United States of America · 42 Days · 28 Moments · March 2015

Aspiring CDT Journey: Pre-Trail

13 April 2015

Views from the top and towards the end of our hike.
Perfect day for hiking! These past two days we've received perfect weather. Today is overcast in the comfortable low 60's. My favorite hiking weather! So that's what we did! Dharma and I hiked to Ranger Peak. With only a light sporadic drizzle I did not need to wear my rain jacket. We took our time and enjoyed the day.

13 March 2015

All packed ready to leave. On our drive out we saw four wild turkeys! Two of which were in the middle of a battle.
Wild turkeys we saw as we left camp :)

12 March 2015

As we drift to sleep we begin to hear the coyotes' song once more. Sweet dreams.
Then! I made bread pudding with some left over pieces of bread. It was getting dark by this time so I couldn't get as many good pictures. But, this turned out so fantastic! And I will definitely be making this again. Bread night turned out pretty good.
I just love cooking over a campfire! I split the dough into two halves; one will cook directly on the hot coals and the other wrapped in foil. Both came out okay, not one better than the other. However I still would like to experiment with different dough recipes and spice variations.
Tonight ended up being "bread night". I had planned on making a vegetable stew but we weren't all that hungry. So I decided to make some savory bread cakes and got to work making the dough.
Nature the Beautiful...
A young and very beautiful bonsai-like pine marks a neat area with some nice spots for a potential shelter.
Went for a little mid-morning hike and found some interesting animal tracks. I've never seen any like this before! Three digits facing forward with a small hind digit each with a claw; a large bird. Most likely wild turkey. And what could be a skunk track. Gotta hit my books.
Woke up early to start the fire and to the sound of coyotes :) Dharma and I walked to a nice lookout point to see if we could see them but we didn't. Dharma sat by the fire with her blanket while I prepare coffee. It was chilly late into the morning and the dogs were cold so I made them a little bed with a makeshift tarp tent from some extra material. It did well in trapping the heat but they didn't use it for very long.

11 March 2015

Finished off the night with some tea before going to sleep.
My carving project, can you guess what it is? And my attempt at making bread in my Dutch oven.
Visited my dear friend Gandalf (the tree). His branches reach to the high into the sky. Made some cinnamon tea mid-morning. Started a carving project. For dinner I cooked up some skillet mushrooms and roasted vegetables with shrimp.
On the road again! We are heading to our home away from home. In the morning, we made eggs and bacon (veggie bacon for me) tortillas and coffee for breakfast over the fire. Later I collected some sap from Ponderosa pines to use for later projects.
Eating breakfast. Collecting sap.

3 March 2015

I am going to try to find a why to take my good camera on the CDT. I know it's superfluous but I cannot match the quality with my iPhone camera alone. It would be necessary for me to take extra batteries and memory cards as if the camera isn't already heavy enough. But it's a "once in a lifetime" journey... A good camera is worth it. Don't you think?
Overall it was a lovely little hike, just about 4.3 miles. My pack weighed only 20 lbs today and so I didn't think of it much. I will increase the weight next time. Hopefully Mother Nature will bless us with more nice weather! Until next time.
Just some photos. Including a small cluster of flowers I am not familiar with. Have to hit the books!
At the top we take some time to enjoy the drizzling rain and thank Mother Nature for giving us this opportunity.
Here we are almost the the top where I plan to stop for a small snack and drink. The trail climbs about 1150 ft within two miles, most of which is in the latter portion straight up.
So March has arrived! This will mark the year before the big journey! This month I continue my aspiring CDT journey by making preparations including gear adjustments, training hikes and more. Today I awaken to the sound of a steady drizzle. My favorite hiking weather! So I packed my bag and Dharma and I headed to a near-by trail.