Professor at Large

Forward, to adventure!

Welcome to the site; I’m delighted to have you. Pull up a chair, pour some tea, and enjoy the ramblings of a strange academic beast on his fantastic journey through the wilderness. Read about your delightful host, take a stroll through the blog, see where I am on the itinerary, find out where to send send care packages, get your burning questions answered in the Q&A section, check out the map and information about the trail, peruse the gear list, and go wild.

Having my sabbatical approved by my college and gotten the blessings of my wife and family, this coming year I will be off on a series of adventures: hiking, wandering, and writing about observation and pilgrimage.

This journey began as an attempt at a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail: all 2,660 or so miles from Mexico to Canada. Most who make the trek begin in early to mid-April and hike north from the border with Mexico, arriving in Canada in late September or early October. However, since I couldn’t leave until mid-May, I planned to leave from my own doorstep and head north to Canada, then return to the southern border in early September and hike the trail back home. I hadn’t heard of anyone else hiking the trail in exactly this way, so though it isn’t standard, it was an exciting variation.

After a few weeks on the trail, though, I found that the original plan wasn’t working for me. My pace was just too slow for a late start; I suffered a few very minor but annoying injuries and equipment failures; and I was just not finding the joy in the journey which was the purpose of the enterprise. Missing my family played a much larger role than I had anticipated as well.

So now I’m undertaking a series of smaller adventures, both on the PCT and off it. I’ll be keeping a blog all through my odyssey and putting up information on a wide array of trail-related things here to help my family, friends, and well-intentioned strangers keep up with the journey and learn about what this is all about. Please feel free to subscribe (using the links in the sidebar) to get updates!


10 thoughts on “Home

  1. Craig

    I think it takes a tremendous human being to do such a thing. And, I think it takes a tremendous partner to support it. Just this act of strength and support alone makes me an admirer.

    I also like the Tolkien references. . . .

    • I think it may simply take a human being who doesn’t quite appreciate the magnitude of what he’s taking on… In any case, I’ll take the compliment. My wife does certainly deserve hers!

  2. Rose Bence

    Good luck professor! Everyone at the Writers’ Block is following your journey.

  3. With you in Spirit Professor.

  4. Diane Hunter

    Hey Michael. Missed you at graduation today.

    • I can’t say that I missed the Long Sit, but I was sad not to see colleagues and students. I’m sure you all represented the department magnificently without me.

  5. Thanks for sharing such a nice opinion, paragraph is good, thats why i have read it entirely

  6. Hi Professor Errant,
    You left a message on my blog site at the beginning of this year letting me know how sorry you were to hear about my husband’s heart attack that kept me off the trail this summer and that you were enjoying my blog. Well, good news, I have another chance for a thru hike this next summer, Mark is doing a lot better, and it is now or never time for a thru hike for me. My new blog site is: http://atrailrunsthroughit.blogspot.com/. You can also access if from my last blog. I had been following your journey this year and didn’t realize that Michael Slusser was Professor Errant, and I too, had been enjoying YOUR blog. (So sorry you couldn’t finish) Would I be right that you are a medieval re-enactor or a member of the SCA? A few of your pictures seem to indicate that.

    Anyway, I just wanted to get in touch and let you know that your prayers and those of a whole bunch of others have been working for us. On January 1st my miracle page goes up on my blog site. It has been amazing!

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