Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Long Trail 2010!

We were back on the Trail this past week. The Long Trail (fondly known as the LT) in Vermont that is. It runs the length of VT, from Canada to Massachusetts, for about 275 miles. Back in 2008, we tackled the northern 1/3, down to Jonesville. This year, we walked the middle 80 miles, south from Jonesville to Sherburne Pass, near Killington. Please enjoy the pictures of our 6-day hike.


Friday, April 30, 2010


ONE year ago yesterday, we started the Trail! We definitely miss it.

Presenting at the local Boston REI (where I work part-time).


Monday, April 5, 2010

Gear Lists

Our long-awaited gear lists.

Gregory Palisade 80L backpack
Outdoor Research pack cover
REI Titanal trekking poles
REI Halo 25-degree down sleeping bag (REI Zephyr 15-degree synthetic for WA)
Ridgerest sleeping pad
MSR Pocket Rocket stove + isobutane fuel + bic lighter
GSI hard anodized pot + spoon
Leatherman Micra multi-tool (lost)
Petzl Tikka XP headlamp
Highgear Axis altimeter watch
OR Seattle sombrero, Native Bolt sunglasses, bandana, fleece cap
TNF Wicking t-shirt, REI lightweight MTS long-sleeve zip-T
REI vest
Marmot soft shell & REI precip jackets
REI Sahara zip-off pants
REI rain pants (WA only)
Smartwool liners, REI light hiker socks
Gloves: Liners / fleece
OR low gaiters
Dunham hiking boots
Montrail Torre GTX hiking boots
Montrail trail runners (2 pairs)
Crocs (camp shoes)
Cocoon silk mummy liner, Bear Vault bear canister, long underwear, ice axe, Mountain Hardwear down jacket

Asolo TPS boots (resoled once)
One pair Montrail trail runners in OR
Crocs for camp & stream crossings
Smartwool PhD socks, REI liners
REI Sahara pants
Mtn. Hardware short-sleeved, North Face 1/4 zip long-sleeved shirt
REI silk long johns
Mtn. Hardwear down sweater
Fleece hat, gloves, cotton bandana
Fleece vest
REI rain jacket and Taku pants
Wallaroo sun hat, Native sunglasses
EMS 15-degree down bag, silk liner
3/4 length Ridge-rest
Gregory Deva 60
Atlas snowshoe poles
REI Ti pot, penny stove and denatured alcohol fuel
Tin coffee mug, MSR mugmate
2 1L Nalgene water bottles, 1L Platypus bladder, various soda bottles
Princeton Tech headlamp
Swiss Army knife
Bear canister & ice axe in High Sierra
REI pack cover
Stuff sacks (REI, Mtn. Hardware)
Trash bag (pack liners)

Necessities (In Chris’ backpack):
REI Quarter Dome T2 tent
SPOT GPS satellite messenger
MSR Sweetwater water filter (iodine in High Sierra; Aqua Mira in WA)
Olympus Stylus waterproof camera + 7 extra 2GB microSD cards

iPods + Sony AM/FM walkman
Pleasure reading books
Olympus Stylus 1030 camera
Solio solar charger

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fun Mileage Graphs

When we set out from the Mexican border on April 29th, I knew that we had to average 17 miles per day for the length of the trail. This was because of a wedding on October 3rd we wanted to attend on Staten Island, NY, and also I had to be back to work on October 6th. We had 156 days and not a day more to walk the entire length of the PCT.

Therefore, I had to stay very aware of the miles we were covering each day, keeping a running average in my head at all times. It was actually pretty fun for me, since well I love math, and it gave me something to think about when boredom would start to seep in. From the log that I kept, I made some fun nerdy graphs. Enjoy!

All those dips were zero days spent in towns... that wide gap near the end was our vacation on Cape Cod.

As you can see, we were quite a bit behind schedule after 2 months on the trail, but we pushed on, increased our daily mileage even as the days were getting shorter, and persevered by finishing in 155 days, 1 day ahead of schedule.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

A cry far from the trail

We finished the trail several months ago now, and it's taken me this long to grapple with the identity of this blog. When we started out, I thought we'd use this journal as a look at our lives "before, during and after the trail". I thought we might have emotions and anecdotes to share about our transition to real life. This also would be an appropriate forum to reflect on the trip.

But it turns out, life in the city is hectic. Experiences here seem so far removed, and so petty, compared to our journey on the Pacific Crest Trail. What could I possibly say about riding the subway with inconsiderate teenagers that would merit a post on this special collection of memories?

And then Chris and I went on an evening snowshoe through the Arnold Arboretum, just down the street from us. Boston has been blessed with a beautiful, brisk winter so far. After the most recent snow storm, we set out on a jaunt in this lovely local treasure. It's quiet at night, except for the white noise of traffic humming on nearby streets. The city light pollution reflecting off the snow was more than bright enough for us to navigate. We swished our way through the crusty snow, already blemished with footprints and cross-country ski tracks.

I thought I was hearing things when an owlish throaty hoot caught my ear over the squeak and crunch of the snow. "Shhhh." We stopped. Nothing. Continued on. "ShhhHH!" Stopped again. And there it was, clear as an elk whistle near Mt. Rainier or a coyote whine in the High Sierra. An owl in the middle of the city! It hooted some more, and then swooped off its branch and silently sailed over our heads and out of sight.

We miss the trail every day. Life flies by as we juggle jobs (new and old), geriatric pet care and making up for lost time with our beloved friends and families. Getting outside and moving through trees, breathing fresh air especially makes us pine for the singular purpose that a long-distance thru-hike provides. But our brush with the owl, whatever species it was, brings me some peace knowing that there are still moments of wonder in our natural world no matter where you're living.