Day Seventeen… The Perfect Weather for a Hike… o5/27/15

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Folks, I woke up to this amazing weather! Yes, the top number is the temperature outside. I decided right then and there, it’s time for a long, vigorous #hike… I haven’t worked out in like 3 weeks and was starting to feel a bit sluggish… So it was time for some blood, sweat and tears as I hike the beautiful #WhiteMountains!

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But first we needed to get ready for this hike… What should I bring and how far am I willing to hike. So after my breakfast and writing in my blog, I hit the #campsite, preparing for a major long hard hike up that #mountain.

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Well, since I bought a bicycle pump from the reliable #Foster’sCrossroads, I figured trying out my new #mountainbike wouldn’t hurt.

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So, I Eagerly tore down the #Mongoose Mountain Bike and pumped her tires up to a 50 psi, as recommended. I love this bike for one reason and one reason only, it was the first brand of new bike I ever owned as a kid. When I was 10 years old my Mother, and her boyfriend at the time, got me a brand new Mongoose for Christmas… I had never had a new bike before because we were so #poor.

Actually my first #bike was at 8 years old and it was a used girl’s bike. My Mother and I didn’t know the difference at the time but I soon found out from the neighborhood kids when I took that bike out for a spin. I still rode it with pride though. When you have nothing you take pride in whatever you get, even if everyone around you doesn’t approve.

My second bike was bought from my babysitter’s son, who pieced together a bike for me with old spare parts. I loved that bike because it was so rugged and indestructible… But once again, I was made fun of on the local block. So when I got this brand new Mongoose it meant the world to me. Not that I had to fit it, it just made me normal and actually an envy of the neighborhood kids… To top it off, my mongoose had hand brakes… That was a big deal at the time because every bike I had before that had the pedal brakes… Remember them? You were really styling if you had hand brakes on a regular bike back then… I remember riding it around and spinning the pedals backwards with constant joy… God I loved that bike! A great time in my life that I love to relive… That’s why I got a Mongoose mountain bike for this trip. It brings back those fond memories…

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While I had the bike down, I needed to check out my generator or as they would call it in the military, #PMCS. You should always check your fluids when you get a chance… PMCS stands for Preventative Maintenance Check System… In the #military, before you were allowed to take a vehicle out, you had a check list you had to check off and sign before you left. The military felt that if you check everything before and after your trip, you avoid a lot of breakdowns and problems on the road. Considering you could be out in the middle of the battlefield, broken down, the #Army took PMCS very serious and were constantly drilling it into your head. So, I now use that system all of the time. It’s a pain in the ass but it does prevent unwanted surprises on your trip.

There’s my #generator above, which only has 317 hours on it. Considering it is 19 years old, that is very low mileage… What a deal I got!
Good ole Craig’s List…

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Next I needed to figure out what I’m bringing on this trip. As much as I would like to bring all my weapons, I realize I have to pick one and only one… Oh the arduous process…

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Let’s see… maybe the axe… I don’t know… How about this saw… I don’t know if bears are going to be afraid of this…

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Now the walking stick has proven to be an asset on a hike and it is great for fending off bears… but I have my bike also… so it will be hard to handle both at the same time, especially if I have to walk my bike through certain areas… which I probably will…

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Oh yeah baby!!! This is the one I want for this trip! It comes with a sheath and it fits perfectly in my #backpack… Let me see a #bear get away without a scratch battling this bad boy! Muhahahaha! I would like to see one bear before I leave at least. Actually, Al from the dump site told me that he has seen a lot of bears… He says they get scared away easily… Just don’t go trying to challenge one to a fight or anything… Not my plan… well, when I am not holding this bad boy at least…

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While I was checking fluids on my generator, I figured I may as well check out my engine fluids also… Everything checked out nicely… The #MillenniumFalcon is in tip top running shape… She is so awesome!

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So I packed my bag with #hiking #boots, jeans and a jacket just in case of rain or cold weather… I also packed some salmon jerky for a snack, and a thermos full of water… I also made sure to bring this compass/ wilderness rape whistle that my Mother bought for me… I guess there is a problem with rapist bears out in the #wilderness… Don’t know what a whistle is going to do if I’m unlucky enough for this phenomenon to happen to me but if it makes the Mums feel more comfortable, the rape whistle is coming on this trip… Watch it save my life someday… What will I be saying then?

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So here is your gutsy #explorer ready for a #journey… I hope I come back with stories to tell… Also, I stocked up my #firewood before I left… After a long hike I don’t want to be gathering firewood later…

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O.K… so I thought I was just going to hop on my bike and ride freely searching for a place to hike… Little did I realize that this is a #mountain and everything is uphill… After about 10 minutes of pedaling slowly uphill, I got off of my bike and started walking… I was completely out of breath and exhausted already… I guess the ride back will be quite easy considering, so there is still an upside to bringing this bike…

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Well this looks promising especially considering I past a couple coming back from their hike and they told me there is a #pond with trout and bass #fishing… Oh yeah baby! I can’t wait to pull out my fishing equipment!

