The Bellevue sports blog
The meaning behind the hike, new media as a source and a fresh perspectiveFebruary 6th, 2012 at Mon, 6th, 2012 at 10:04 am by Josh Suman
I’ve been inexcusably absent from the blog lately and it’s something that will change as of now. I hope you all enjoy this space as much as I do and I will be trying to do more in the coming weeks and months to make sure that is the case.
The biggest thing I’ve had going lately is the package on Anthony Sanelli and Dustin Cramer, a pair of 2005 Issaquah High grads who hiked thru the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican boarder to British Columbia.
If you still haven’t read the story, then you may think it sounds like some sort of epic journey/coming of age story.
It basically is.
Five months with only brief contact in sparsely populated mountain towns along the trail and three-fifths of the journey spent hiking two separate routes, the hike was a once-in-a-lifetime experience from both accounts.
Here are some thoughts from each that didn’t make it into the feature story or sidebar, first from Cramer:
On the most trying aspects of the trip:
“It was excruciating pain in your feet the first week. By the end of the day, it was like a full day of work times 1,000,000. the first few weeks, it just helped to put your feet up and take your shoes off.”
On what he learned about himself and the pull of the wilderness:
“We get in the habit of always trying to please other people when really, the one thing I realized, the most courteous thing you can do is be true to who you are. It was really cool. There’s a huge amount of forces on the world that you can notice if you take the time to realize who, where, when and what time you are at. From a condo 30 stories up, it’s hard to realize that. The communication that is indirect, there is a lot of indirect communicate throughout peoples lives and when you spend times alone, you are able to me more direct with yourself and others.”
And from Sanelli:
On the planning for the trip:
“Some people spend a lot of time planning every detail, but over that many miles, things change, things happen. I got poison oak about a month in and that threw us totally off course. I was literally stuck in the town of Mojave, Calif. for a week trying to scrub this stuff off. We just had to take it as it came and there was a lot of that, just adjusting to whatever happens. We kind of just did it as we went, kind of winged-it if you will and that made it even more exciting because we weren’t tied to any guidelines or timeframes. We were just free to do it however we wanted to do it.”
On the psychological challenges of the trail:
“You have all this time to think and come up with great stuff, but you’re still out there and you can execute the way you want to because you still have to wake up and hike all these miles and you can’t just quit and go home.”
Fewer people have hiked thru the PCT than have climbed Mount Everest (according to my hack internet research on a boarder line unverifiable though popular statistic) and it was purely dumb luck that I stumbled upon these two.
Which brings me to my next point…
Once upon a time, Yours Truly played on a summer baseball team with Sanelli and with the magic of social media, we connected again on facebook. After reading a note he posted in the midst of the hike, I knew there was a story there to be told when all was said and done. It isn’t the first time a lead on a story has come from a new media source and it surely won’t be the last.
The story on Sanelli and Cramer was the most in-depth piece I’ve filed in Issaquah-Sammamish since the two-part series on concussions last fall, which also ran in Bellevue. The tale of the pair’s excursion felt like a piece that would resonate with the sporting community in the area and hopefully it reached a readership we are trying especially hard to include more.
Issaquah and Sammamish are an exciting area to cover sports and recreation in and I think our changes our starting to come together in a nice way. The roundups and smaller notes on preps will turn into longer recaps come playoff time and we will be keeping tabs on teams and individuals throughout the year to have features that offer a deeper look behind the team you may otherwise only know by box scores.
Feel free to contact me by email at email@example.com with any thoughts, questions or concerns.