Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 9- Busy Trail

 A mosquito woke me up this morning at 5 a.m.  I didn't get any bites though.  Cowboy camping was nice, but the slope was annoying.  I woke up a few times to inch back up, but every time that happened I saw the beautiful night sky.

Desert flowers
At 7 it was already hot where the sun touched.  it was shaping up to be a hot one.  We went four miles to the first water of the day.  Apparently 25 people camped there last night.  We had guessed there were 12 people ahead of us.  It seemed like we meet most of those 25 today.

I heard a rattle snake today, but didn't see it.  Shortly after that I slipped and fell the first time of the hike.  I stopped paying attention for a moment.  Didn't hurt in the least.

Ten miles to the next water, and it was dry.  I still had a liter left, and only a few miles to the next source-The Guzzeler.  While sitting on the dry creek bed we realized that the next town is a day later than we thought.  That kind of killed the dreams of pizza I was having.  Up until now I've been more focused on sleeping well than town food, but the tide has shifted.

When I came to the Hiker Oasis water cache there were 15 or so hikers clustered in the shade made by the shelves the water was on.  I didn't stay long; I finished my pumpkin seeds (my new favorite food) got my water for another dry camp, and hiked on.  It was just a mile to camp from there.

First sunset I've seen on trail
Camp tonight is again among the boulders, but up high this time.  There's a good group of people here:  Jake and Little Dipper (who I met briefly on the AT in '09), Powernap AT '10, Chilly and his Dad, the Detroit City Crew,Tommy, and I.  I saw my first on trail sunset-this camp is pretty awesome. I'm cowboy camping again which should be great, as long as no strong winds come up.  Its very sandy here.

I'm in charge of waking people up in the morning around five.  We're doing 20 something again so we can be set up for town.  The short day idea was great in theory, but it's not working.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Day 8-Back on Trail

The camp ground came awake early this morning.  Evey body had somewhere to go to get closer to Canada.  I had a quick breakfast and went to lurk by the ride board to find a lift back to Warner Springs.  It actually didn't take too long to set up a ride with Jan and Jim who help out at Scout and Frodo's.  At 8:30 Tommy and I and our packs piled into their car and off we went.

We took a different route than on the way down.  We followed the PCT and spotted many hikers.  We arrived at Warner Springs around 10:30 and it was already hot outside.  We had a few chores to do-mostly computer stuff-before heading out.

We planned a 15 mile day because of a late start and we both want to do slightly smaller days for a bit.  109 miles in 5.5 days kind of took its toll.  The trail started off very exposed to the midday sun and I heated up quick.  The trail went through some farm land, a continuation of entering Warner Springs and then the trail went up into scrubby desert area.

There was one creek that we knew we'd be crossing five times and the last time we needed to get enough water to dry camp.  I think we crossed that creek nine times-it was only annoying when we had four liters of water.  It turns out we didn't need to carry so much at all.  The guides list a spring four miles from where we were going to camp, but we had heard the water was bad.  When we got there others were coming up with crystal clear water that reportable taste of leaves.  I think I would have liked leaf water over carrying water I didn't need too.
The boulder field where I camped

Today was just how I pictured the desert hiking would be.  There were a few times when we just stopped and hide in whatever shade we could find and when most. Plant life is knee high, shade is hard to find.  I was counting down until six when it would start to cool off.  And it was around that time the trail went to the east side of the mountain and cool shade was plentiful.

Camp tonight is in this boulder field amphitheater.  It's really beautiful here.  The builders are white and are reflecting the light of the quarter moon.  My campsite is too small for my tent so I'm sleeping under the stars tonight without my tent.  I'm on a bit of a slope, but Kick Off wasn't restful-I am exhausted and the late start today in the heat didn't make me feel rested.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Day 7- Kick Off in Photos

Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off

 Day 7 brought my first zero day of the hike (when no hiking is done) and time to enjoy the official Kick Off of the PCT.

Laundry at camp

Setting up camp

Breakfast on Saturday

Dr. Sole hard at work fixing hiker feet.

Ride board Sunday morning

Hiker massage, anyone?

