Saturday, April 27, 2013

Here We Go: Resupply Dates and Addresses

Listed below are our resupply dates, locations, and mailing addresses where we are sending ourselves boxes. If you need to get in touch with one of us, the phone number to call is: 928.607.6709. We will check messages and email as much as possible, but it is likely we will not be able to get back to you for a couple of weeks. Trail, ahoy!

5/3/2013: Lordsburg, NM
5/6/2013: Silver City, NM

5/8/2013: Gila Cliff Dwellings, NM
Accepts USPS Priority Mail ONLY, include ETA on letter or package
  Sara Hooker & Forrest Boughner
c/o Doc Campbell's Post
HC 68, Box 80
Silver City, NM 88061

5/14/2013: Pie Town, NM
  Forrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
c/o The Toaster House
Hwy 60 South at Mile Marker 56
Pie Town, NM 87827

5/19/2013: Grants, NM
5/24/2013: Cuba, NM

5/26/2013: Ghost Ranch, NM
Label Hiker Names on letter or package
USPS Address:
Ghost Ranch Conference Center
HC77, Box 11
Abiquiu, NM 87510
UPS Address:
Ghost Ranch Conference Center
Private Drive 1708
U.S. Highway 84
HC 77, Box 11
Abiquiu, NM 87510

5/31/2013: Chama/Cumbres Pass, CO
6/9/2013: Silverton, CO

6/17/2013: Monarch Pass, CO 
CALL before sending package: 719.539.4091, UPS ONLY
  Sara Hooker & Forrest Boughner   
  c/o Monarch Crest Store
24500 Highway 50 West No holding fee
Salida, CO 81201

6/23/2013: Copper Mountain, CO
6/30/2013: Grand Lake, CO & Rocky Mountain National Park
7/5/2013: Steamboat Springs, CO
7/12/2013: Rawlins, WY

7/18/2013: South Pass City, WY 
Put hiker names and ETA on box
  Friends of South Pass City
125 South Pass Main
South Pass City, WY 82520

--Updated arrival dates listed first, original dates listed second in parentheses---

Brooks Lake Lodge, WY: 8/12/2013 (7/26/2013)
UPS ONLY, Label as hiker box
  Forrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
c/o Brooks Lake Lodge
458 Brooks Lake Road
Dubois, WY 82513

Old Faithful Village, Yellowstone National Park, WY: 8/17/2013 (7/31/2013)

Lima, MT: 8/24/2013 (8/7/2013)  
  Sara Hooker & Forrest Boughner
General Delivery
Lima, MT 59739

Leadore, ID: 8/28/2013 (8/11/2013)  
  Forrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
General Delivery
Leadore, ID 83464

Lost Trail Pass-Sula, MT: 9/3/2013 (8/17/2013)  
  Sara Hooker & Forrest Boughner
c/o Sula Country Store & Resort
7060 US Highway 93 South
Sula, MT 59871

Homestake Lodge, MT: 9/11/2013 (8/25/2013)
Send UPS or FedEx
  Forrest Boughner & Sara Hooker
c/o Homestake Lodge
530 Upper Rader Creek Road
Whitehall, MT 59759

MacDonald Pass & Helena, MT: 9/15/2013 (8/29/2013)

Benchmark Ranch, MT: 9/21/2013 (9/4/2013) 
USPS or UPS, Include accurate ETA on letter; NO packages here, please
  Sara Hooker & Forrest Boughner
c/o Darwin & Shellie Heckman
422 County Line Road
Fairfield MT 59436

East Glacier, MT: 9/28/2013 (9/12/2013)
Waterton Lakes, Canada: 10/4/2013 (9/17/2013)

The Give and Take

Our trek along the Continental Divide is finally upon us, and as we prepare to leave Flagstaff we find ourselves examining the people who have helped us arrive at this point. We are fortunate and speechlessly gracious to have found community support in unexpected places. Every person who has donated to our trip had enabled us to pursue an adventure that will define our lives.

Thru hikes are unique. This will be the longest trip that either of us has embarked upon, and we both recognize its significance. Long adventures carve our souls and deepen our spirits. They help us find a new meaning of wholeness that we never knew existed. At this point, I cannot begin to conceive of the ways in which I will grow from this trek, but I do know that I am anxious to meet myself in five months.

Forrest and I hiking in West Fork of Oak Creek

In the late nights of packing bags of dog food and instant mashed potatoes I have found myself asking, "how does one say 'thank you' to another who has enabled this trip to become reality?" Written words cannot describe the deep gratitude that we hold for those who have donated to our trip. I feel hopeful when I think of the ways in which I will pay it forward as so many have done for me.

Support has come to us in a variety of ways. We would like to thank our parents for their well wishes and incredible support for our trek. In addition, we would like to thank Run Flagstaff and Vince Sherry for allowing Forrest to pursue this adventure with ease. Valerie Caro, the "Monday Night Dinner Club," Kathy Lampros, Ann Montgomery, the Vestals, Jim and Carol Dykes, Gehl Tucker, Joanne Hooker, Kristen Downs, and Trina Painter donated generously to our trip. Because of their kindness the shipping costs will be covered, ensuring that we will have fuel in our bellies to keep hiking! Abe Clark and Janet Cherabon-Bawcom made in-kind donations that will power our legs to continue walking. Coach Kyle Harris has allowed us to coach track and field with Flagstaff High School, despite leaving early in the season. Finally, the time spent with Addie and Eddie packing food boxes cannot be overlooked. Their help and dedication has made it possible for us to start hiking on time with our start date. 
Forrest and I hiking near the Verde River, Arizona

Our first blog post from the trail will be within a few weeks. We look forward to sharing our first experiences from the trail!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Food Pack

Here are a few pictures from our first night of food packing.  Big thanks to Addie and Eddie for all the help!

