Reading a newly autographed copy of Hike your own Hike, 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America, by Francis Tapon, after Francis's presentation at the SOMA REI on the Pacific Crest Trail. It's the sort of travelogue/inspirational/self-help book that's produced by attending business school and then leaving corporate America to hike across back-country America.... repeatedly. In April, he plans to begin hiking (in both directions) the Continental Divide Trail. This trail has never before been "yo-yo'ed" in a single season. He'll be the first one if he succeeds.

One of my favorite things about the presentation--Francis's gear. Though he obsessively cut weight by using exotic fibers and for the first seventy miles didn't even carry a sleeping bag for fear it would weight him down, but for the remainder of the trip he even brought along his PDA! In the slide show, he showed pictures of himself sending emails while walking through the wilderness. And, in fact, a concession he made for his friend Maiu to rejoin him on the trail (she'd quit after a few mishaps) was her own electronic mail device so she could keep in touch with her family and friends in Estonia.
A note from Francis on my posting:

"It's true, she wanted it, but I ended up using it bit more than she did to do my journal entries. But I would only use it when she didn't want it. I found it easy to hike and type at the same time on flat, unscenic terrain. :)"
You can take the techie out of an office, but you can't take the techie out of a person. On his upcoming Continental Divide hike he will carry a solar panel recharger (see picture below) for the PDA. The weight of his pack will be 7.2 pounds without food and water, 15 with food and water on an average day. Check out his gear list at www.francistapon.com/cdt/gear.htm