, 2017 • 2 Comments

November 2010 Cardamoms Adventure 106

Check out this fantastic blog series from Megan’s cycling trip across the Cardamom Mountains in late-2016. She followed a similar route as Steve and I way back in November 2010. Megan’s trip report is the most recent info I’ve seen on road conditions, routes, etc.

As always, very happy to share my GPS coordinates / map for the route.  All the trail reports I’ve received note that the original Smugglers’ Trail is now overgrown and impassable.  Most cyclists and dirt bikers are following a newer dirt road slightly north of our trail.

Impact Investing and INGOs

•July 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment

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Newly released!  Amplify: The INGO Value Proposition for Impact Investing.  The report provides fantastic insight into how INGOs are engaging in the impact investing space.

“The Amplify Impact Investing report is the first ever on impact investing by the INGO community. Mercy Corps is a founding member of the INGO Impact Investing Network and our Social Venture Fund is featured as a case study in the report.
‘Impact investing is a powerful yet underutilized tool for INGOs to achieve their missions, expand their impact and partner with great entrepreneurs,‘ says Michael MacHarg, Senior Director of Social Ventures at Mercy Corps.

The report dives into the value NGOs are uniquely positioned to add to their investments, why more of us are getting involved in the sector and gives examples of what’s happening now.”

Sunrise on Gunung Kerinci

•March 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Campsite Atop Gunung Arjuno (Arjuno-Welirang Range) in East Java

•September 15, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Into the Jungle

•July 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

Time lapse of an evening on our liveboard in Central Kalimantan (Borneo).

Sunset in West Sumatra

•December 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Alan Watts on Adventure (Outside Magazine Video)

•November 7, 2014 • Leave a Comment

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Click on the photo above (or link here) to check out Outside Magazine’s beautiful new short on life as adventure – words from the great Alan Watts.

If you awaken from this illusion and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death (or shall I say death implies life?), you can feel yourself – not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke – but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

I am not trying to sell you on this idea in the sense of converting you to it, I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities, I am not trying to prove it. I am just putting it forward as a possibility of life to think about. So then, let’s suppose that you were able every night to dream any dream you wanted to dream, and that you could for example have the power within one night to dream 75 years of time, or any length of time you wanted to have.

And you would, naturally, as you began on this adventure of dreams, you would fulfill all your wishes. You would have every kind of pleasure during your sleep. And after several nights of 75 years of total pleasure each you would say “Well that was pretty great”. But now let’s have a surprise, let’s have a dream which isn’t under control, where something is gonna happen to me that I don’t know what it’s gonna be.

And you would dig that and would come out of that and you would say “Wow that was a close shave, wasn’t it?”. Then you would get more and more adventurous and you would make further- and further-out gambles what you would dream. And finally, you would dream where you are now. You would dream the dream of living the life that you are actually living today.

That would be within the infinite multiplicity of choices you would have – of playing that you weren’t god, because the whole nature of the godhead, according to this idea, is to play that he is not. So in this idea then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality, not god in a politically kingly sense, but god in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you are all that, only you are pretending you are not.

Alan Watts

Summit at Mt. Merbabu

•August 18, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Here is a time lapse from our campsite at Puncak (Summit) #3 atop Mt. Merbabu in Central Java, Indonesia.  Full info on the hike available at Gunung Bagging.

Camping at Monk’s Lake in Kirirom National Park

•August 5, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Assorted shots from my two-day mountain biking and camping in Kirirom National Park a few months ago.  Started cycling at Discovery Farms (approx. 8km from bottom of mountain road) and endured the grueling 30km climb up to Monk’s Lake near the summit.  Camped alongside the lake and woke up early to follow the Kirirom Backdoor Trail down to Route 4.  Hitched a ride back to Phnom Penh on a passing delivery truck for 20,000 riel.

The Kirirom Backdoor Trail remains largely intact, except for a portion near the third to last river/stream crossing where the trail is completely overgrown and I had to drag my bike across a precarious-looking fallen tree (see 0:43 in the video).  Happy to send along GPS coordinates and trail info to anyone interested.  Remains one of my favorite camping spots and trails in Cambodia.