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Well… Well… Well… I guess this road does lead to somewhere… Here I found a little booth with signs… I think I will take the trail right behind it…

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There’s those pesky, elusive bears again… I just want to get a picture of one… just one please!

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I hit nature’s jackpot folks! Absolutely peaceful and serene… I couldn’t help but hear a roaring in the background… Could it be a bear…. Not unless this bear roars constantly, with no pause for a breath…

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Oh my lovely Lord! Look what is peering through the trees… Something a lot larger and more dangerous than a bear… Go ahead and try to fight this beast with a #machete… That’s right folks, it’s vigorous #rapids of water sending all the melted snow from last season to the ponds and #lakes below… The sound is so mighty and massive, yet calming at the same time… My body tingles from it’s vibration, tickling all my senses as I become one with nature…

By now I am pouring sweat and am panting from the heat after hiking a good hour to get to this point… But the reward is such a great one, I would never change the circumstances that got me here… I am at the mercy of this natural phenomenon knowing it could comfort me and kill me at the same time…

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The hike was getting a little too hard lugging a backpack and pushing a bike, so I strapped my bag to the bike, using it as a cart and something to lean on at the same time…

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Finally the trail led me to an opening for this beautiful mountain river… Wish I brought a kyak or something…

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Now, as you can see, the trail was starting to get a little tough and I found myself lifting my bike over fallen #trees and up hill on #terrain that was not bike friendly at all…

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So, It was time to bid farewell to my bike who I will now call Mongy… I left her with this amazing view so she won’t get lonely as I chained her up to a tree… I know it’s a little excessive locking up my bike in the middle of the wilderness but I have seen bears that can ride bikes… You know, in the circus… So it’s better safe than sorry…

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So I was ready to tackle the rest of the trail alone but I felt like I was missing something… A feeling I haven’t felt in a longtime… My right hand felt empty somehow… like it needed a little friend to keep it company…

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Oh yeah baby! The #force is strong with this one! Now I’m ready to tackle this trail… Let’s go!

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Right away I ran into a campfire spot… Folks, this crazy explorer will work his way up to a hiking/camping trip, I just need to get my nature legs first… I am so eager to rough it out in the #wild!

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After hacking at branches with my machete as I battled through the messy, storm ridden #forest, I leaped at the chance to splash some of that mountain fresh water on my face… You can’t drink it though… The information board before the trail tells you about the possibility of parasites being in the #water… You had me at the word “Parasites…” I will be boiling and treating any water I drink from here… I was tempted to take all my clothes off and jump in for a cool down… it was around 90 degrees up here and I was sweating like a pig… I promise not to take any pictures if I decide to go for a skinny dip… I want you to continue reading my blog for Christ’s sake!

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I was thinking as I was hiking up the trail how it seems 10 times longer hiking to your destination than it does making your way back… That made me think about those damn #expectations again, that seem to riddle my life… You see, when you are making the hike into the unknown, your expectations are at a full clip… You are constantly wondering what’s coming up next, worrying about if you will find your way back and concerned about what lies ahead… These “expectations,” if I can call them that, interfere with your imagination and what you are viewing on the trip. They create a lot of doubt and unnecessary emotions that get in the way of your creativity and enjoyment of your surroundings…

Where as, when you are heading back, your mind wanders more and goes to that #creative part of the brain because the wondering expectations are now gone… So the trip feels a lot more enjoyable because you have fewer expectations. So the #journey feels a lot more enjoyable and shorter because you are actually having fun on your trip and not inhibiting it with all the unnecessary crap… How to channel into that #creativity all of the time is the key to happiness… I mean, don’t get me wrong, the expectations and worry are their to keep us safe and help us make sensible decisions while in a crisis but there is no reason why they should be at the forefront of our minds… We need to learn to trust our instincts and find a balance between keeping yourself safe and being creative at the same time… this is a problem I really want to tackle and try to understand on this year long trip… or maybe I shouldn’t think about it all… NO EXPECTATIONS DAN!

