Planning and Poptarting

(Gus)

Now we are a mere six weeks away from leaving to spend a day driving south to the Mexican border so that we can spend five months walking home. This means that the time we spend planning, packing, and testing various kinds of trail mix are increasing daily. So far I have mostly been focusing on planning our food and gear which basically means weekly trips to REI, Costco, and Winco. So far my favorite experience was looking at peoples’ expressions as they saw me push a cart past them containing over 400 Poptarts. I am going to love poptarts.

ma3ril

The copious amount of Poptarts led to the first Great Pyramid of Poptarts. This led to the demise of the Egyptian Empire.

As far as meal creativity goes, I have been rather unimpressive. I have four different dinners: macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, couscous, and spaghetti. Two breakfasts: Poptarts and Oatmeal. For snacks and lunch I will compile an assorted mix of chocolate, beef jerky, chocolate, energy bars, trail mix, chocolate, and maybe some more chocolate. The next step is to organize the food into boxes which we will send to post offices and resorts along the trail. We will resupply our food every 5-7 days so that we are never carrying too much weight and so that we always have food to eat since it has been scientifically proven that food is good for you (especially poptarts). During an average day we will both eat anywhere from 4,000-5,000 calories. That’s the equivalent of 30 bowls of lucky charms. The nice thing about backpacking is that one becomes so hungry that even tree bark would taste nice, so meal variety shouldn’t matter much.

Training for the trail is easy, it is extremely time consuming though. The best way to train for a long distance backpacking trip is to go walking with a backpack for a long time. It’s simple in that there aren’t interval routines or repetitions involved. I put on a backpack with weight in it and walk around until I am either too tired or hungry to walk more. This is what I call urban backpacking. The main difference between urban backpacking and hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is a warm bed and many tubs of ice cream. Although some outdoor food companies produce freeze dried ice cream, it doesn’t compare to a personal container of Ben and Jerry’s. Yesterday I took a break from urban backpacking and went up and down Mt Si a few times, including once in the moonlight.

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Summit time- 2:06 A.M.

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