Dustin Triplett
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Mid-Mid-Life Crisis: Hiking the Stampede Trail in Alaska

Magic Bus 142

There comes a time in every man's life where after years of self-hatred and sabotage, he finally becomes content and, dare I say, relatively happy with the life he has established for himself. But sometimes being happy is not enough. There is something inside all of us that drives us toward greatness. Unfortunately, there also always seems to be something in the way, material roadblocks and interpersonal hurdles that keep that greatness further than we can grasp. 

I turn 30 this year. Since I'm knocking on death's door, I decided that my official mid-mid-life crisis will be hiking the Stampede Trail in Alaska. The very trail made infamous by a fellow white dude with delusions of grandeur, Chris McCandless, who starved to death in a bus turned makeshift shelter turned coffin. I want a picture of myself in front of that nefarious, magical bus before it and myself deteriorates further into the abyss. Despite joking about death, I have no intention to end up like McCandless. I was simply inspired by his story and the person he was. The kid had heart and let nothing stand in his way. Except for death. I'm pretty sure that stood in his way.

I might not be the sharpest ax in the forest, but I'm not stupid. Over the next couple of years, I plan on training for the excursion. In my current state, I am in no way, shape, or form to tackle such a journey. While I won't be hitchhiking across the country to the trailhead like McCandless, I will be hiking between 40-60 miles of the unadulterated last frontier. Not only do I have to commit to weekly day hikes to get myself physically ready, but I have a not of mental barricades to topple as well.

Having finally become a vegetarian after years of commitment issues, it's a hard realization that I will have to learn how to hunt and fish if I'm going to enter Alaska with confidence. I'll pack enough food on the actual trip to rely on, but if something goes astray, I'm willing to sacrifice my personal morals for my survival. It'll be hard for me to kill a living creature, so I feel like that will be the biggest hurdle. I'm sure my carnivorous father will get a kick out of training his vegetarian son in the ways of the hunt.

I plan on documenting this crazy ordeal on my blog and Youtube. It's going to be interesting, to say the least. If you have any suggestions or concerns, please reach out to me. I'd love to hear your thoughts.