I'm not too sure where to put this, because there seems to be no category for introductions. After a couple of years of lurking, I finally bit the bullet and subscribed. I'm afraid that I got a bit carried away today and did quite a few posts and reviews in threads that I badly wanted to reply to when I was lurking. I normally don't post that much at a time!
I live in Oregon with the Columbia River Gorge almost in my back yard. I have 66 years' backpacking and horsepacking experience (started at age 6), nearly all of it in the Rockies or the Pacific Northwest. Don't scoff at the horses; horsepacking requires the same skills as backpacking and a lot more besides. It's also a lot more work! It's like taking out a bunch of 2-year-olds, where each one weighs about 1200 lbs. and can kick and bite really hard. That was a long time ago when we'd meet someone maybe once a week, mostly near roads, and there wasn't enough traffic to make trail damage an issue. I wouldn't want to take horses out on backcountry trails now.
I did not, unfortunately, discover all this wonderful lightweight gear until about 4-5 years ago. Shopping at REI and reading "Backpacker," you'd never know it exists! I'm still working at lightening my load, so I can go out for longer periods. I'm down to a 14 lb. base weight and would like to cut it a little more. Not ultralight, though--at my age there are some comforts that I can't give up without incurring considerable pain, like a cushy air mattress.
I see some familiar names here from other forums, where I'm known as OregonMouse or grannyhiker. I'm glad I finally joined you here!