Monday, February 27, 2017

Never Go To Costco on Sunday

At least that's how I feel about it.  Kevin thinks it's a wonderful opportunity for people-watching, I just think there's too many people.

Kevin is planning meals and trying to get his food together for the hike, and that necessitated a trip to Costco.  This particular trip focused on getting his breakfast foods together, along with a few other essentials.  In the next couple of days, we will be ordering his vitamin supplements and several other items. Today, he picked up granola bars, nuts, crackers, oats, sandwich bags, Snickers bars, PayDay bars, and protein bars.  We looked for powdered drink mixes and powdered milk, but we weren't quite as successful with those.

On a side trip to Hooked on Toys, he did find freeze-dried eggs that pack a protein wallop for some of his breakfasts.  Now he has to decide how to package those things up for his resupply packages.  According to what we found online, we may need to invest in food-grade mylar bags for the eggs.

Every now and then he asks me about something I could do for him.  This last something is a food-cozy to keep his food warm after he boils water to reconstitute it.  I made two of them for him.  I found mylar-backed batting that I cut into rectangles big enough to hold a quart-sized Ziploc bag and then covered it with silicone coated rip-stop nylon.  It weighs one ounce and should keep the heat inside while his food cooks.

He has dehydrated several different kinds of meals for the hike:  brisket, carne adovado,  and shredded beef for tacos.  The next item on his list is spaghetti sauce.  We have the ground beef, but he likes to add pepperoni to his spaghetti sauce.  We will be going to the store in the not too far distant future for the mini pepperoni slices.

We have had a dehydrator for a number of years, with quite a bit of use off and on, but until this last year when Garrett came home to prepare his food for his hike last year, it had been idle for a long time.  Now the dehydrator has a home in the pantry, instead of in the garage, and is getting a regular workout.  I had to order a few more tray liners for it because the original ones we had somehow disappeared (sometimes that happens).

One of the most unusual places we have shopped for "gear" is at Hobby Lobby where I get small zippered plastic bags that hold single portions of things like gravy mix, Gatorade powder, daily vitamin pills, etc.  I also shop Goodwill for clothing.  The main thing about hiking clothes is that it has to be all synthetic fiber unless it is wool.  Goodwill is a great place to find those kinds of things quite cheaply.

This week, Kevin will be meeting with a friend who will do part of the hike with him this summer and they will corral all of their hiking knowledge (which is considerable) and make plans for that segment of the hike.

The time for the hike is rapidly approaching and Kevin is working like an ant getting ready for winter.  So with that I'll close this post.  TTFN

Friday, February 3, 2017

Why Camp Korey

I decided early on that I wanted the hike to be more than just a hike and to be more than just about me. To find meaning in my hike, I thought I could raise money for a deserving charity and there is no more deserving charity than one that supports children. Camp Korey is one of the associated camps in the Serious Fun Network of camps, started by Paul Newman. The original camp is called the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and is located in Connecticut. Camp Korey is located in Mount Vernon, Washington, and supplies camping fun along with medical support for children with serious medical conditions. The camp not only provides children with some serious fun, but also gives their parents a brief respite from the revolving door of doctor visits, medical treatments, and hospital stays. The biggest benefit of all is the memories that the camp provides to the children and their families. It is a life-altering experience for all involved.

 All of this is why I am asking for partnership in raising $10,000 to send four children to camp. Just last week there was an article in the Grant County Journal about a little girl needing a kidney transplant. Last summer my wife met a little girl with fibrous dysplasia. Both of these little girls are in Ephrata. When it comes down to it, there are children in nearly every community who could use this camp and who need the opportunity to kick up their heels a little bit.

 The Cost for a camper for the summer is $2,500 Here is what a $2,500 campership covers:
· Specialized meal prep and food selection
· Seasonal staffing to ensure 2:1 adult-child ratio for security and safety
· Staff and volunteer background checks
· Staff and volunteer training · Medical care, equipment, and support
· Transportation expenses to help get campers and volunteers to and from camp
· Costs associated with running all of our different activities like wood shop, stage night, food fights, etc.
· Supplies for our leadership program: speakers, teambuilding equipment, etc.
· Camp T-Shirts and apparel
· Year round staffing, general expenses for utilities, property, insurance, etc.

 Let's do this together.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

One More Challenge

Exactly 13 weeks to go! I will be busy preparing and organizing food drops, checking gear and training for the rigors of the PCT. I have been managing a sore foot, both knees and lower back during for some time. Ice and an extended period of cold temperatures has hampered outdoor activities but I have managed pretty well. This past Sunday (Jan. 29th), I went snow shoeing with a group of mountaineers and bikers. I truly enjoy going with John, Shirley, Harold and Mike. For this group the chosen path is straight uphill and straight downhill. Their skill and ability to travel in bad winter conditions is outstanding. Nadia, Steve, Bill and I are relative new comers but eager. So, I knew what I was in for; a great workout for sure, but it comes with some risk of injury. For my first outing of the winter with the mountaineers, my legs were okay fighting the loose snow uphill. Going down the steep slopes my knees growled and protested, but no harm, no foul. For my left foot it was another story – many steps were downright painful. Now I have one more challenge – heal my left foot AND somehow keep on training in some fashion. I have been doing Ice-water soaks several times a day and have almost completely shut down exercising. Tomorrow I plan to call the podiatrist to see about a walking boot. Omega 3 will be increased and vitamin E continued. Gelatin will be on the menu. My training plan will be modified numerous times I’m sure pending the feedback from the foot. My training target will need to be lowered. Becky, Garrett, and Leanna have been most encouraging. My motto – do what I can, take care of what is in my control and take the long view. It doesn’t matter what I can do now. The only thing that matters is what I can do in May.

Thanks for the Memories

It has been almost a month since my retirement party. I want to thank everyone who made it a very special day for Becky and me.

 • Best count I have is 65 attended the party. There were folks whom I worked with in 1981 and there was one person who started work December 2017. People from NRCS, retirees, Farm Service Agency, Pheasants Forever, ranchers, Wash. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, and GracePoint Church – quite a diverse crowd

 • Party was organized by Lorna Bilodeau and Becky. They are the best.
 • The lunch was the best pot luck ever! A lot of FABULOUS New Mexican and Mexican dishes
 • Wonderful cake prepared by Joleen McBee • Bonda Habets presented me with two plaques – one for 40+ years of service, the other an award for work in 2016. Thank you, Bonda!
 • Harold Crose was emcee. He has some very remarkable things to say about me and included a letter to the editor of the newspaper where I lived in 1977 and a letter from Justin Mount
 • Becky told a very funny story about me and a bus load of Japanese tourists
 • Every father would be stunned if their sons talked about them the way Garrett talked about me.
 • My brother, JR, came from El Paso. He left a wonderful painting for me
 • Randy Kelley and Tracy Hanger had very kind words to say.

 It has been an honor and privilege to know and work alongside everyone. I had a remarkable career with SCS/NRCS and I leave it with no regrets. You have all blessed me beyond anything I could ask or imagine. Thanks for the memories!!!

 PS email me if you want the story of the Japanese Tourist bus