My name is Lou. When I lived in Boston in my 20's, I got out 7-8 times a year for a backpack or canoe trip. Great spots in NH, VT, ME and NY were all easy to drive to. Moving to Chicago (a relative desert of similar opportunities) and getting a real job changed all that. When I did get out though, I made sure it was to somewhere spectacular. I've had some great hikes in the Sierras and the Winds. I've just retired, and am looking forward to exploring many more beautiful spaces. However, I'm not comfortable flying quite yet, so I've been backpacking more locally (Boundary Waters in MN, a section of the NCST in MI) and concentrating on lowering my base weight (down to about 12 lbs.). The posts on this site have been great for feeding my imagination and helping to plan future adventures.