Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gear video's

I  have made several video's reviewing the gear we will be bringing on our thru hike and the rational for each item. I hope you find some of this interesting and or helpful.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Trail Names

For those of you who don't know, trail names are a tradition on the Appalachian Trail and many long distance hiking trails. You can choose your trail name or even better It can be given to you on the trail. The risk of getting a trail name given to you is that it could be for something embarrassing like "Snot Rocket" or 'Monkey Butt".

 Initially I was hesitant about them. In the 5 years we have been hiking the Appalachian Trail, I have changed my thinking. Hiking the trail and the trail community is very special and is something worthy of going outside my comfort zone to participate in.

Sassafras  got her trail name last year when we were hiking the first half of the A.T. in Georgia. One of the First big climbs is Sassafras Mountain. All of the new thru hikers we were with were talking about how hard they heard the climb was.  All morning she was asking when we were going to get to Sassafras Mountain and how "Sassy" was it going to be.  In the afternoon we were taking a water break and one of the Thru hikers we had been hiking with, Rainbow Dash walked up. Sassafras asked her is she knew when we were going get to climb Sassafras Mountain. Rainbow Dash informed her she had hiked over it an hour ago. Having started hiking at such a young age on the A.T. in Maine and New Hampshire, she had a different idea of what a "tough climb" was. It also happened that Rainbow Dash knew a lot about the flora of the area and told us we were sitting right next to a sassafras bush. She went on to tell us all about the plant, the three types of leaves and the uses for the different parts of the plant. As she walked away she said "Well I guess you have a trail name now "Sassafras". and that how she got her name.

I guess I got my trail name the first year we started hiking the A.T. when she was 8 years old. Sassafras always wants to be in front and I am always pulling up the rear. A few of the hikers we met said I looked like the Caboose. Sassafras has always like to read the shelter registers and write about her hikes. The first time she wrote my trail name she spelled it "Kaboose" and that the way its been spelled ever since. Until this year when I was asked what my trail name was, I would say I did not have one. As I realized all the wonderful things that the trail has to give, I opened up a little and now can say I am very proud to be the Kaboose on the Sassafras Express.

New Gear page and radio review

I added a new page with our gear list with weights.

I also finally found a pocket radio that I like. I wanted to have a very small/light AM/FM radio to listen to at night on the trail. Last year I used a small MP3 player that had an FM radio. I  guess I am old fashioned and like a radio and not MP3 music. I also wanted it to use one AAA battery and not have to have a USB charger.

The radio I found was a Sony SRF-S84 FM/AM Super Compact Radio Walkman with MDR Ear Buds for $39 fro Amazon. It has a very sensitive analog tuner and gets great reception even out here in the country in Maine. The battery last a very long time. It weighs under 2 oz with one AAA battery.

I could not be happier.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Many surprises today

There were many surprised today.

1. The 2013 AWOL A.T. Guide arrived in the mail box. We received two copies, one to use for the trip and one for my wife to have to keep track of our location and support us as needed. I recommend the A.T. Guide very much, they are well written with the most detailed info of any A.T. guide and elevation profiles. The 2013 guide is even better than the 2011 guide we were using the last two year.

2. My wife finished up two hats for our hike. The are really nice - THANKS JOYCE!

3. Today was a big day, I spent the day retraining as a staff nurse on the unit were I am the Nurse Manager . It was my fist time in many years where I was able to just be a nurse. The staff I work with were great and helped me a lot.  The last time I regularly worked on the floor the medications were stored in a rolling med cart and the patients meds were written out by hand by the nurses on paper med administration forms. Today the meds are in a computerized machine and all the documentation is on the computer. Thank goodness that actual patient care is the same. I will be stepping down from my managers position in 8 weeks when we leave for our adventure and when we get back will be working a a perdiem nurse at the hospital I have worked for for 14 year. I am very grateful that the hospital's nursing administrators have let me stay on as a staff nurse.

Every step of the way on this journey has been enlightening. I was surprised when I was told by many people that once I made the decision to quit a good job, take my daughter out of school and go on this adventure that every day I would be more and more certain that it was the right choice. This has been the case. Today I realized how much I missed actually  nursing, working with the patient and not worried about the politics, problems and headaches that my current job entails. I am proud to be a nurse and will be  very much looking forward to returning and getting to be able to do the work I started out loving almost 30 years ago.