All posts by Maurice

Introducing Moe

Hello folks.  Benj’s introductory post was mostly about other people since we know him.  Most of you don’t know me so I’ll take the egotistical approach for the benefit of all you strangers (don’t fry your brain trying to resolve that contradiction).  I’m  Maurice Ribble, aka Moe.  On the trail people might call me Top Bunk if there are bunk beds to be had.  I enjoy high beds and pretty much all other high things.  High trees, high roofs, water towers, hang gliders…  If it’s high I probably like it.  Just this past canoe trip Benj mentioned in the previous post I got to jump off a cliff on Blueberry Island into a lake, a bridge into a river, a giant boulder into a waterfall/rapids (see image above – this is also were Benj lost his ring), and I climbed a fire tower.  Definitely a good trip.  On this coast to coast trip I’ll be looking for some summits to hike and whatever else is high.

I’ll know at least Benj and Seth going into this trip.  All of us worked together at ATI/AMD before we went our separate ways.  We still work on all the same fun computer-y things, just at different companies now.  The folks I don’t know I’m sure I’ll make friends with during the trip.

Outside of work I like outdoors which you have probably picked up from Benj’s mention of our yearly trips hiking or canoeing.  I need to get off the grid for at least a week each year on these sorts of trips.  It helps me keep technologies in perspective.  This coast to coast trip is a little more on the grid than I’m used to for these sorts of events, but it’s longer than a week so I figure it will work just fine.  

Another one of my hobbies is photography.  I like most types, but my specialty is high speed photography.  Here’s my flickr stream which is mostly high speed photography images.

I’ll finish up with a big one.  I met Emily the love of my life about 5 years ago and we got married about 2.5 years ago.  We should be having our first baby around the end of this year.  This little one is the reason Emily won’t be joining us on this hike.  We’ve always been supportive to each other doing their own things.  For example she likes to go on week trips back to her homeland each summer, and I like to go on snowboarding trips each winter.  But most of our other trips we do together.  This is a trip we would have loved to have done together, but after a little research it seems a three week hike is a bit longer than most people would recommend for a  6 month old baby where “appropriate” hiking trips are typically measured in hours not weeks.  Emily recommended I go on this trip without her and she’ll stay at home with the baby.  Thank you Emily!  I suspect this might mean I get some double shifts during the first six months though.

Hope this gives you a little flavor of who this “Moe” guy is.  See you next June!

Moe Top Half

Google’s Coast to Coast Directions

I asked Google to route me from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay with stops in each of the towns we’re staying in.  About half way through I realized not enough of the Google Map team members have done this hike.  They didn’t allow me to add every town to one map!!  So I had to break it into two maps.  Bummer.  Still it’s pretty cool.

I’m sure this isn’t the final route we will take, but it is the Google route.  They said it is 172.4 miles and would take 60 hours of hiking.  Since Benj said it’s 192 in his introductory post, I imagine we’ll be taking a few scenic non-Google approved “Moe-cuts”.  And I’ll need to do some extra summits.  (I did mention how I love high things, right?)

Anyways, here are the maps:

The Long Flight There

Don’t you all love those security lines at the airport? While we will all being doing some serious hiking once we get to the coast, first we have to get to the coast and for most of us that means flying. My understanding is that international fights are generally the cheapest around 4-6 months before the trip so I’m probably going to by a ticket in the next few months.

My current plan is to make my flights easy (meaning direct for me since there are lots of flights from Boston->Heathrow) so that means just flying into Heathrow airport in London and taking train/bus from there. So with that in mind I asked Google maps for public transportation from Heathrow to St Bees and it said 11.5 hours!. I then found if I first go to Euston Bus Station in London and then take a train to St Bees the total trip is 8.5 hours (Google you failed me). Driving this would take about 5.5 hours (making driving an option to save time). I also ask for public transit from Robin Hood’s Bay (end point) to Heathrow. That takes about 5 hours and driving is just slightly less at 4.5 hours (I’ll just take the train in this case).

We’re on the trail from June 6 – June 22. This means I will plan on getting to St Bees June 5th. The options I have are a red eye to get me to Heathrow around 9am June 5th and then go to St Bees. Or I can arrive in London June 4th around 8pm, sleep, and then go to St Bees. I’m probably leaning towards a red eye to get to Heathrow around 9am on June 5th and then the train to St Bees to get me there in the early evening, but if others prefer a car I’d be fine renting a car for a small group to do a road trip on this leg. The trip back is easier. I will just catch the train from Robin Hood’s Bay to Heathrow on the morning of June 23 and then catch a flight back to Boston in the afternoon.

What do others planning? Anyone want to collaborate on travel?

More About Moe

Since we’ll all be hanging out for three weeks in three months I thought I’d share a little more about myself since most of you are strangers. Strangers for now that is, soon we’ll all be BFF!

My wife Emily won’t make the trip because of that awesome baby you see above. She is our first child. We looked into the logistics of hiking across Britain with a 6 month old and Emily made the call that she’d support me from the couch on this one. She won’t be bored though. We have multiple family members from around the country visiting her while I’ll be hiking and then we’re planning a family trip later in the summer.

I’m sure I’ll have tons of really interesting stories for you on the trail. Let me get you prepared. Our child likes to have the hickups. She smiles when you touch her cheek. She is now very good at tracking mommy and papa’s voice with her eyes. She likes it when papa does his special burping technique. When she’s hungry she will cry until mommy snuzzles with milk (papa is not so interesting when she’s hungry). Her eyelashes have grown out. When she poops in her diaper she likes to hold just a little back for the new diaper. And the list goes on…

In other news I’m running a kickstarter for an electric spinning wheel I’ve made. You should totally watch the video that my wife and I made about it here. I’ll have some fun stories about that kickstarter experience for the trail.

That’s enough for now. See you in Saint Bees!

Past the Pebble Crushing Moment

This coast to coast walk is amenable to a large range of hikers because each person can define their own goals. For me the thing about it that is fun and challenging is that it is 16 days of hiking. No one day has really been that much of a challenge so far, but put 16 days together with no breaks and it starts to wear on me. This helps strip away many of my preconceived notions and lets me look at things from new perspectives.

On trips like this I alway enjoy getting to what I’ll call ‘my moment of zen’ for lack of a better phrase. Having a physical challenge (a pebble crusher) helps me get there faster. Thanks for picking this great trip Benj.