With 2013 drawing to a close, I’m wrapping up what seems like the busiest year of my life, and preparing for another that may be even more hectic. Fitting the app work in between another job and now school has made for some creative scheduling, for sure. Some of you may have noticed that all the other business has taken priority over working on the website here, but I’m hoping to get things back to normal next year.
Throughout the year, I’ve been working frantically on the iPhone apps, which now encompass the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, John Muir, Tahoe Rim, and Long Trails (a total of about 5500 miles of trail in all). New features for last spring included elevation profiles, better trail registers, improved networking, and a few other enhancements, but there’s still plenty of work to do.
In the past few months I’ve been working just as frantically as ever, with a goal of finishing the major improvements for 2014’s hiking season by mid-February. I’ll explain that in more detail next month, but suffice it to say for now that next year’s AT and PCT hikers will have some good stuff coming their way.
Hiking and backpacking in 2013 went at just as feverish a pace as the programming, with over 900 miles of backpacking in order to finish mapping the northern states for the Appalachian Trail. That wouldn’t have been so hectic if it had all been in one shot, but those backpacking miles were split between more than half a dozen trips ranging from 350 miles down to 100 miles.
The plans for next summer are looking even more ambitious. The first big hiking trip I have planned is about 600 miles through the state of Virginia to update data for more than a quarter of the Appalachian Trail. There should also be a big backpacking trip to Baxter Park later in the summer, and maybe some other exciting trips that aren’t fully planned yet.
Between now and then, there’s plenty of snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to be done, but the first priority for the winter will be programming and work. I’ll try to keep the blog up to date as I go along.