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A #toad crossed my path… He was quite alarmed at my presence and hopped to a hiding place… Luckily his hiding spot wasn’t that great of spot to hide… You can see the back of him here… Poor little thing…

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Here we go folks… Man made steps…………  Nature’s steps… Look how those roots create steps for me to get up this trail…

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We have a real #survivalist living out in these mountains… This hasn’t been here long at all, actually I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner is out for a hike him or herself… I wouldn’t mind roughing it to this extreme but I am still a novice, so I will work up to such things… I do remember a lot of survival techniques I learned in the Army NG though… But my respect for nature is way too high. I know you don’t mess around with her and right when you think you have it all figured out, she will slap you back down to reality quickly… I respect you girl, don’t need any lessons here…

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Well, after about 3 hours of hiking, I came to nature’s roadblock… The trail was so damaged from this point on, I couldn’t even see it anymore… Also I heard the rumble of thunder in the far distance… When I looked up at the sky, I noticed a lot of black clouds heading my way… I think #MotherNature was telling me, get the hell out of here! lol! Well, I’m a listening…

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So I started my hike back to camp… As you can see here I marked my path the whole way up so I wouldn’t get lost and god forbid, couldn’t find where I left my Mongy… It was a little excessive though, considering I had the roaring #river to guide me back down… But as I said before, I have the upmost respect for #MotherNature and I take no #journey lightly… I hope I don’t develop an arrogance that gets me into trouble on this trip… Just like the arrogance and lack of respect I had for Mother Nature heading up to the Grand Canyon, at night in April… She taught me not to attempt that again and I am happy to be here to tell you all about it… I got out of that one by the skin of my teeth… I was actually crying at one part of that complete snow storm fiasco… Not ashamed to admit it.

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I have to admit I got a little worried heading back when I didn’t see my markers anymore… I had gotten off track but the welcoming view of my #Mongy chained to her supporter soon alleviated those fears… Doesn’t she look wonderful there, waiting for me?

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I was so glad I brought my bike because the ride back was all downhill and I got home pretty fast… Besides wiping out on the #trail in the #woods, it was a nice cool, breezy trip on the way back… I had to be clocking like 30 mph at one point, I was going so fast… I did hurt my leg pretty bad wiping out in the woods though… My foot was throbbing and it was hard to put any pressure on it but I did finally make it home safe and sound… Now to get that #campfire ready…

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Well… as I was preparing my campfire, that #thunder I heard in the distance about an hour ago had finally reached my campsite… I quickly gathered my things as rain came pouring down… Looks like that last piece of chicken is going to have to wait until tomorrow night…

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It’s a #glutenfree Mac & Cheese night folks… So I prepared it as the directions stated and all I got was a runny mess with noodles… So being the self proclaimed #chef I brag to be… I put the pot back on the burner on low, added some parmesan and cooked it until it had some consistency…

You have to be careful with #glutenfree noodles though, they are very temperamental and require a lot of attention… If you over cook the noodles it becomes a mushy mess and if you under cook them, you get hard, crunchy noodles… So when you cook gluten free noodles, you have to hit them with a high and constant temperature… You have to make sure you don’t miss that small window of perfection… I like my noodles “Al Dente” myself and achieved just that, cooking this simply delicious meal…

Now I know what some of you are thinking… great, another gluten free idiot… Let me tell you, I have been gluten free for a year now… It’s not that I am allergic to gluten or anything, I just feel better when I’m not filling myself up with flour all of the time… Actually the human body is not designed to digest the abundance of flour we have in the average diet today… there was a time when we didn’t eat flour at all…

When I limit my gluten intake, I feel lighter, I am more regular and a lot of the bloating problems in the past are now no longer an issue… So even if it is #psychological, it’s working, so I will keep on doing it… Look, you really don’t think these baseball players believe in their superstitions do you? They know it’s ridiculous but for some reason the rituals help them focus for the game, so they continue to do it and live by their superstitions religiously… So those superstitions are needed because they help focus the player even if they have no scientific relevance… That goes the same with my gluten free #diet, so I will continue to follow it… I cheat here and there but I try my hardest to avoid gluten when I can…

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Speaking of slipping up, here’s a gluten loaded reward after a long hike, which happens to be the perfect beer for the #hiking #traveler… It is rich in nutrients you need for that next day’s recovery… lol! Right next to it is my cheesy, plastic freezable mug… #ChristmasTreeShop folks! Great store for cheap unusual shit…

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After dinner I took a shower… It wasn’t shower night but I was really funky after a day of sweating and hiking through the forest, so I rewarded myself with a quick, hot shower… Boy did it feel good! When I took my shoe off I saw my sock was doused in blood… That spill I took was a little more serious than I thought… I got out my trusty first aid kit and bandaged up the wound… I’m going to feel that one in the morning…

The rest of the night, I just hunkered out in The Millennium Falcon as she loyally sheltered me from the crazy rain storm outside… I listened to #99.1, which is the best radio station I have ever listened to… period… They pride themselves on being #anti-corporate, playing hardly any #commercials and they stick to their word, trust me… But I will get into that later… I have a lot to say about this station and this blog has gotten way too long already…

Goodnight folks and I will see you in the morning…

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