Off-Piste

Categories

For sale: My childhood home

By Andrew Skurka / April 3, 2019 / 19 Comments

Thirty-three years ago my parents moved to 51 Donald Lewis Drive in Seekonk, Mass. — along with their three kids, ages 7, 5, and 2 — and on Monday put this classic Colonial on the market. With this post I’m not trying to help their sale, but simply mark a milestone as I occasionally do…

Video: Adventure trip with Clelland & Magnanti in the Colorado Rockies

By Andrew Skurka / January 14, 2019 / 0 Comments

Last year Chris G. and his brother Phil joined one of our Adventure trips in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 5-day session was guided by Mike Clelland and Paul Magnanti, and included parts of the Pfiffner Traverse and the Continental Divide Trail Loop. For those interested in one of our 2019 trips, it will give you some…

Retirement

By Andrew Skurka / April 6, 2018 / 21 Comments

Today my father, Robert (“Bob”) Skurka, finishes a 44-year thru-hike of the banking services industry. Like most long walks through the wilderness, his career gave him purpose and identity, and included both peaks and valleys. I’m unconvinced that he’ll take to a conventional retirement — to an even greater degree than his successor, he quickly gets restless —…

Ultralight Jerk: “Gift of laughter to a boring, anal retentive, and obsessive hobby”

By Andrew Skurka / March 7, 2018 / 18 Comments

Last October I was tagged on Instagram in the post below, by a handle I didn’t recognize, Ultralight Jerk. Despite being the punchline, I thought it was funny and creative, as were the other dozen posts that were live at that time. Ultralight Jerk has continued to plug away, and now has nearly 3,000 followers. I…

Reviews: Slim full-size keyboard & mouse combos || Logitech, Jelly Comb, Moko, VicTsing

By Andrew Skurka / February 19, 2018 / 3 Comments

This series of keyboard & mouse reviews may seem off-topic, but please consider the hundreds of hours that I spend each month tapping away at my desk. It’s worth finding good ones. In December I replaced my six year-old HP laptop, which had outlived its expected service life by at least 2x. It was showing…

Review: Aspire Residences at The Stanley Hotel || Modern rooms & facility with easy access to historic charm

By Andrew Skurka / February 12, 2018 / 1 Comment

Most winters Amanda and I make a weekend getaway to Estes Park, Colo., the eastern gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s only an hour away and doesn’t require driving on congestion-prone I-70. Room rates are cheap, especially Sunday through Thursday, because it’s the slow season. And it offers quick access to big mountain terrain…

RIP: Ken Oelkers, SHT trail angel & builder extraordinaire

By Andrew Skurka / December 28, 2017 / 7 Comments

I first met Ken Oelkers in March 2005, seven months into the Sea-to-Sea Route. His beloved Superior Hiking Trail was buried under feet of snow, and he understandably was looking for an excuse to keep him out of the house and close to the trail after a long winter in Silver Bay, Minnesota, a small blue-collar…

Giveaway: My Trail Company Chrome Umbrella

By Andrew Skurka / December 6, 2017 / 4 Comments

The My Trail Company Chrome Umbrella is an alternative to conventional rain gear. It’s lighter, more waterproof, and more comfortable in warmer temperatures. Wind, off-trail travel, and poorly maintained trails are a challenge for it, however. Read more pros & cons of backpacking umbrellas. I am giving away one new Chrome Umbrella, which was given…

Giveaway: Sierra Designs Tioga & Sierra Insulated Jackets

By Andrew Skurka / November 29, 2017 / 5 Comments

Recently Sierra Designs released four new insulated jackets: the Tuolumne, Tioga, Sierra, and Whitney. They are nicely designed and featured, and priced very competitively (starting at $100). Read my full review. This FREE giveaway will be for the two jackets used for the review: Tioga Hoodie: men’s Medium, synthetic insulation, hood, red Sierra Jacket: men’s…

Giveaway || Start your week right: Win a Hydro Flask Water Bottle & Food Flask

By Andrew Skurka / March 20, 2017 / 3 Comments

Ugh, Monday. This week I relate more than I normally do: three flights in five days, and three full days without my BFF, who makes everyday better around here. Okay, onto the reason you are really here — a free giveaway of a new: 40-oz Hydro Flask Water Bottle 18-oz Hydro Flask Food Flask These…