Sunday, September 28, 2008

One Ounce At A Time........

I love backpacking. I love to pack what I need to survive on my back and get out there. Some people are really having fun teasing me about my turning 40 recently. That is fine, I can handle it. However, in all honesty, as I get closer to getting over the hill, it is getting harder to get up the hill.

When we go as a family, my pack has been weighing in at 70 pounds. That is ridiculous!! NO MORE!! I have been searching online for ways to trim the weight. My goal is to shave weight where I can, but still have some of the comforts I enjoy.

There is a universal rule of the mountain that says; "The less the hookamocker weighs, the more the trail-walker pays." Bummer, but true. I have come across some cool do-it-yourself ideas that I am going to try.

The first I have tried is a super light and compact alcohol stove. I made it with pop cans and it weighs half an ounce!! The stove and winscreen/potrack packs inside my survivor-man cup. It is awesome. The boys and I made tea and roasted hot dogs with it.

I have quite a few more pounds to shave off, but I will get there one ounce at a time.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Proud Father.......??

I love this picture. That kid.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Heaven On Earth

Our latest adventure took us to the Black River at Wildcat Crossing. The scenery driving in took our breath away, and it just got better as we backpacked in. The forest is so wild and untouched in this area-----it is incredible!! The trail crossed the river four times before we reached our camping spot where Fish Creek runs into the Black River.

The boys and I tried to outsmart some trout. Brian and Allen ate theirs. Dillon and I put ours back to grow into a monster for next time. Denver kept with his new tradition and ate the brain of Allen's trout. That's my boy!!

When I go to the afterlife, it better look like where we camped or I am getting my money back. Everything was lush and green, wildflowers everywhere, and we even had wild rasberries with our pancakes.

We were expecting the typical afternoon showers of the season, we just did not know they would continue through the night. In the wee morning hours, I was fairly sure that quaint little Fish Creek did not sound so quaint anymore. When I could hear rocks rolling, I knew we were in trouble. The sun rose on a swollen, muddy, and raging pair of waterways with our camp in the middle. We continued to have a great time while keeping our eyes on the water.

When it was time to go, Brian tried crossing the river with two poles and without his backpack. We decided not to tempt fate, but rather circumnavigate a new path over the mountains back to the truck. We went straight up mountains, found unpassable cliffs, roped our backpacks up cliff faces, followed elk trails, and fell deeper in love with why we like to go backpacking after all is said and done. It was amazing!!

My hat goes off to Brian and Allen. Thank you for showing us this beautiful spot and making our adventure memorable. We are ready for the next one already!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I can do this !!

I know I am not the only one with the "drudgeries", and I have a cure. I have always loved getting away from it all and going on an adventure. Lately, I have realized how much it helps me physically, mentally, and spiritually. Really.
I came home today smelling like a used football uniform, walked past my uncut grass, opened the front door, tripped over a skateboard, and thought..........well, I can not tell you what I thought. Then it came to me. We are going on an Arizona Adventure in two weeks!! Labor Day. My burdens lifted, a smile found its way onto my face, and I still stank like Dillon's shoes.

I can do this. I can take anything on, just by knowing in a little while, I will be sipping hot cocoa out of my "survivor-man cup" under the canopy of Arizona pines. The hard part will be getting me to come back home.

Just a little side note. The family backpacked into Hagler Creek a while back. The five of us set up camp along the creek and it was paradise. I tried everything out of my arsenal to catch those wily trout, and was only able to land one measly six incher. Oh ya, we ate him. Just to be silly, I took his brain out and asked if anyone wanted to eat it. Denver did not hesitate. He popped that little trout brain in his mouth and said it tasted so good, he wants to eat all the brains from now on!! Now if my boy can savor that cerebral delight, why can he not clean his room?! Why? Why? Why?

Well, I hope you have a fun day and get away.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I thought I was a smart guy.................

It is 6:00 in the morning. I am drenched from head to toe in sweat. My sweat is running into my ears, my eyes, and my mouth. I am walking around with a hundred pounds of tools and safety equipment strapped to my body. The Arizona sun relentlessly bounces off the metal roof panels and bakes my face like beef jerky. I have seven more hours to go. Today. And the next day. And the day after that.
I have been doing this for twelve years and every year I think the same thing; "Why am I doing this again this year? How long can I do this until body parts start falling off?" (I thought I was a smart guy.)
I know alot of people have it worse. I also know I am blessed when I walk in the front door and my kids hug me, my trophy wife kisses me, and my pool calls to me.
Maybe I can handle one more day. One more hot tin roof.