Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pacific Trail Guide Parody: Directions to Our Room

I wrote this parody back in 2000, when Rainmaker and I arrived at a sweet motel, just out of Ashland, Oregon. For those of you who have read and loved the trail guide for the best of all long trails (your opinion may vary), you'll soon see the humor. This is absolutley how the guide discribes the trail.

A PCT GUIDE BOOK version of:

Directions To Our Room

From the dining area cross a table and chaired saddle (.002m) turn west until you see a ladies room. There you'll find a refreshing faucet, although late comers may find it seeping (.00012m).

Descend north on an east facing staircase. Pass a room. Pass another good room. Pass an old abandoned room (.0035m).

On an east facing west rising door you'll note the number 24 which has been posted since the new easier route was established in 1983. Head north. Open door. Close door. However, this won't get you to the Post Office. So, if you need to go to the Laundry Room, head east from your saddle.

Those who complete this section may want to celebrate at the liquorish bowl, (4,290-.003m)a seven way junction where intense PCT Register Logging is going on.

* * * * * * *

Good luck to all who venture

Friday, January 27, 2012

Cannon Camera Review

My new camera is 12 mega pixels, 1080 HD video, 4 zoom and cost $118.99 on sale at Walmart. It weighs only 5 ounces, and is slim and sexy.

My other camera has bit the dust after 5 faithful years. It has served well, but had only 1/4 the definition. I am now taking closeups of my trail photos taken years ago with a disposable camera. Up til now, unless I used somebody's scanner, I could not share them.

Photos of people, hikers and locations remain the most popular. Scenery is always wonderful, but the actual human quotient is intriguing. What is that hiker doing? This photo of Rainmaker in a tiny room in Sierra City is one of my favorites. He is working on a resupply, first checking out the stash in his bounce box.

We are waiting for the bus in Manning Park, one week after 9-11-2001. The borders have just been reopened and after a successful crossing, we've finished the trail and heading back to Georgia.

This camera is very user friendly. I am happy with all its capabilities. The price is amazing. Right now electronics are on sale. I have 15 days to play with this before my option of returning it for a full refund runs out.

For my initial review: Its a keeper!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Continental Divide Trail Stuff

This is just part of the trail information on hand for the CDT. We used Delorme Atlas for alternate water and routing in Montana. A long distance hiker recommended them. Good stuff, it breaks the entire state into grids, showing every back road, contour line and water source.

Then, there are maps for various National Forests and Parks. It is said one can never have too much info for this mother of all challenges.

A bear canister and viable packing option is essential for Montana and into Yellowstone. There are enough griz in those areas to keep you on your toes.

They make great camp stools, too, but at nearly 1 pound 11 ounces, way heavy for an ultralighter. A person does what they got to.
This external frame pack was stripped to basic shoulder and hip belts, then custom fitted with an over size silnylon pack by yours truly. Its seen a lot of use. Remarkably light at under 2 pounds for this "retro" backpack.

Unless you've carried an external frame pack, you probably aren't aware of their versatility. They're also incredibly strong, sustainable, easily adjusted for growth.

More popular in the west, you'll see external frames on the JMT, Sherpas on Everest, and youth in "high risk" remedial programs.

With the new year underway, gear heads are out in force. Take a look at some retro stuff to keep in budget.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Go Out There?

My Daughter put this on her facebook status:

Family hike up Badger Mt. today. Thought it was pretty sad that I've lived here 6 years and haven't done any real hiking, but my dear husband has lived here most of his life and has never hiked any of these hill/mountains either (why would you hike when you own a car??) lol

I was stunned~ Where had I gone wrong? I posted my status:

You got me wound up! Why would you hike up a remote mountain, to look over a gorgeous valley, why would you sleep in a tent 50 miles in the wilderness, why would you cross a glacier melt? Holy cow, because you can, because its there, because its so fantastic, because when you're stuck in a wheel chair or nursing home and you can't least you DID.

