#RunningTo Week 8 in Review: OREGONIAN EXTRAVAGANZA!

#RunningTo: Crater Lake, OR

It’s an OREGONIAN EXTRAVAGANZA this week! Week 8 of #RunningTo took me to all corners of the Beaver State, from Donald Miller infused Portland to capital city Salem to University of Oregon headquarters Eugene to One of the Best Small Towns in America Bend to the OH MY GOSH BREATHTAKING Crater Lake. Let’s just get right to it, shall we? This was my wandering week that was, Oregon style:     Ever been to any of these sweet Oregonian locations? Ever taste a sweet bacon maple doughnut? What about petting a sweet friendly squirrel?

Seattle Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

#RunningTo: Seattle

DAY 38: I’d just reentered America after two weeks in the Great White North. I cruised southward down the 5 with a sizzling anticipation unlike any other #RunningTo stop to this point. In many ways, my first month on the road had been leading up to this. The Space Needle emerged, Seattle’s distinct skyline unfurling like a blanket in the heavens. The Emerald City captured my gaze for the first time in two years. I didn’t miss a beat. Cranked some Owl City, just like last time. I exited the freeway and crossed over Pike Street, admiring the famed market that’s been continuously running longer than any other. The waterfront emerged, and I was taken aback by a giant ferris wheel that hadn’t been there before. I pondered parking downtown and diving right back … Continue reading…

#RunningTo Week 7 in Review: Seattle, Olympia, Portland

#RunningTo: Portland, OR

Okay. Deep breath. I will try to refrain from posting another gopher picture this time. But no promises. Week 7 of #RunningTo rocked with a triad of phenomenal Pacific Northwest cities: Seattle, Olympia, and Portland. That last one is still a city-in-progress, so be looking forward to more Portlandia next time! It figures to be an amazing weekend here. Check out some of my favorite moments from the wandering week that was! Oh, dear, how did those gophers get in there . . . Would you ever live near an active volcano if it looked GORGEOUS? What about an active GOPHER? Ever try a fried Snickers bar? Yay or nay?

I’m Not at Camp this Summer

Thomas Mark Zuniga at Camp Ridgecrest

It didn’t fully hit me until two nights ago: I’m not at camp this summer. I remember feeling the weight of this strange reality early into last summer’s decision not to return to Camp Ridgecrest. Later in the summer, however, I remedied the restlessness of the situation by working and volunteering at not one, but two local camps. This summer is different. As I came home to my hosts in Olympia after a day of #RunningTo wandering, I saw Major League Baseball’s All Star Game playing on television — a jarring sight I’d not seen in four summers. I was still a boyish resident of Georgia the last time I’d witnessed an All Star Game. The National League had finally won the Midsummer Classic after 12 straight losses (and one pesky tie). I’d like to think … Continue reading…

#RunningTo VLOG: Yellowstone National Park

#RunningTo: Yellowstone National Park

A couple weeks ago, I trekked to a true wonderland of a national park. This place was massive. I had no concept of just how huge Yellowstone was until I found myself being driven the 100+ mile loop around the entire thing. And not a single fence in sight. The buffalo and bears and turkeys run rampant as tourists from every state stop at every other curve to capture an image of nature unhinged. Yellowstone was definitely a highlight of my #RunningTo road trip. My friend and I started the day with a drive high above Montana and Wyoming where we encountered banks upon banks of cold white snow. Did I mention it was the first day of summer? Indeed it was. Never thought I’d encounter snow that early into #RunningTo. From a snowy … Continue reading…

#RunningTo Week 6 in Review: Storybrooke, Seattle, Mount Rainier

#RunningTo: Mount Rainier

There’s no time. NO TIME. I just have to show you guys this: Oh, sorry, I’m past the Gopher Hole Museum now. It’s such a pity, but I’m glad y’all enjoyed my recounting of that adventure! Last week’s pictographical recap was my most viewed #RunningTo Week in Review to date, so I’ll be sure to visit another dead / anthropomorphically dressed rodent museum some time! I hear Portland’s got a killer squirrel thing going. But onto #RunningTo Week 6, which was just as momentous and incredible as all the others. I rounded out my first Canadian venture with a literal walk through Storybrooke! I’m a huge Once Upon a Time fan, so to walk down the “Main Street” of British Columbia’s Steveston where they film — life-changing. Also a dream come true? … Continue reading…

#RunningTo FAQ

#RunningTo FAQ

Throughout my crazy #RunningTo road trip, I’ve been connecting with so many incredible people. The reaction and reception, both online and off, have been fueling me forward. I’m honestly thrilled that so many of y’all are thrilled. After living on the road for over a month now, a few commonly asked questions have arisen. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to address some of your concerns for future reference. Yes, there’s a question about my beard. Among several others. 1. Where are you staying while you’re #RunningTo? Hotels? Hostels? Your car? In the aftermath of Struggle Central, I received numerous emails from precious people the continent and world over. Even before my big #RunningTo announcement in April, many of these people invited me to visit them since I guess I’ve made it no secret that I … Continue reading…

#RunningTo VLOG: Biking Vancouver

#RunningTo: Vancouver, BC

On July 4th, I celebrated my independence by renting a bicycle and roaming free across vibrant Vancouver. Favorite bike ride of all-time. Such a highlight of my #RunningTo journey thus far. I’d recommend a bike ride through Vancouver or most any city. Gives you a revitalizing perspective on the place. Check out this brief snippet of my journey across the lovely alliterative Burrard Bridge, and stay tuned for more #RunningTo wanderings! Have you ever rented a bicycle in a city? Which place has hosted your favorite bike ride?

#RunningTo Week 5 in Review: Gopher Hole Museum, Canadian Rockies, Vancouver

#RunningTo: Gopher Hole Museum

There’s no time. NO TIME. I just have to show you guys this: And this: And this and this and this: The Gopher Hole Museum basically altered the very course of my life. I might ditch every dream I’ve ever dreamt just to volunteer in the same vicinity of a couple dozen dead/dressed gophers. I mean WOULDN’T YOU? But guys, the Gopher Hole Museum was only the beginning of a truly momentous week. Check out some of my favorite moments from Alberta and then across the stunning Canadian Rockies to British Columbia! Have you ever spent Independence Day in another country? How did you celebrate? AND MORE IMPORTANTLY WHICH DEAD GOPHER IS YOUR FAVORITE?

#RunningTo VLOG: Great Salt Lake

#RunningTo: Great Salt Lake

A couple weeks ago I posted a video blog featuring my descent into the Grand Canyon. I got a lot of great feedback, so it inspired me to create another vlog! I hope y’all enjoy this one, too. On Day 15 of my massive continental trek, I hit the unique wonderland of Salt Lake City. From the surrounding mountains to the Mormon culture to the ginormous lake of SALT, I grew quickly enamored with this city. Check out my second official #RunningTo video blog as I venture out onto a giant salt flat in a mission to touch the Great Salt Lake with my own hands. The wind was a bit strong at times, but hooray for the magic of annotations. Also, I apologize in advance for … Continue reading…