Wow, I just discovered this thread, two days after it was posted. I'm overwhelmed, because frankly I didn't realize I was that appreciated. Thanks so much for all the accolades and good wishes!
But you are not going to get rid of me that easily. I don't like the term "retirement" because it seems to imply that I am going to disappear to the world of assisted living. Quite the opposite. I still have a few articles in the BPL pipeline that will be published soon, and I plan to write an article on SUL mountain backpacking next spring. I am just ending my tenure as BPL's Senior Editor for gear and apparel; I will continue on as a contributing editor, writing occasional reviews of UL gear.
I am reducing my BPL workload to gain more time for backpacking and other pursuits. The Finis Mitchell quote is very inspiring to me: "We don't stop hiking because we get old; we get old because we stop hiking." Thanks for mentioning it, I want that to be my mantra.
Thanks again for all your compliments and good wishes. My 7.5 years at BPL have been very rewarding and a second career for me (and Janet), one that combines several things that we love to do. And through my BPL association I have met, worked with, and hiked with, some really outstanding people in the outdoor community that I deeply admire. But don't write me off, I will still be around, but not cranking out as many articles as we have in the past.
Best wishes, Will and Janet (WilliWabbit and BOS, which stands for Buns Of Steel).