Of course, comments flowed that Mom was right, they were hikers, and really, of course it was worth the effort. I love my family, but the most powerful times of my life have been on the trail. When Rainmaker and I hit the Canadian Border on the Pacific Crest Trail, I knew nothing would ever be the same.

I wrote this little poem while hiking in the Northern Cascades, August 29:

Up In the heights I walk the ridge,
Look way below and see the bridge,
I crossed that log this early morning,
In spite of all dayhiker warnings
Wind blowing through my hair,
an eagle cries.
I'll soon be there.
Never be tame Again.

So There, People!

My New Years Goal: Do something Memorable.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Will Destroy the Planet For Jobs

I just watched the morning edition of CNN, called Morning Start. My guy is off to Coz getting in some diving and dentistry, I support him whole heartedly.

This makes my day open for all sorts of spontanaity, like getting up at 5:30 and watching the news. Seems like there are less commercials, or if not, I'm just still sleepy enough not to care.

Anyways, one of the huge stories was the Fracking in Ohio causing, or dam well looking like its causing, Earthquakes.
 They interviewed a bunch of people, and took some time on the question. 50,000 jobs have been lost in the last 30 years in that state. Its in dire straits economically, like all of us. America does need alternative fuel sources. With this imploding Iran situation, and possible 20% oil flow stoppage due to the canal being blocked, doesn't it make sense to develop our resources, any resources, at any cost?

Hell no.
Not in my books. I guess drilling 9,000 feet and dumping a ton of water down there as part of the fracking process is problematic. So far, the 4.0 seismic activity is "tolerable". We can handle that. We need jobs.

I'm concerned we may be letting Pandora outta the box. We are little humans in a vast universe. You can open a hole you might not be able to fill.
Earthquakes can cause some serious shit if there are nuclear facilities nearby. What is nearby?

How can we know this, what long term effects are there for upsetting our base, the ground all of our cities are perched on?

So, ask me. What are the answers?
Minimalism. I love the Internet. We don't have to give up anything, or anyone. Downsizing. How many square feet of housing does a person need to heat, cool, furnish, insure, redecorate?
How many clothes need to crowd a closet, shoes in boxes and toys in sheds we haven't used in years.

Downsizing, in all aspects. Losing weight is downsizing. That helps with food costs, transportation costs.

I find the easiest plan for serious downsizing is stay out of stores until I NEED something. Before I really go buy that something, I look around. Maybe I already have something to fill that need. I'm not against having stuff. Just the unquenchable drive for energy and incessant production of crap that is killing our planet, hense, ourselves.

I'm worried about our constant drive for energy. Think Japanese nuclear meltdown, gulf oil fiasco, massive oil spills, a pending military confrontation, coal mine distruction of the landscape, and now, earthquakes?  Really?

There's the thought we need energy so we can buy shit to pull our economy out of the toilet. This flagrant consumerism got us in the toilet.

How do I fight this? Minimalism.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Season Worker in Fabulous Places

is my go to spot for checking out seasonal jobs in all sorts of cool places, like national parks, resorts, cruise ships, dude ranches, trail building. You name it.

I've been attracted by several very cool spots up in Alaska, many very remote. Some are even caretaker positions.

I'm currently holding the fort for two weeks while my partner is in Mexico. My plan was to write for those entire two weeks, thereby testing the concept of no human face contact for the entire time.

Reality check. This is harder than one would think. I'm realizing one or two good buds on a remote job is pretty nice. I'll take this experience into consideration when putting in apps.

Bottom line, if I dont end up in Yellowstone this summer, look for me in Alaska, home of the wild, free and crazy. Pretty good selling points in my book.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Women a Mystery to Genius

Ok, I admit to loving this article. The renown genius says the thing he hasn't figured out is women, we're a complete mystery.
I love it.
The day I get so boring you can figure me out is the day I need to rethink my gender.

Or something like that.

When New Scientist magazine asked "Brief History of Time" author Stephen Hawking what he thinks about most, the Cambridge University professor renowned for unravelling some of the most complex questions in modern physics answered: "Women. They are a complete mystery."