Me and Three of my buds!

I leave on an Epic Adventure at 5:30am. Me and Three of my buds are heading into the High Sierras and will be hiking along the Southern Sierra High Route. It is a route that will take us from Bishop Pass to Mt. Whitney. The majority of this hike is above 11k feet with three different 14k peaks. Wooooooey! I am all packed and ready to go. Now it’s just sit and wait and wonder if I’ve forgotten to pack anything. Just kiddin, my pack is ready!

We are expecting to take around 7 days to trek the just over 100 miles route. The majority of the trek, from what I know, will be in the alpine/granite area. Not a lot of trees where we are going. This past week the area was pelted with Thunderstorms and a little bit of fresh snow. We are all bringing micro-spikes. The folk at the wilderness office said that crampons at this point are needed above 13k feet. The weather has shifted and we are expecting mostly sunny days ranging from the mid 20’s to the upper 60’s. I definitely favor the latter, but if we have clear skies at night, I will be spending copious amounts of time shivering underneath the canopy of stars. Yes Please!

I’m sure I am “over”packed with my food, but out of all the things, it is always my biggest concern. I eat a lot, and when you are climbing that many miles for that many days, you get hungry. We are packing for the entire 7 day trek without food stops, so all of our packs will start heavy with food. I already know which food items weigh the most, so I’ll be eating those as quickly as possible.

I made fruit leather for my first time – it’s quite delicious. I pureed 4 green pears (didn’t peel them, just cut them up and took out the seeds), a fresh lemon (squeezed and zested), and fresh lemon-thyme leaves. Everything goes into the blender to a frothy puree and then on to the parchment paper to dry out. I dehydrated for two full days in the dehydrator. It’s absolutely delicious. Sweet and zesty.

I also made my trek mix. Well, I purchased the ingredients and mixed them, but still. Raw almonds, roasted and salted peanuts, cashews, dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips! I can’t even stand myself right now. Get in my belly. I will be eating a cup-a-day. This is one of my favorite trail foods. Nuts & Berries & Chocolate. Mmmmmmm

Between the 4 of us, we will have 3 iphone cameras, a digital SLR, and a GoPro. I’m super stoked for the video we are going to take. I love going on these adventures, and I really love to share them too. There are some amazing spaces in this world. I’m going to give it a go with time-lapse night photography. I’m REALLY hoping for some clear sky nights to catch glimpses of the milky way above the tree line. <sigh>

I’ll blog and post route pictures when I get back.

Never give up! Always Adventure!

-Denny
“Happy Birthday to Me”

Hammock Nap

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The Big 40 PCT-Oregon Trek

pct_mapSo, it was my 40th birthday this year, and for it, I decided I wanted some nature and solitude. So, I’m going on a 20 day Trek on the Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail (The trail runs from the US/Mexico Border into Canada).  I am planning to be on trail in the first 3 weeks of September. I’ve got my gear ready, there is absolutely nothing else I think I need. Okay, yes, I want things, but need, nope!

I am going to be doing my meal prep-work in the next couple of weeks.  I have a definitive push to have a lot of oatmeal and trail bread. I know by the end of the trek I will probably have a great vacation from both, but they are certainly going to be my staples. I can doctor both of them up so at least they will be flavored differently as I go along.  I have to say, I love dried fruit while hiking, I hope it doesn’t push my Vata too far out of balance, otherwise you may find me eating grass along the trailside. Mooo!

The trek I am plotting is from Crater Lake National Park to Mt Hood National Forest, Specifically Timberline Lodge at Mt Hood. I have never been to Crater Lake, and though I’ve only been living in Oregon for 3 years, I am long overdue for this visit.  It is the country’s deepest freshwater lake that was formed when a mega-volcano blew it’s top and left a crater. The water is apparently so clear that it is of the deepest blue reflecting back the sky.  I can’t even stand myself I’m so excited.  Tim is going to bring me down and we are planning on taking the boat ride to Wizard Island (Yes, I totally did not make that up). Believe me, I will be taking pictures of this whole trip. (Anyone want to send me a GoPro?)

From Crater Lake to Mt Hood, it’s a solid 250 miles of undulating forests, mountains, creeks, rivers and nature. The thought of it is both daunting and OMG I can’t wait to get in there!  I love a dualistic Universe. I love that I’m both incredibly excited for the experience and completely and calmly anxious about it at the same time. It’s a delicious place to be in the world and it feels yummy.

I’m hoping I can average a daily trek anywhere from 14-16 miles each day.  I’m also imagining there will be a day or two in the 10 or 19 miles/day existence.  It’ll all be divinely beautiful and challenging I’m sure, as I’d want any amazing experience to have both.  I do love an adventure! I also imagine that I will be doing yoga both mornings and evenings. The Moon will also be phasing into FULL during my first week on trail. I will be bathed in the moonlight. It will also be tapering into the New Moon during my last few days.

