Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lists and a Few Loose Ends

The back of my pack.
One week! It's only seven days before I set off into the wilderness. I finished up a few loose ends yesterday as they came to my mind. My wife, Kelli, asked me if I had them (the loose ends) on a list. Ummm, well no, sorta, I should, "Thats a good idea!" I said. Actually, I have lots of partial lists; lists with a few things written on them. I make each one as I think of things I don't want to forget. For some reason I have difficulty finding the last list I created, so I create another one. What I really need is a list of my lists, so I don't forget one of them.

I do have one list that I have spent a lot of time on, that is my Gear List JMT 2014 page where I have listed all of the stuff in my pack. I want to add the rest of my gear, that is the stuff I will be wearing. For now you can see the roughly twelve pounds of gear I will be carrying. If you have already looked at that page you might by saying, "I thought it was only eleven pounds?" You would be right. I took my microspikes off of the list a while back because they are almost a pound and I really don't think I will need them. However, in reading the blogs of people crossing the passes in the High Sierra, they are saying that there is still snow on them. That was last week, so will there be any snow left next week? I don't know. I do know that I want to hike early in the morning, perhaps by moonlight. Especially the last day when I climb Mt. Whitney. Snow has a tendency to ice-up over night and become super-slippery. So if there is any, I'll be glad I brought them.

Kelli, my wife, has graciously offered to drive me to and from the trail-head. This is really cool and is going to save me a lot of time riding buses from Lone Pine to Yosemite. It will also give us a short mini-vacation together. I have found that a car trip is a good time to have heart-to-heart conversations with your best friend. I am looking forward to our rides together almost as much as the hike itself. It seems like the day-to day routine of living life doesn't leave a lot of time to spend with the people you really care about. It would be super-cool if she liked to backpack because then we'd have lots of time together, but that is not going to happen unless something miraculous and supernatural occurs. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I am not going to sit around wishing it would happen. For now my trips are by myself.

I have my work-out plan for the last week in civilization all set, I really should write it on a list. I am feeling stronger right now than I can ever remember.I went to the gym yesterday and did my weight training routine. I tried to do a sitting military press (not sure if that is what it's called). This is when you sit on a weight bench / chair and lift dumb-bells over your head. Normally I do a standing military press with a bar with free weights on it, so I figured I should be able to lift about the same weight... Wrong! Dumb-bells have a mind of their own! They refuse to work in unison, my right arm was being pulled out sideways while my left arm was trying to reach around behind my head. Sort of like the pose that a G.I. Joe action figure does with his arm stretched out behind him. I quickly realized that the dumb-bells were too heavy. After dropping twenty pounds they seemed a bit easier to lift straight up. Except my right arm was so much weaker than my left. Being right-handed, this seemed really weird. It was then that I noticed that the dumb-bell in my right hand was five pounds heavier than the one in my left. Who's the dumb-bell now?

Laugh in the face of mosquitoes!
This week I will wash my hiking clothes one last time and then spray them with Sawyer Permethrin. This works really well in keeping the mosquitoes from landing on and biting your shoulders and turning them in mini-replicas of the Himalayas. I will spray it on my hat to keep the mosquitoes from biting through my hat band and making a ring of bites across my forehead. I will also spray it on my Smartwool base layer as that is what I like to where around camp in the evening. It's comfortable and breathes well. Mosquitoes can bite right through the fabric, so spraying them makes it so the mosquitoes don't even land on you, it's awesome! So that is one thing on my list. It's probably on lots of my lists.

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