Mess of food

Dividing Jelly Beans

Zeno Food

Dehydrated fruit, chicken, and milk.

Zeno's resupplies

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Stuff on our Backs

Gear for the Trail

With under a month left until we begin our journey North, Sara and Zeno and I have finalized our gear list for the trek. Our pile of gear and food is beginning to take over our apartment, which means we need to leave soon before we run out of room to get from the living room to the kitchen.  Fortunately our house for the next six months arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago, so we have some shelter in which to move.

It is a weird feeling receiving your next domicile in the mail.  We settled on the TarpTent Stratospire 2 as our shelter for the trip, which weighs about 40 ounces, packs into a 16"x5" bag and, when received in the mail, does not seem like it should house two people and a dog for 5-6 months.  We set it up in the front yard, though, and it seems great!  Despite needing practice with our hiking poles (which serve as the vertical poles for the tent), our pitching skills were decent.  Once we get the hang of it, the set up and break down time should be less than our current tent.

Caldera Cone and K-Mart Grease pot
To cook our food we decided to get the Caldera Cone with the K-Mart Grease Pot.  The cone makes our camping kitchen look out of place as it adds a great deal of shiny aluminum to the landscape typically mottled in browns and greens.  By wrapping the pot and burner in the cone our fuel efficiency is supposed to improve to the point where we will only need 15-30mL of fuel per meal.  The cone serves to keep out the wind and also helps to insulate the pot so the entire thing heats up, rather than an isolated spot where the flame burns underneath.  The burner itself is nifty combination of a coke can and a red bull can with some vent holes popped in the side.  We tested the stove on a couple occasions at the Flagstaff Nordic Center over the winter and it worked great.

For sleeping bags we both settled on the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15's.  I have been using this bag the last year and have loved it so Sara decided to get one as well.  The bags are right around the 2lb range but are still very warm.  Underneath the bags we will be using the ThermaRest X-Lite NeoAir 2's, which provide a couple inches of air mattress and insulation for very little weight.  We are just hoping that Zeno does not continue his practice of lunging at squirrels while in the tent so our sleeping pads remain leak free.

Water filter and filter bag we will be carrying.
To purify water we will be using a combination of AquaMira and a Sawyer water pump.  In the past I have been wary of pumps because they can get clogged and pieces can break, but this one seems to be much more durable and user friendly.  The pump system weighs in at a measly 3 ounces, is easy to clean with a syringe that can also be used in a first aid kit, and has very few movable parts that are prone to breakage.  This will be our primary system with the AquaMira drops and water boiling acting as backups.  In some instances we may use all three depending on how many chunks of unknown substances need to be removed from the water.  Better to not think about it.

 The gear we will be most familiar with is the pack on our backs.  Sara opted to carry the GoLite Jam, while I will carry the Ultra Light Adventures (ULA) Catalyst.  Both packs are two of the more common packs for thru hikers, lightweight, durable, simple, and roomy.  We tested them on our overnight in Wupatki National Monument and during our four day Thanksgiving trip in the Grand Canyon.  The one thing we wish they did was float like a birthday party balloon so we could just tug on a string to get up the trail, but since that is not a standard feature on the basic models we decided we could manage.

Zeno on a training hike up on Mt. Elden
Zeno will also be carrying a pack that will either contain his dog food or our peanut butter, jelly, and honey.  That depends on how he is affected by the smell of his food on the trail.  His pack is actually the same one my parents' dog, Orion, used when they hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1985.  It is a lightweight Adventure 16 pack that was originally navy blue, but is now a silver/gray/blue because of all the miles it has traveled in the glaring sun.  The last two weekends Zeno has carried it on hikes of 14 and 15 miles. Aside from pretending to have no energy climbing Mt. Elden, only to chase every whiff of animal once we hit the top, he did a great job and did not seem to notice the extra weight.

We also just purchased dog booties for Zeno to protect his feet on the hot sand in southern New Mexico, the lava fields around Grants, NM and all the snow.  The trial run we put him through last night was hilarious.  He never tried to remove them, but did look like he was trying to walk or run through big drifts of snow by trying to high-step out of the things on his feet.  It only took him five or ten minutes to get used to them though and then he did not mind.

Chicken about to go in the dehydrator

With less than 20 days before we start hiking, our preparation process has gone into overdrive.  We now have the food dehydrator running all day and night to prepare meat sauce.  We are dividing and mixing oatmeal into different packages.  We are mixing trail mix and going on training hikes. But it still seems like there is a lot to do.  Sara is guiding two river trips before we leave and I am working and coaching up until the day before we leave.  Now any free time we have must be devoted to establishing our resupply boxes.  Strangely it has not gotten too stressful yet, but instead every task reminds us that we are about to go on the adventure of our lives. It is just plain exciting.