Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Heading to Trail-End of Stage One

After tomorrow I'll be offline for a bit as I begin my summer's adventure. Many thanks to Chef Bob for hiring me for this extraordinary experience. We've deep cleaned the kitchen, and have just a few more touches before finishing for the season. Will we return in the fall? Perhaps.

After seven months living, working and playing at Lake Yellowstone, I can say this has been the best "job" I've ever had. Bob and his fiancĂ© Barb are heading out on their own adventures, crossing the country, attending concerts, catching up on family doings. I wish all of life's goodness upon them.

The Chef wrote on the trivia board:
This dining facility was open for 209 days straight, served 627 meals to an average of 47 persons per meal, a total of 29,469 plates, all on time with only 3 workers.
Barb and I'd like to add, with no injuries, no sick days, and always on time. What a team!

I drew this map when we first got there and hung it in the dining room. When someone needed directions to some local skiing trails, they could discuss it and let us know where they were headed, just in case they didn't get back in time. We put in little notes, like "Bob's Igloo", "Carol's Place", "Lake Lodge Pub--Closed for Season", "Elephant Back-Verizon Cell Service on top at the bench, 2 miles up, 900 feet elevation gain."
When I opened my door to head to the t-v room just to get a soda, I found this 26 ounce bag of trail mix propped against my door. No notes, no names. I asked around. No one knows who gifted me. Thanks to the whole crew here. What a team. The place is gorgeous, the people are real.
A little goodbye party at the Hotel Bar. I turned on the camera and everyone opened up.

This is the new fancy bar at Hotel. All this is brand new. A couple electricians, cabinet guys, cooks, flooring, plumbers, general construction, laborers and painters, all hanging out and enjoying the camaraderie of a job well done nearing completion of Stage One.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Old Faithful to Mystic Springs Trail Head Gear Test

Today I took my full pack with water and a day's worth of food and headed to Old Faithful. I left the CDT at that complex last fall. I brought my bear spray which I clipped via carabineer to a loop on the hip belt of my new pack. This pack has been streamlined, but when I saw that loop, I left it. Good thing. Its a perfect location for the spray. Easy access and it doesn't negatively impact my stride.

Because this is also part of the training for strength and testing how this pack will load, I parked at
Biscuit Basin Trail head, headed to Old Faithful via the various back trails eventually hiking on a boardwalk. Once I hit the Inn, I knew I'd touched my point of continuation. After all, the old saying is No One can hike the Continental Divide Trail the same way. Its only 60% complete. Alternate trails abound. My goal and obsession is to be a Continuist: No missing steps connecting Canada to Mexico along the Rock Mountain spine.

I hiked along the road aways, then, because the trail to Mystic Falls was closed due to bear activity. This is common in the spring here in Yellowstone. I needed the miles for training, I felt. All told, 11 miles today, feeling great, a good gear test on a gorgeous spring day.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Revised Edition of Cook Book Project Available

Sharing Our Best with Bonus Man Camp Recipes
The new second edition is ready now at or Barnes and Noble. I've included stories and insider tips for staying on budget when cooking for a crowd. This last month I've taken the time to type in special recipes and methods, plus the secrets to making these quadruple batches come out right. You can save a lot of time and money even if you're only cooking for 15-20 just by taking a look at the bonus material. This has been my favorite and all time go to cook book when I need something that works every time.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Video on Gear Choices

Video of my gear preparations for the CDT hike coming up. I head out June 1st so getting everything packed is critical at this point. I'll be training on my days off here at man camp and adding more posts about this as I go.

This is a section hike, not a thru hike. I've hiked from Canada to south of Helena Montana. Also, I hiked 300 miles of the CDT which run concurrent with the Colorado Trail.
My good friend Flo Bradley will be joining me in July to hike a good portion heading north from Steamboat Springs to Encampment (Battle Pass). Stay tuned for more details of our journey.

Due to safety concerns, we won't post exact locations until after the fact.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Trail Guides for Continental Divide Trail

Having good maps and trail description is pretty important. Especially if you'll be hiking much of it alone, you'll want something that reads well. I bought the Official Wyoming Guide a couple years back. Its about 12 ounces. As you can see here, the Colorado Guide is 21 ounces. Thankfully, I'll pull it apart and only take the pages I need. I've done 300 miles in Colorado already, the part which coincides with the Colorado Trail. Heading north from Copper Mountain to the Wyoming Border, which is the first 18 segments, about 270 miles.

I'll need the entire Wyoming Guide. Although I've hiked some of the CDT that goes past Heart Lake up to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, there remains a goodly 500 left. Still, I'll remove the general information, covers and suggested reading in the back, destroying the book as I go to lighten my pack weight. 

We have three weeks left at Lake Yellowstone until our Man Camp Kitchen is closed until fall. We'll serve the last meal, then start the deep cleaning process. The rangers have put up the signs forbidding hiking along the meadow leading to Fishing Bridge and along the Lake due to bear activity. Bears will be feeding on carrion that washes up as the ice melts.
Its been a very interesting winter. I have lived and worked every season now, an entire year, at Lake Yellowstone. The tourists are appearing and it almost feels like they are invading my back yard. Of course its their national park, not mine.
I'm ready for some wilderness trailing.