Homemade gear contest

Breakfast on Sunday morning

1,000 hikers equals one overloaded bathroom

Gear vendors set up in front of the Lake

Hot drinks on cold mornings.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 5- 101 Miles

Mile 101 at Barrel Springs
Another bad night of sleep.  There was a lot of wind.  It was blowing one tent wall on top of me all night.  I woke up at one point with mist landing on my face.  The tent got damp, and it would get my bag damp whenever the wind blew the tent on to me.  I had be very flat to be dry.  I did sleep some, at least enough to have some funky dreams.  Lately I've felt like I should keep a PCT dream journal.  I woke up at 5:30 and it was still misting with the occasional drizzle thrown in.  I packed up quick with nothing in the usual spot, grabbed some water, and started up Grapevine Mountain.
A brief sunny moment on a misty filled morning
I stopped a lot at first-there was this beautiful rainbow spanning the valley.  It seemed like every five minutes there was a better view of the rainbow.  They are hard things to photograph, but I think I ended up with a few good shots.  I thought of the rainbow as my silver lining for staying at the bridge.  I don't think last night would have been pleasant up on the mountain.
I saw my second rattle snake of the trip so far.  I saw my first on day 2.  It was a baby coiled up next to the trail.  It had a beautiful black and white pattern and only one rattle on its tail.  Today's snake was much larger and stretched out the width of the trail.  I used my trekking poles to make noise in the bushes next to him to make him move.
Scissor's Crossing to the 3rd Gate Cache is supposed to be a brutal section-not because of the terrain, but there was no shade, no water for 14 miles, and it is usually in the 90's this time of year.  It was in the 50's this morning.  I hiked fast to stay warm and arrived at the 3rd gate around 12:30.  I still had most of the water I started the day with so I didn't take any from the cache.  It's a feat that the trail angels can pack in so much water for the hikers.  I just don't know how they do it.
Trail magic at Barrel Springs at mile 101
After the cache it was only 9 miles until the next water source and my end point for the day.  I hiked those miles with Tommy.  It's nice to have company.  It's strange, even though the area is really beautiful it fades a little into the background.  We over looked the same valley for 18 or so miles today-that's something the AT wouldn't do.  There's still plenty to look at with the cacti and other pokey desert life, but having company was nice. 
We passed the 100 mile mark without even knowing it.  That was a little disappointing.  But we made it to camp at mile 101 to find sodas in the spring and cookies in a shopping bag hanging in a tree.  It was a long day with 24 miles.  Looking forward to a good night's sleep (there are peepers in the spring) and some time off over my long weekend.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day 6- To Kick Off

Last night I finally slept well.  I was on a little bit of a slope which didn't really bother me.  My bag was a little damp so I was a little chilly until it dried out.  Over all it was a great night's sleep-5:30 came and I felt really good. 
I left camp with Tommy sometime before 7.  We only had 8 miles to town.  I was expecting more of the desert for the morning's hike, but it wasn't that at all.  The trail wound through pasture land with very few cacti and other pokey plants.
The morning was mostly cloudy and cool.  I think I might be getting a little spoiled by this mild weather.  I didn't wear my hat or sunglasses for the first 5 miles.  It was just so pleasant.
On top of Eagle Rock
Besides town, we had Eagle Rock to look forward too.  In the middle of the field, on a little bit of a knoll, a rock like an Eagle overlooks the field.  We could see it from a distance, looming, and small figures at the base of it.  The sun came out and the sky cleared behind it.  There were three other people there.  We took some pictures with the Eagle, chatted about Kick Off, had snacks, and it was time to push on.
It didn't seem like we had walked much longer before we started seeing day hikers looking very clean and fresh on their way to Eagle Rock.  And just like that, we were in town.
The town of Warner Springs has rallied for the PCT hikers.  The lodge there that used to be hiker friendly with discounts, hot pools, and food has closed, and the town has stepped in to fill the void.  I didn't really need anything-I had a box at the PO and a ride to Kick Off.
Trail angel Jeannie was waiting at the community center when we arrived at 10:30.  She ran us to the PO for our boxes, and I bounced my new shoes forward.  Then we piled into Jeannie's rented van and off to Kick Off.  It was a little strange undoing five days of hiking in an hour and a half car ride.  That really hit home the fact that walking is not a practical means of transportation, but it's a beautiful way to go.
We arrived at Kick Off around 1:30, checked in, and got our PCT 2012 bandana, set up camp, and now, it’s time for Kick Off.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 4- Under the Bridge

