Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Break Part 6 - The Journey Home (and some plugs for equipment)

Getting up the next morning was no problem.

We boiled some water for some HORRIBLE coffee, then boiled more for some delicious rice and black beans. Everyone left camp. The through hikers left at staggered intervals to head north, and Mark went south. I watched everyone pack up to try and get some pointers. Chris and I took our time.

After we ate we gathered our things and re-packed it all. We then filtered some more water for the trip back. 3-4 miles all up hill. I'm not kidding. It was worth it and felt about just right for our first outing like that.

We got back to the car, unloaded, and headed to Wendy's! :-)

When we got back to Wilson's we showered, looked at pictures, played with the kids when they got home, and then headed out to a Mexican Restaurant for dinner. Dinner was delicious!

After dinner we headed home, about a 5 hour drive from Blacksburg. We arrived safe and sound. The weekend was spent unpacking, cleaning, and sleeping!!

Some terms we learned hike:

AYCE: All You Can Eat
nobo, sobo: NOrthBOund, SOuthBOund
Zeroing, Neroing: A zero mile day, presumably to stay at an AYCE, or a NEARLY zero mile day to get to and stay at an AYCE. :-)
Trailname: Like mi the name I call myself, fa a long long way to walk. Basically what you call yourself on the trail.
There may be more, I can't remember now...I'll add later if I do.

About some of the equipment we used....

Kelty Redcloud 6650 Backpack
- HUGE. 109L of storage capacity. Honestly, I don't need all that room. The pack has adjustable torso capability, and lots of ways to adjust the loading. I was carrying a lot of weight because most of my other gear is not really backpacking quality. The pack fit great and really helped me get the weight off my shoulders. It was comfortable the whole time. This was the first time I've taken it anywhere and I don't really have any complaints other than I have recently learned it is probably too big for the hiking I do. I don't mind that though.

Pinnacle Dualist Cook system
- I haven't had much luck with cooking sets in the past so for this trip I went to the local Blue Ridge Mountain Sports to ask about a decent one. They recommended this one. Having used it, all I can say is AWESOME. It was very easy to clean, nothing stuck to it. It is highly versatile having the utensiles, bowls, cups, fuel, stove, and pot all combine together. It really made cooking an enjoyable experience. It pours easy, no spillage, and did I mention it wasy easy to clean?!?!?!

MSR Pocket Rocket - The fuel and the stove for this set all fits into the cook system above for easy and protective packing. It is light, efficient, and very easy to use.

MSR WaterWorks Ex - A water filtration system. This was also very easy to use and we didn't get sick!

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports - The people at Blue Ridge have been fantastic. They are experienced hikers, climbers, and paddlers and they are extremely helpful. They also just started a class on Tuesday evenings at 7pm for backpacking and hiking. I am on my way there right now for my second class (On Sleeping Bags and Pads, last week was backpacks).

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