Howdy! Welcome to Jacob's blog.

There's a lot of awesome stuff covered here. Jacob Emerick is a web programmer with years of experience in scalable architecture and development of best practices. He also enjoys hiking the wilds of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This blog contains a mix of topics ranging between these two interests and more. read more

Jacob Emerick rocking a bow tie

Across the Mazatzals: Escape down Davenport

Sunrise on Table Mountain

Another night of partial sleep crept by in the Mazatzals. This time a couple of skunks and deer were the primary disturbers of my rest, though I'm sure there were some coatis at some point. Waking up and packing up was relatively easy this time, as I was camping on a slab of concrete, which made…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 29, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Crossing Deadman Creek

The start of Deadman Trail

Waking up was hard, and getting all my stuff packed up and ready to go was even harder. Not only was I sore from yesterday's beating on the trail, two nights of broken sleep was beginning to wear on me. That elk towering above me at ten last night didn't help things. I managed to get some hot coffee…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 27, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Willow Springs Bushwhack

Rocky ridge to climb, so close yet so far

Waking up and leaving Horse Camp Seep proved more difficult than planned. I slept in past my alarm, filtering water up to full capacity took a long time, and then I had to repack my gear twice to get everything sitting comfortably on my back. The sun was an hour up in the sky by the time I left…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 24, 2017
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Across the Mazatzals: Over Sandy Saddle

Cloudy skies over Barnhardt

Thunder rolled down from the heights of the Mazatzal Mountains, dire warnings issued from dull clouds that swam around the towering peaks. With an anxious eye I tried to decide if I should head up Barnhardt Trail today or not. This trailhead was empty and I could just car camp, wait for an early…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 21, 2017
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Shaw Butte

Hot desert landscape in northern Phoenix

A few mountain hikes lay scattered in the northern reaches of Phoenix, including Piestewa (Squaw Peak) and Camelback, both of which I've hiked when I was first getting used to these desert lands. There are some less lofty ones too, such as North Mountain and Lookout. Calling these mountains are a…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 16, 2017
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Sycamore Rim Loop

Morning sun over Sycamore Falls trailhead

Arizona is a state of transition. The Colorado Plateau intrudes from the north, an enormous plain of pines and grasslands around 7000', and reaches almost down to Globe. Where this plain ends there is a mix of steep rims and canyons that eventually drop into the hot, southern deserts closer to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted September 12, 2017
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Full-time Employment at Shutterstock

In early 2014 I started a new, shiny job working for a company based in New York. Shutterstock was my first fully remote position and my first time working for a 'big' technical company - that is, they had more than a hundred employees. Up until then I had worked for small, local shops in Wisconsin,…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted August 24, 2017
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Picacho Peak Loop

Start of the Calloway Trail

Picacho Peak is a sudden mound of rock located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson. It isn't that tall, topping off at 3,370', nor is it large, especially compared to the nearby Newman Peak. However, it does have a very distinct profile. The sharp spur soars above the desert and provided early…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 17, 2017
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Mazatzal Project Checkup

Long views back to the west, where it all began

Halfway done with the Mazatzal Project, an ambitious and foolhardy plan that I sketched out earlier this year to hike every trail in and around the Mazatzal Wilderness. To be more precise, I've explored 148.2 / 252.3 miles (53.9%) and have completed 21 / 38 trails (55.3%) over the course of four…

  • Category Personal
  • Posted August 9, 2017
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South Fork - Gold Ridge Loop

Early morning light over Gold Ridge Trail

By the time the day broke in brilliant hues of pink and purple over a distant Mogollon Rim I was almost 5 miles into my hike. Yes, another ridiculous early morning in the Mazatzal Wilderness. Today's early start wasn't aimed at getting a ton of miles, though - my planned route was a mere 13 miles…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted August 3, 2017
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