Sunday, March 13, 2016

Day -50 : Cold and Rainy Training

California is in the storm path. There is snow in the Sierras. Unlike the last four or so years, we have plenty of snow in the mountains, and its not over yet. My trip begins in a little over a month and a half from now. As it gets closer the more I realize how much work goes into planning and logistics. For some reason it didn't seem all that complicated when I read other hiker's blogs or when my hike was more of an abstract idea for the future. Now, however, as the day draws closer I realize that a resupply box of food is not just a list on a computer screen. It is a critical piece of my strategy to complete the entire PCT in a single season. I am trying to create enough diversity in my food so that I don't tire of having the same foods over and over. When I think about my diet in my normal suburban life, I find that it has a remarkable lack of diversity. I tend to have the same meals over and over again every week or so without tiring of them. With that observation, I am trying to plan for a unique menu that repeats with variations every five to seven days. I am planning for approximately eight hours of hiking every day, not counting zero days. I estimate that I should be able to cover about twenty four miles in eight hours. I want to be eating something without at least one hundred calories every hour. Preferably complex carbohydrates and or fat. This is probably the most difficult thing to plan. Eight different food items, each weighing about an ounce, I don't really know if that is enough or if I will need to be eating significantly more than that after a few weeks of hiking.

On the home front. Our house is back in escrow and may in fact actually make it all the way through the sales process this time. This is somewhat unnerving in that may we need to find another place to live in the very near future. Somehow I will need to make sure that I don't loose track of my gear and food during the move. We don't believe that there is enough time to buy another place before I hit the trail. The result of which is that I really will be homeless when I hike the PCT. We'll hopefully find a place to rent, otherwise we'll need to put our stuff in storage and Kelli will be living with family and friends for most of the summer. We'll probably be in the market for a new place once I get back from the PCT. We are turning this empty-nester thing into a real adventure. Coming back will really be like starting over. Who knows what I will think then? Who knows what I'll want to do with the rest of my life then? Clean slate, all things become new.

Training continues... I have turned my morning hiking routine into an alternating hike / workout routine. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I walk about six and a half miles, then I do a simple Abs workout. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays I jog to the gym, do some upper body strength training and then jog back home. Sunday is the special day, Kelli goes walking with me, we tend to walk faster than the other days, but it's really fun to walk together. I walk rain or sunshine consistently, but Kelli is a fair weather. So on the rainy, windy days I walk alone. Lately I have been giving my rain gear and umbrella a real test. There are no other walkers out while with me. It's cold, dark, the dark gray sky spits down drops intermittently with the dumping of buckets of rain. The birds seem to like it, there are ponds and puddles where I have never seen them before. There are puddles on the sidewalk that soak my feet when I step in them because it's too dark to see them. Just as it was starting lighten up, daylight savings time has come and now I am back to hiking in the darkest, coldest part of the day.

Shelly and I are still working on getting our promo video out. The first iteration didn't go that well. I couldn't remember my lines and unfortunately I said some things about ALS research that weren't completely accurate. We didn't have enough footage where I actually said enough correct things. So we are starting again from scratch. The rain is supposed to let up in a few days, perhaps we can get out and create a few more minutes of usable footage that will lead to a better representation of what we are trying to do. Bottom line, Shelly is my friend. She lives with ALS everyday and can't escape it. My trip on the PCT is also a descent into a simpler, more difficult life, but mine trip is voluntary and I can quit whenever I want. Shelly's journey is infinitely more serious and permanent. She is not voluntarily doing anything other than accepting her reality, evaluating what is really most important, and doing everything she can to encourage and help others. She is a remarkable woman and a courageous and dear friend. If you are moved and or motivated at all by my trip I would be honored if you would support research to find a cure for ALS by clicking here and going to our donation page. You can read more and find additional information about my trip and Shelly by visiting my Shellys PCT page.


  1. I am so excited for you! Gosh I remember all the logistics and the same issues you had, I don't want to eat the same thing day in and day out. Funny thing is that there was one thing that I loved everyday. My Thai Noodle Soup with a variety of different dehydrated vegetables. I never tired of that. My morning routine, Thai Noodle Soup, Coffee or Tea with Biscotti and Emergen-C. It was my go-to and I ate it all the way from Mexico to Canada.
    And weather... I was out walking in the rain today. My Mama told me "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear!" If you have the right clothes, the weather is just an added element! Love your blog.

    1. Thanks Kelly for the encouragement. I am interested in seeing what foods I continue to like and what I begin to loath.