Friday, November 7, 2014

Mountain House

Haven't eaten these since 50 mile backpacking trips on the C&O Canal.  Did those with my Dad, and shared the meal with him, alternating spoonfuls out of the packaging one spoon at a time.

Did two of those.  50 mile hikes.  We did it on Spring Break.  So the weather was iffy.  We also walked North to South on the canal towpath.  Because that was down hill.  I am so glad it was flat otherwise. 

So two 50 milers of 186 miles of tow path.  Plus at least on 20 miler.  A few 10ers.  And in the end, over the years, I walked the whole canal.  I recommend the northern parts.  Prettier.

I discovered something hiking with that 75 pound pack.  I was never an athletic kid.  Even when I wasn't pudgy.  I was a skinny as a kid.  But I was the slowest at foot races, picked last for kickball... etc.  But I found out on these long endurance hikes, that slow old me... was the same speed at the end as I was in the beginning.  I was in the caboose position at the beginning of the hikes, but always finished ahead of everyone.  Dunno if my constitution is like that anymore.  But I was glad for it then.

Another trick?  I hated hiking boots.  Even when the calluses formed on my heel it still hurt my Achilles tendon to wear anything with ankle support.  And a canal path is flat.  SO... I wore tennis shoes.  People felt bad for me when it was snowing and my feet were wet in 5 minutes and their boots had mink oil on the leather...  So their feet were wet in 25 minutes instead.  And when the mud stuck to their feet their feet were that much heavier.  So I was fine, I just had to keep moving to keep warm. 

Those were good trips.  50 miles in 5 days.  Very back to nature.  Wouldn't trade if for anything.  Snow when you woke up, sleet for the first hours, then rain, then 40 knot winds with trees falling all around.  The next day, sun, and 80 degrees.   Campsite often had a porta pottie.  So you looked for it.  Because it meant the day was done.  We had to carry our water as the well pumps weren't on yet. 

I am glad I wasn't into coffee at the time.  That would be trouble. 

But the meals, they got great shelf life these expensive backpacking freeze dried meals.  And I wondered what to stock up on, if slowly, in case of emergency.  You know, for survival.  In the big cans... 

The lasagna?  Meh.  It's pretty good.  Better than it used to be I bet.  

No comments: