Monday, December 26, 2011

New Home New Hens New Roosters

Reuben the Rooster's smiling face. Reuben and 10 of his closest friends (mostly his own children) where left to take care of the farm by the previous owners. The new owners are Jenny and Me.

These birds have a plush coop with heat lamps, heated towel racks, big screen TV and a heated water dish.  But ever since a raccoon invasion they have chosen to roost in a couple of evergreens near the house. Apparently raccoons have also been known to invade the evergreens. So we are going to attempt to retrain the gals (Gallus gallus domesticus) and guys to sleep in the coop. Our other task is to make the coop varmint proof. The latter former to the pryer.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

PCT Time Piece and interview

I will probably need this.

And here is another survey answered:

Anything you wish you had at the beginning that you did not take with you?
This is a random answer, but we'd have to say our vitamins.  We took a lot of them and tried to bounce the bulk of them, taking only what was necessary in our packs, but they still ended up being quite heavy and we're not sure that we really needed them.

Can you recommend any publications to help me prepare? I have the Jeffrey Schaffer book and the PCT HIker's Handbook and I am going to order Yogi's book.
We found that the Yogi book was the most helpful in preparation.  Mike also found "Hiking the Triple Crown" by Karen Berger to be helpful.

On trail, the Yogi trail tips and town guide had very useful information that you can't get anywhere else.  We also used the Guide Book (Schaffer et al) and Data Book in conjunction.  The maps in the Guide Book (and compass( helped us out of a sticky situation one foggy morning on Oregon's Mount Jefferson when we couldn't see more than about 20 feet ahead of us.  Having a verbal trail description is also quite helpful on trail.  The Data Book is by far the easiest way to figure your miles each day.  Take Yogi's advice and rip up the books into their sections rather than carrying the whole book.

What was the most challenging part and how did you motivate yourself to keep going?
By far the most difficult challenge right at the beginning was foot pain.  This counts as aches and blisters.  As Kat says, it's hard to walk 12-18 miles a day (as we did at the beginning) when each step hurts.  For Mike, the worst was foot fatigue.  It felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer to the bottom of our feet all day, every day.
To deal with this, first, we were very motivated to keep hiking.  Second, we took time to take care of our feet while hiking (lower miles, breaks to rest).  Third, we tried different things with our footwear, like changing our shoes and adding very padded insoles.  In sum, we were flexible with our plans, whether that was how many miles we expected to walk or what kind of shoes were best.

Did you bring any tech (GPS, Kindle, MP3)?
We brought a Pocketmail device for journaling and a SPOT device to keep our family and friends at ease and in case of an extreme emergency.  We chose not to bring music or cell phones with us and we are mostly glad that we did (other than not having a way to call for a ride when that was an option; Kat HATES hitchhiking).

What food item were you happiest that you brought?
Any item that was not dry was heavenly.  Our main choice was fruit cups.  Yes, they're heavy, but they were VERY awesome when every other food item in your pack was either dehydrated or dry to begin with.  Sidebar: taking a bottle of pop out of town and drinking it cold the next day was also a very special treat.

We used our home made penny stove all the way.  It's an alcohol stove.  We still use that stove now.  Write us for more details is you want.

Here is one from my sister:
did you feel like you wanted to motor through or did feel you got to certain places to really experience a place?

Were were not in a really big hurry, but we still felt the pressure to keep up the miles in order to finish.  There were many places in which we wished we could have spent more time to soak them in.
Did you shave or cut your hair?
Not even once :)

What kind of shoes did you wear?
See above; be flexible.  We both ended up using Montrail Hardrocks (though that older model is no longer available) in conjunction with these amazing insoles we found at a running store; we're pretty sure they were Sof Sole brand.  

Anything else you feel like volunteering?
We hope that this is helpful.  Please feel free to ask anything else that comes up as you prepare!

Mike and Kat