Last night's open was a very windy place.  I didn't sleep much-the tent made way too much noise to sleep.  I don't think anyone sleep much.  The lack of sleep didn't seem to effect my day though.
The first 9 miles to water went pretty quick.  I thought that part of the desert was beautiful.  I didn't expect so many wild flowers.  The hills smelled of flowers.  The cacti are in bloom-they might be my new favorite flower.
The morning was thick cloud cover.  I've never been so happy to have a cloudy day before.  On the AT clouds usually meant rain, out here it means cool hiking weather.
The cloud cover did break up around 1 p.m. and I could just feel it start to scorch me. 
PCT Mile 68
The trail seems so much more friendly when it's cloudy out.  I took more pictures, I even seemed to hike faster, my feet didn't hurt as much.  The sky clouded over again around 4 as I descended into the valley with Tommy.  There were storm clouds gathering behind us.  For a few days people have been talking about the storm we were going to get.  We decided to make for a bridge at mile 77 to have shelter.  On the way we met one of the water angels restocking the water cashes that are put out for hikers.  While talking to him two other hikers, Scarecrow and Sara, hiked up.  The water angel recommended staying under the bridge tonight.
Trail under the hot sun
I've been here since 4:30 and really wished I had hiked on 4 more miles as I had planned for the day.  It is windy and dusty here-really kind of gross, but there is water.  My feet and my body like the early quitting time, but it's boring to sit around on a nice late afternoon.  So far there are 9 people calling the bridge area home for the night.  It's still early, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are more.

(I wrote a post for Day 3, but my phone ate it.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Day 2- Day in a Cloud

Mist kept day 2 cool
Woke up to a misty morning and wet tent.  Most of my aches from the day before had faded away.   I wasn't good as new but I didn't feel broken anymore.  I packed up and was on trail at 7:15.  Right away my pack went back to being painful.  I tried packing it different, and that might have helped some, but it was still uncomfortable all day long.
The mist was thick.  Early I thought about putting my pack cover on, but I didn't want to stop so soon.  I was also pretty sure the mist would clear as I climbed.  It didn't lift, and I actually really liked being socked in-it was nice change from yesterday's hot sun.  The mist stuck around until 2:30 and than that hot sun was back, but it started to cool down around 5:30.
The weather was a nice change from yesterday, but sadly my feet were still in rough shape.  I have a few blisters now.  The ones I drained refilled and ended up even larger.  My feet feel raw to the touch, even if they don't look that bad.  One blister burst while I was walking-that was a gross feeling, but now it doesn't hurt.
I ended up hiking a few miles past where I had planned.  I was going to stay on top of the ridge, but it was such pleasant walking through a pine grove that I kept going.  I stopped for a break when I thought I had a half mile left, I got up, put my pack on, took a step, and saw I was there.
It's a cold night tonight, and rain is suspected tomorrow night.  I'm wondering if that will mean snow for me. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 1- On top of the Momument

Day 1:  Campo to Lake Morena 20.6 miles

We left Scout and Frodo's in a whirlwind at 6.  We arrived at the trail head, a party of 7 (driver, navigator, section-er, and 4 thru's) around 7:30.  Pictures were taken, log book signed, thanks were made to our shuttle, and we hiked.
Ready to hike to Canada
The trail started off following the road we took to the start.  Slowly the massive rusty fence that separates Mexico from the U.S. receded as we moved north.  We hiked in a loose group falling in line were we best fit.  I found myself towards the front of the middle and stayed there most of the day.
My pack was heavy with 4 liters of water and too many apples-I had 4, now 2.  My guess was 32 pounds and as I ate and drank it didn't feel any lighter.  I may have made a mistake going with a frameless pack.  It felt like I was giving a piggyback ride to a naughty child that was digging his heals into my back while pulling on my shoulders.  I was missing my old North Face pack by lunch.
It’s lucky the dessert is pretty, because it was hot.  The sun glared down on us from the start until 6 and then finally shadows moved in.  I drank my 4 liters of water and picked up a 5th at a creek 16 miles into the day.  By day's end I was gritty with salt and my shirt was patchy with salt.  I may need to get some sport drink mix if I'm going to loose so much salt.  I think a lot of our group was feeling the heat.  I know I hit a wall around 4:30 going up the last mountain of the day.  I just plodded up the mountain, stopping often, and trying not to focus too much on getting to camp, or on how much my pack was hurting.
The sun was ready to set over Lake Morania as I did the last half mile into camp.  I couldn't wait to get pack and shoes off.  I'm disappointed that I have a blister near my heel.  I had check on the spot a few times to see if I had a hot spot, but it snuck up on me.
None of my original group from Scout and Frodo’s are camped here tonight, but there are others here who started today.  I think a dozen of us left the border today.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

At Scout and Frodo's

Tonight I'm staying at the home of Scout and Frodo.  My little tent is set up on the lawn, dinner was eaten, last minute details attended too, and an alarm will be set for 5 a.m.  Breakfast will be at 5:30 and we are to be out the door at 6 a.m.  Four of us will be dropped off at the trail head.