I will be putting together my CACHE drop(s) in the next day or two.  USPS doesn’t deliver to the CACHE drop locations, otherwise I’d tell you to send me a postcard.  In the CACHE goes the next portion’s meals, socks, shirt and batteries.

I have been working on my pack list. Think minimal, Think minimal. It’s so hard, because you can always think of a reason why you could possibly need something, but there are so many treks I’ve gone on when there was plenty of stuff I brought wasn’t even touched. I think I’m pretty close though. (Anyone have a Quarter Dome 1 they’re not using?)

I’ve been doing a LOT of training hikes. I actually feel extremely long distance hike ready.  I’m compiling a list of where I’ve hiked this year and hoping to get a mileage and elevation chart done. It would be fun to see where I’ve gone.

Next week, River Rafting and possibly the South Sister Climb!

Happy Trekking!

Denny

Denny atop Mt St Helens

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information on the PCT Oregon:  http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/geography/oregon/

 

Urban Hiking

Downtown Portland OR

Downtown Portland OR

Urban hiking is a great way to keep in shape on days that you just can’t get to a trailhead. I like trekking around cities on days when I find myself with enough time and resource available to get out and do something. To me there is no better way to see a city, get to know its details and discover all of its hidden secrets. Plus, it gets my feet moving, my legs can stay in shape for those lengthy trail hikes and I get to wear sneakers!

On an urban hike, like a mountain hike, it is good to have a start point (just like a trailhead).  You might take a city map and declare a start, or perhaps if it is your own city then your start point is your front door. As I trek along on an urban hike, I notice the manmade mountains (skyscrapers/barns, etc) and man’s attempts at reproducing natural effects (gardens, architecture).  Sometimes I bring my camera along for pictures, other times I wander aimlessly keeping my feet trekking along the concrete pathways.

Where will your urban hike take you?  Perhaps you can base your hike around eateries. How many ice cream places can you trek to in one day. Maybe you like your coffee flavored beverages and want to do a Hike du Cafe.  Perhaps your furry legged friend wants to join and you take him to as many dog parks as possible.  The options are endless and an Urban hike doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or use a lot of resources.

Don’t forget to pack your water and trail mix!

It doesn’t matter what you do, because as it was said, wherever you go, there you are!

Denny Boston

 

Dog Mountain Hike – Woof!

DOG MOUNTAIN – COLUMBIA GORGE Moderate to Difficult 1500 ft – 2900 ft elevation gain 3 – 7 mile loop Passes required: Either NW Forest Pass or you can pay at the trail-head $5.00/day Directions: From Stevenson, WA: Travel east on Washington State Route 14 for 10 miles. Trailhead parking is available between mileposts 53 and 54 by the Dog Mountain Trailhead sign. From Portland, OR: Travel west on Interstate 84 to Cascade Locks exit #44.  Follow the off ramp under the interstate and take the first right to the Bridge of the Gods across the Columbia River. At the stop sign, turn right (east) on Washington State Route 14 and travel 12 miles. Between mileposts 53 and 54, there is a large sign for the Dog Mountain Trailhead. Park in the pullout on the left. There are some hikes that leave you breathless with a gasping WOW, and Dog Mountain does not fall short!  The climb up to the summit is substantial. It’s a calf-building, quad-ripping, ass-buster, and though we went on a Tuesday morning, I can see how this trail would be packed on a weekend. Best time to go: End of May for full bloom wildflowers!Image You start off right at the edge of the spectacular Columbia Gorge and begin a trek UP into the dense evergreen doug-fir forest and the beautiful trilliums. Climbing through the smells are divine with pine and the birds are full of song.Image You will have a check-point to take one of two paths to the Summit. We opted for the “More  Difficult” path which is where we got our leg and cardio workout. Image Climb, climb, climb you go and after leaving the density of the forest you come to the mountain top meadows At the end of May this is a spectacular array of wildflowers, busting with the bright yellow of balsam root and sprinkled with red Indian paint brush, chocolate lilies, wild strawberries and purple lupins. The first glimpse takes your breath away as the edge of the mountain top overlooks the Columbia River Gorge and Oregon! Image Photographer’s Dream – Bring your camera – you’ll kick yourself if you don’t! Image We had a great time – I’m sure you will too! Bring a lunch so you can picnic at the top. Layers of clothing, sturdy hiking boots, lots of water and a genuine smile are all good things to take along with you. You might consider some trekking poles for the descent as it can be a bit of a knee buster! Image Be sure to stop at the East Wind Drive-In in Skamania on your way out – it’s on the Oregon side of just under the Bridge of the Gods.  The iced-cream is two feet tall! Also – Skamania is Sasquatch nation – so be prepared to site big-foot! DSC_0170 Happy Hiking! Denny, Tim & Jeff Image