Saturday, September 11, 2010

Busy as a Beaver
and learning a few things in the process!

This week's adventure was yet another research destination for my upcoming Backpacking Washington book. And like other recent destinations, was yet another all-out grind as I condensed what is normally a 3 or 4 day trip into two. Yep, another one of those-37 miles in two days type of adventures. But this trip was also different in that through my Facebook Guidebook Author Site ; I put out a request for a hiking partner to do the the Little Beaver-Big Beaver Loop in the North Cascades National Park. My recruit had to meet the following requirements:
  1. Be willing to take off immediately (the day after request was made)

  2. Be willing to share cost of the Ross Lake water taxi, not exactly a cheap fare

  3. Be able to hike 37 miles in 2 days in which the second one was 21 miles

  4. Be adventurous enough to hike with someone they really don't know

  5. And be able to put up with me for such a time and distance!
Well, one person came through-Ted Evans. An East Coast transplant with a Sicilian nonna, I had a feeling we were going to get along-and this guy is a professional photographer too which would make this hike even more fun. And as always, I love spending time in the outdoors with different folks to perhaps learn a thing or two myself. I may have penned 8 books on the outdoors, but I have a lot to learn too. And on this trip into the wilds of the North Cascades National Park, this is what I learned.

1. Terry cloth light-weight towels make great water (ie rain) vanquishers for your tent fly when you need to pack them up.

2. The canisters for the pocket rocket contain a lot less fuel than I expected.

3. It is amazing how you can make a fire in the most wettest conditions when the need for a fresh cup of coffee is life or death.

4. Starbucks' Via rules. It tastes even better backpacking. Its tastes heavenly made from water boiled on the a makeshift fire that saved me from serious caffeine withdrawals and the prospect of hiking 21 miles decaffeinated!

5. Take chances-I found a great new hiking partner!

Okay, have fun out there-carry lots of fuel and perhaps some day I'll be drinking coffee in the backcountry with you too!

1 comment:

size7boots said...

1. Terry cloth light-weight towels make great water (ie rain) vanquishers for your tent fly when you need to pack them up.

I have fallen in love with a product called Dandy Wipes. They're dehydrated and compressed towelettes wrapped in a candy-like tube (like LifeSavers). Add a little water and you have a moist towelette that is strong enough to wipe your gear down, clean up after your bacon and egg breakfast, and reuse to clean up after dinner. The original place I purchased them from no longer carries them but I sourced them out here... http://www.totalshe.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=82&products_id=2840

2. The canisters for the pocket rocket contain a lot less fuel than I expected.

Yes, I found that out as well. Good thing my hiking companion had his WhisperLite and PLENTY of fuel. Might have to look into alternate options. Good thing REI takes nearly everything back.

3. It is amazing how you can make a fire in the most wettest conditions when the need for a fresh cup of coffee is life or death.

Most wettest? Really? ;o)

4. Starbucks' Via rules.

Yes it does. It is the hands down winner (although for longer trips and/or with more people involved, a jar of Medaglia D'Oro tastes awesome too.

5. Take chances-I found a great new hiking partner!

Now that's what I like to hear! (Wish I could keep up with you.)