"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa
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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Resurrection Pass Journals, Chapter Two

WEIGHT AND BALANCE
Part Two

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty.  She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is.  ~Ellen DeGeneres


Ounce by ounce and pound by pound, the weight of my backpack continued to increase.

The weather forecast was for two nice days followed by rain.  That meant I had to take rain gear and some warmer clothing.  I decided on layering with a microfiber long-sleeved pullover and a light fleece pullover.  I added a rain shell plus a warmer jacket, both made of microfiber.

Wore some, carried some.

I figured rain pants over my hiking pants would be more than enough to keep me warm during a mountain rainstorm at 2400 feet elevation.  I knew very well that mountain rainstorms are never warm, usually accompanied by wind, and hypothermia was always a factor.  

An emergency plastic poncho, the kind the gift shop at Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island in Hawaii sells to tourists, and a rain cover for the backpack went into the pack. 


Maps, first aid kit, bug wipes, trowel, extra battery for the camera, kerchief, TP,  sunscreen, rope for hanging food in necessary,and personal stuff.  Plus an ID bracelet in case a bear came calling.


Dinner bell and flavor spray.
Eight and a half lbs. of clothing, including that which I wore minus the boots, caused a huge jump in the weight of my pack.  I added a pair of surf-wading shoes to wear in camp, bemoaning their weight but knowing I would appreciate having them.

Knowing that I eat little when hot and working, I had to compromise what would be a poor appetite with eating enough calories to continue working.  I figured on a six-day supply, still leaving open the decision on routes.

Peanut butter and jelly on multi-grain sandwich thins sounded fine for breakfast.  A piece of cheese and a chunk of sausage for lunch, Fiber One bars for snacks plus a small baggie of gorp, went into the bag.  Then I added six Mountain House freeze-dried dinners, plus a few tubes of sugarless Crystal Light lemonade.  And some Constant Comment tea bags.


This is not preprandial; this is postprandial.  I would have been fine on a quarter of what I took.

The shock came when I stuck two full liters of water into the pack.  That increased the weight by five lbs., but I had no choice.  I’d purchased treatment tabs that took four hours to work.  I had to carry water. 

I added three essentials:  a journal, write-in-the-rain pen, and my Kindle.  I could lie in my sleeping bag and play Every Word on the Kindle while I waited for sleep.  Altogether, they added only a pound.


What was I doing, I wondered again.  Almost seventy years old, haven’t backpacked any distance since I hiked the Chilkoot Trail in 1973, bad feet.   Was I trying to prove something to myself?  Prove I still had it?

Aleve for what hurts.
Or, could it be that I was hoping to open new horizons…..and re-open old ones?
 
By the time Erin dropped me off at the Cooper Landing trailhead, my pack weighed forty-two lbs.  Too much, too much, but I couldn’t ditch the water.  Once again I wondered why no one worried about giardia forty years ago when I was backpacking frequently.  We’d never treated our water then, just drank right from the stream.

To compensate, I ate one of the peanut butter sandwiches and looked at the trail ahead of me.

The longest journey begins with a single step Attributed to Lao-tzu ( c 604- c 531 bc ), founder of Taoism.


1 comment:

  1. You certainly prepared well! I'm enjoying every bit of your journals.

    You're quite the gal, Gully!

    ReplyDelete