I’m going to post up some of my preparations as I obsess about my upcoming adventure and start to prepare. I did a couple little experiments this weekend and thought I’d share.
Food – I love it. This will be a challenge on GDR. I’m not decided for sure, but I’m thinking I’ll go without a stove. As a friend tells me, this is a race, not a tour and I think he’s right. I’ve been discussing this with several people and they are divided. Some feel that the comfort provided with a stove is worth the few ounces of an alcohol stove and a titanium mug. Personally, some people live off of gas stations, restaurants, and shelf stable foods their entire lives, so what’s 20 days?! My experiment Saturday was to get food for an overnight and get it all at a gas station. I’ll have to admit that gas stations in a highly populated area of SoCal carry a lot more options than one in the middle of nowhere might. The first pic is what I found at the Shell station at the bottom of the mountain. There were also 2 bananas, but I ate those and the red vines barely made up the hill. The jerkey, good for me. The hot spicy noodles I’d cook up right there at the gas station and throw back before getting on my bike. The nuts – good and the marathon bars…score.
I also stopped at a grocery store to figure out some things that I’d pack with me or mail to myself – shelf stable stuff. I realized that two of these fig newtons packed 120 calories – worth their weight I think. Also, I tried a new tuna in a packet – teriyaki tuna steak! As it said on the package, “Restaurant quality Seafood Entree in an instant”. Dang…why do people cook at all?
When I got home to pack up for my overnight, I realized that Brendan wouldn’t be done working (yeah it was Saturday!) until late so we canned the overnight and I decided to hang out with him instead. Besides, check out this valentines gift he got me…he’s worth it afterall!
So, instead of doing an overnight Saturday, we stayed up with pizza and a friend and watched the season of curb your enthusiasm. That was equally fun.
My other quandry is to bivy or not to bivy. We went to a gear store Sunday in Riverside so I could do some hands-on research. There are lots of superlight tents and tarptents out there, but man, a bivy is so light and packs so small. So, last night, Brendan set up a tarp on one side of the yard (which he advocates) and I set up a bivy on the other. I’m sure it was funny to passers by. It was close freezing out and misting all night and the bivy was pretty darn comfy. Everyone I talk to though, dissuades this idea. They say that 20 days is a long time and if you have to get out of the weather during the day, you’ll go crazy. I’m not sure yet, but that one night in my yard wasn’t bad, for what it’s worth.
Needless to say, I’ve eaten all the shelf stable food, didn’t get a ride in, and am glued to the computer for the iditarod progress. If I could just get back out and ride, this could be an exciting season.