This will be my first night camped out since October.  I can't really remember the last time I slept in my little tent, but I know the rhythm of life in a tent too small to sit up in will come back. Packing up in a small tent like that is a dance, and it's one I'm rusty on at the moment.

It's cool and quiet outside tonight.  Its early, but I'm tired.  I woke up at 5:30 this morning--maybe I was practicing for tomorrow's early wake-up call.  I didn't really go back to sleep, I was too busy thinking about the hike to sleep again.  I anticipate waking before my alarm goes off--more excitement than nerves, I think.  If I'm not ready now, I'll never be ready.

The plan is 20 miles tomorrow.  The goal is to enjoy it.  Live it.  And to sleep well.

Friday, April 20, 2012

San Diego

On the bus an hour north of LA
Before first light on Monday morning I boarded a bus to start my trip south to San Diego.  It was an all day affair that went smoothly with four connections, had plenty of time to sleep and had views of the ocean and mountains-some still covered in snow-to gaze at.  The train arrived a half hour early giving me daylite to find the hostel.

I'm staying right downtown in the heart of the Gaslamp District.  San Diego is move lively than San Francisco was.  I was surprised how many people were out on a Monday night, and every night since there's been even more people.  It's great people watching.  I imagine the PCT is going to feel very empty in comparison.
Fish that people drop off in the night at a pond in Balboa Park

Tuesday morning I strolled around Balboa Park-the San Diego attraction I've heard the most about.  I took a walking tour about the Park's history, plant life, and architecture.  When the buildings were built for the World's Fair they mad them out of chicken wire and plaster with the intent of tearing them down after a year-that was nearly 100 years ago, although they have been rebuilt since then. They had some very impressive gardens.  The rose garden was very colorerful and fragrant, but the cacti garden was my favorite-not surprising saying all I think about is the desert section of the PCT.

Coronado Island was second on my list of places to visit.  I met up with a fellow PCT hiker Wednesday morning and we took a bus to the Island.  We window shopped, poked around in the bookstore and walked along the beach.  I put my toes in the water, but only for a moment-it reminded me of swimming in Maine as a kid.  We left to go to a farmers' market for lunch/dinner.  I had half a grilled artichoke-it might be my new favorite thing to eat.

Old Town
I went to Old Town-The Birth Place of California-on Thursday.  Maybe I wasn't paying attention when somebody told me about Old Town, but it wasn't what I imagined.  It was living history, everyone dressed in period clothing, dirt streets lined with reconstructed buildings.  It was shop after shop of cuties tourist/gift stores.  And after saying all that, I liked it.  I watched the blacksmith, who said bending hot metal is as easy as working with play dough, I looked at some donkeys, had a nearly free lunch, and learned a little.  Then I left to go to Little Italy with the soul purpose of finding gelato-it was an easy and satisfying mission.

Today at Seaport Village with kite fliers in the background

As much as I like cities, today I was really feeling ready for the hiking life.  I'm getting a little tired of seeking out something to explore every day.  Thru-hiking can have its challenges,  but typically it is a very straight forward simple way to live.  And I'm ready for it.  I'll be at Scout and Frodo's tomorrow night, 1 of 4 hikers they will be dropping off at the trail head Sunday morning.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

San Francisco

Sight seeing by the bay
For the past few days while I've been in San Franciscog I've hardly thought about my hike.  I have talked about it with people that I've met, but I've hardly thought about gear, hiker food, schedules, and mail drops.  I haven't been keeping up with the PCT-L or the Facebook Class of 2012 group beyond the post about the weather.  The trail has been getting some spring snow storms.  The locals are saying the snow won't last long, not this time of year.

First night in the city
I've used some of my gear here.  San Francisco has been colder and rainier than I expect or hoped for.  I've worn my rain jacket and insulated jacket around the city.  On Thursday I carried around my new chrom dome and only used it for about 10 minutes after dinner while walking back to the hostel.  Better to carry it around all day unneeded than have a rainy day.   

