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Because I’m not just a walking and running machine.

Review: “Total Marriage Refresh” with Dr. Wyatt Fisher

By Andrew Skurka / November 16, 2019 /

Almost as predictably as the leaves turning color and the days getting shorter, Amanda and I normally reach a marital low point each fall. Amanda feels lonely and ignored for most of the summer while I’m physically gone or emotionally preoccupied with guided and private trips. And when I return, I crave personal time so…

Very long-term review: Samsung Chromebook || 90 percent of computing needs for $200-ish

By Andrew Skurka / November 6, 2019 /

Five years ago I bought the second-generation Samsung Chromebook 2 for business travel. Versus my primary machine — at the time, a conventional Windows laptop — the Chromebook was: Half the size and weight, Quieter and cooler, Faster at startup (8 seconds!), and Less expensive to replace if it was damaged or stolen. It proved…

For sale: My childhood home

By Andrew Skurka / April 3, 2019 /

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…


By Andrew Skurka / April 6, 2018 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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 /

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…

Book Review || The Gilded Rage: A wild ride through Trump’s America

By Andrew Skurka / December 5, 2016 /

While at the library a day or two after the election, I added to my pile The Gilded Rage: A wild ride through Donald Trump’s America, by Alexander Zaitchik. I did so with reservations, wondering if I had the heart for more election coverage. But Gilded Rage sounded more colorful than exit polls and less filtered…

Transparency: Support your favorite blogs this season (at no cost to you)

By Andrew Skurka / November 21, 2016 /

You probably already know that the six weeks between Black Friday and Christmas are the most important weeks of the year to most retailers. You might not know that it’s also a crux time for many outdoor blogs: the one you are reading now, Adventure Alan, PMags, Section Hiker, plus many more of my favorite backpacking blogs. If…