I've been doing a lot of walking as I expected.  Sometimes going up some of the hills here I think I should be wearing my pack, but I've been only too happy to leave it stowed in a locker at the hostel.  My first night here I went out to find dinner and happened to look west and there was the Golden Gate Bridge cloaked in gold mist.  I walked towards it, dinner pretty much forgotten, and walked for about an hour along the water and through a park.  It was a lovely start to my trip.  Going up the stairs of Telegraph Hill to Colt Tower I really felt like I should have had my pack for practice.  Instead I took a dozen photos of the semi-tropic flowers and listened to the wild parrots.

Sea lions sleeping at Pier 39
For some reason I thought I'd get to go up close to the sea lions at Pier 39, so Pier 39 didn't live up to my expectations.  It's probably for the best that you can't pet the sea lions.  The conservatory was a lot smaller than I expected, but it was great going to the topics for a little bit instead of cold San Francisco.

I poked around China Town today.  It is a very colorful there.  Lanterns hanging over the streets, shops bursting out onto the side walk, and the buildings.  I  Had lunch there--a huge plate of fried noodles.  It was great and very filling.  I ended up staying there longer than planned and one of the museums I wanted to go to closed but I ended up going to the cable car museum instead.  That was cool to see how the cable cars climb the hills here and to learn about their history.  I went on all the lines not to go anywhere but just for fun.

Tomorrow there is a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge tour with the hostel.  It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend.  Should be an awesome trip.

The pulley system running the cable cars

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ready or Not


On Monday night my parents had a little bon voyage party for me complete with banners, balloons, and a castle cake.  We had over a mix of neighbors and family.  I had my tent set up on the front lawn with a “Home Sweet Home” sign on it.  My pack was in the living room if anyone wanted to lift it (or try it on).  I hung the PCT strip map up on the wall so people could get a better idea of 2,666 miles.  There were a few other pieces of hiking gear spread about and some hiker food for the tasting.  My Mom and I whipped up two of my lunch dishes for appetizers and showed off their dried counter parts.  And Dad was at the grill.
I was center of attention most of the evening talking about my past hiking on the A.T. and what the PCT has in store for me.  It was fun having a new audience to tell stories about my ’09 A.T. thru-hike.  We talked about rain, bears, river crossings, elevation, and people. 
For dessert my Mom had made a cake in the shape of a castle for me.  It came complete with colorful flags flying from the parpets.  It was delicious.
Tuesday morning it was back to work on preparation.  The leftover hiking meals where dehydrated.  Laundry was washed.  Pack was stuffed (multiple times).  Train itineraries were printed.  Three sewing projects were completed, including one for a hands-free umbrella set-up. 
My finale pack weigh in with everything and five days of food but no water:  21 pounds even.  I’m very happy with that as a final weight.  Right after the weigh in I took a lot of my electronics out and put them in my carry on luggage.  I then crammed clothing for my 10 days in San Francisco and San Diego into my pack.  It is looking very heavy at the moment.  I hope its not too difficult going from the airport to the hostel—I don’t like packs and public transportation.  It’s just awkward.
I’ll have to pick up fuel for my stove in San Diego, but other than that I’m ready to hike.  I’m happy to be doing some city sight seeing first.  I’m sure to get some miles in walking around.  

Thursday, April 05, 2012

5 Days- Packing Your Fears

A common long distance hiker concept is that a hiker packs her fear.  If a hiker is afraid of being cold she’ll bring an extra warm sleeping bag and an extra hat when her jacket has a hood.  A hiker afraid of being hungry will bring a spare lighter and an extra ration of food.  A hiker afraid of getting lost will bring a map, compass, gps, and a Spot device.  A hiker afraid of loosing communication will bring extra batteries and a solar charger.
Since I first heard the expression packing your fear I thought fear was too strong of a word, but it certainly gets the point across.  When trying to be a light or ultra-light backpacker it is often a very fine line between under prepared, over prepared, and practically perfectly prepared.
Looking at my set-up I could come to the conclusion that I fear being cold, I fear the desert sun, and I fear my electronics not working when I want a picture or to write something down, and I fear not knowing what’s up the trail.  I don’t fear being cold as much as my 15 degree down bag suggest.  That’s more of a money issue.  I do fear the desert sun, but rationally so.  My Golite Chrome Dome Umbrella arrived yesterday.  I’ll pair that with my wide brimmed hat, long sleeve shirt, pants, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, and light silk glove liners.  I’ll also have a bandana if I feel the need to look like a bandit robbing a bank.  And I have a base tan courtesy of the Florida sun.
Hiding from the sun.
Ever since I was a kid I’ve gotten sun poisoning—an itchy, bumpy, and painful rash.  I don’t always get it.  I can get a tan or a burn with no poisoning or poisoning with no tan or burn.  For awhile I thought I had grown out of it, but then I had the worst case I’ve ever had when I was on the A.T. for my ’09 thru-hike.  I was pretty miserable for a couple of days.  That was one of the only times I took pain medicine on my thru-hike.
My other fear of not knowing what is coming up on the trail is reflected in the fact that cannot and will not rip my guide book into small sections.  As of right now the book is whole.  On the A.T. I carried a guide book and a half.  On the A.T. and PCT most people rip the guide book into sections, carry what they need and get the next section in their maildrop.  Very reasonable and very light.  On the A.T. I read about a week ahead in the guide and would reread as I got closer and studying new pages.  As a result I know my A.T. shelters and mountains pretty well.  I can’t decide if I should rip my PCT guide in half, thirds, or leave it whole.  It’s dilemmas like this when I know fear is too strong of a word, but the concept fits.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

7 Days- Solar Power on the Trail

A couple of weekends I was browsing at a city fest with my parents and we ended up looking at one booth selling emergency solar power chargers.  We looked for awhile, and talked to the salesperson, Jon about my trip and what I would need in a charger.  Solar chargers are not something I know very much about.  Just a couple of days before this I had decided not to research solar chargers and not to spend money on one and just buy a spare battery for my phone.  A spare battery I knew would weigh less, cost less, and would involve a lot less research than buying a solar charger.
We told Jon we’d think about, and then wandered away to get some fair food.  Over pineapple snow cones I weighed the pros and cons of weight versus money versus usability.  I didn’t get far with my rationing, but I did come up with some more questions.  We went back to the booth and before I could ask anything Jon handed me a charger telling me to give it a try.  It took me a couple of seconds to realize that he was giving me the charger for my hike.  I think most people have a desire (or at least an interest) in adventure and that makes the idea of a thru-hike very appealing to many.  Not that I think that most people want to thru-hike, but I think they want to help if they can.
My new charger in its pouch ready to trickle charge my phone.
I’ve had the chance to play with my new charger at this point although I don’t feel like I will know how well it will do what I want until I’m out on the trail and I will really know what I want it to do.  It seems like after spending the night plugged into the wall the charger has enough juice to charge my phone once as long as my phone is off.  I’m hoping that the charger will receive enough sun throughout the day to give me an hour of phone time every night for journaling. 
I keep waffling about buying the back-up battery.  My electronics are really starting to add up.  I have 25.8 ounce of electronics and cases.  That’s the same weight as my tent, cook pot, pot cozy, and 2 liter Camelbak combined.

In other news I crossed a few more items off my lists.  I made a few copies of my permits and put clear packing tape on them to protect them.  I finally printed out my California fire permit.  I have yet to print out and mail in my form to buy a BearVault.  I also arranged a ride from Warner Springs to the Kick Off—it feels great to cross that off my lists.  I sleep better knowing I won’t miss the hiker event that I’ve been hearing about for years.  Those are all small but very important tasks.  I worked on my food resupply more.  I’ll be mailing out my first 3 or 4 drops before leaving Florida and then my Mom will take over.  I need to check one more time that the 4 drops have all the food I need than box them off and cross them off my list. 
My bag getting a bath.
On Sunday I washed my sleeping bag and it was not as daunting of a task as it had been in the past.  Before I had washed it at home in our top loader machine and because it’s filled with down, it’s expensive, and has baffles that could be ripped out by the agitator I’ve always had to keep a very close eye on it.  It was not a toss it in the machine and come back in a half hour kind of job, but this time I took it to the laundry mat.  I tossed it in a front loading machine and watched it go round and round.  I was disappointed by how clean the water stayed.  I’m use to my hiking gear turning water black when I wash my stuff.  I brought it home and dried it for hours.  Now I have a bag with a lot of loft and no funky smell—that should last a week?
And there is still so much to do.  It seems like every time I cross something off my list three new tasks pop up.