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Riding the park

Riding through Grand Teton National Park is a great way to experience the landscape. Instead of being separated from the world by a car window while moving at 45 miles an

Sun behind the Tetons
Sun behind the Tetons

hour, enjoying the smell of sage at a reasonable pace of 14 MPH is more pleasant.

For my first ride in the park, I rode from the Moose visitor center all the way to the String Lake canoe launch. This reminded me of my trip with my brother back in the mid 90s. We rented a canoe, paddled across Jenny Lake, portaged to String and ultimately ended up at Leigh Lake. From there, we had to get the car.

Luckily for me, my brother drew the short straw. He had to walk along the Park Road all the way back to the Jenny dock to retrieve the car. It took him a couple hours of walking to get there.  Countless cars passed him and not one slowed down to ask if he was okay or to inquire why someone would walk along the park road in the first place.

String Lake
String Lake in Grand Teton National Park

And, back then, there was no nice bike or multiuse path to walk on. He had to walk on the park road which is always scary.

Gabriella Axelrad
Gabriella Axelrad

Back in 1999, young Gabriella Axelrad, 13,  was killed while riding her bike on the park road. The multiuse path connecting the town of Jackson and Grand Teton National Park is now complete in her honor.  It was sad to have to have someone die to have a nice pathway to separate bicyclists, runners and walkers from traffic.

I enjoy riding in the park because bicycling allows me to experience things in a more tactile fashion. Looking at

Linsdau resting at String Lake
Linsdau resting at String Lake

photos and watching videos of places is very well and good but it’s still not like being there.  And I photograph as well as shoot and edit videos.

That being said, there is nothing like being there and smelling the air. That is one of the reasons I am headed to Antarctica. Instead of looking at pictures and reading other people’s accounts, I want to have the experience myself. Because that continent is so otherworldly, it is difficult to get a feeling for it without actually being there.

At least for me.

Napping?

So some people I know decided that it would be a good time to rent some kayaks and go down the Snake River. We went from Jackson Lake at the dam down to the Pacific Creek take out. All went well and I had a good time.

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Then, unbeknownst to me, a photo was taken at the only moment I just happen to be looking down at nothing in particular. Somehow, it makes me look like I’m taking a nap. Not that I wasn’t paddling the whole time, mind you.

Just kidding! It was a very funny photo and we all enjoyed ourselves.

But, it sure makes me look like a slug with a beer gut. Haha!

Nearing Las Vegas hot

Las Vegas comes to mind for the heat here in Jackson Hole.

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Now that it’s in the low 90s, standing in the sun feels like Las Vegas hot. It doesn’t have the sizzling feeling of being in the sun in Phoenix in the summer. It’s not too far off, though.

The smoke from various fires around the region has also obscured the sky. The light is quite reddish well into the late morning. The Tetons, a mere 12 miles away, are nearly obscured. The highest peak, “The Grand”, is over 13,000 ft, too.

As is the trend with locals, discussion of the weather is a constant topic. And, as a native-born of Jackson, I’ll discuss the weather and say I hope the forecast is correct and we get some rain to wash the sky.

I feel sorry for tourists who are not getting the good views they came for. Maybe they’ll get to see some bison.

Promo video in process

Most of yesterday was spent on editing the expedition promotional video from the past

Promo video editing
Promo video editing

four years of footage.  Greenland, Yellowstone and various training material are being used as the base footage.  Several interviews were performed as well for this short film.

Editing in Final Cut Pro X (FCP X) is amazingly enjoyable compared to past work done in FCP 6.  Thank you Apple.

Morning workout

Thank goodness it is starting to get cool in the mornings here. I’m not sure how long that will last, though I hope it continues through August.20120804-160701.jpg

Having it be just about 45 deg in the morning and get up to 50 deg by the time I was done with my workout made me very happy. Trudging around in the beating sun is just not enjoyable. If I was training for crossing the Sahara, I would wear a trash bag the whole time just to burn myself up.

Granted, by the time I got home from the ride, my feet were quite cold. I’m going to have to get a pair of riding booties to keep this up into September. Assuming, that is, if it does not start snowing. Then in that case, I will have to revert to towing and perhaps running only.

RSS Feed ready

It looks like my RSS feed was there all the time.  It just took a lot of reading to figure it

RSS Feed
RSS Feed

out.

Here’s the feedburner link:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/NewCenturyExpeditions

And if you want to link in your favorite feed reader, use this URL:

http://blog.aaronlinsdau.com/?feed=rss2

That way updates to my blog can be pushed to your phone, computer or otherwise without having to stop by the blog.  Not that I want less visitors, of course!

I tested this on my iPhone with FeeddlerRSS and it seemed to work just fine.  The little app shows a number next to the icon, similar to text messages, indicating how many postings are currently available for reading.

Updated log

The expedition training log has been updated.  Here are the highlights since I began logging in January.  My heavier training began in earnest in April, 6 months ahead as suggested by Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions.

Running:

Dist (mi)TimeSpeed avg (min/mi)StepsSteps/mile
307.1645.69.093974881323
MilesHours

Bike Riding:

DistanceTimeSpeed (mi/hr)
268.3423.9911
MilesHours

Tire towing:

DistanceTimeSpeed (min/mi)StepsSteps/mile
165.6163.622.33070351839.3
MilesHours

Weight lifting:

Time
1335
Minutes

This training is like everything else.  If you keep up doing what you should be, you’ll be able to rack up the miles, time or whatever you’re after.  But it requires the dedication to do it.

Don’t give yourself excuses not to work out.  You’ll dust the baseboards, put away dishes or organize those recipes as a “reason”.  Really, would you like to feel better physically and feel better about yourself?  Build the confidence that you can reach a goal you’ve set.  Then get out there and put other junk off.  Keep your body in tune and listen to it.  For if you give up your health, what else will you have?

Roasting in the heat

We could really do with a little less heat here.  It’s supposed to get to 90 degrees this afternoon:

Now (3:39PM MST) from Wunderground.com
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Temperature
88 °F
Feels Like 84 °F

For the last half mile of towing today, I had to start and stop because the sun was beating down so hard.  I even ended up with a tan line from the trekking pole straps.  That was pretty funny, considering I put on SPF 50 sunscreen.

First big tow

Four Hours.

Tow time
Tow time

That was my longest tow to date and it felt longer than that. I had to make up for the 65 minutes I missed the previous day and I’m on the hook for 153 minutes at least every other day on top of that. So, I scolded myself and got to work.

Starting at 930am seemed like a good idea at the time.  But Jackson, WY, is not immune to the sweltering heat the rest of the country is [not] enjoying.  By the time 11am rolled around, I knew I was in for a tough one.  I had already chugged down 0.5L of water and I wasn’t even half finished.

Not bringing more food was also a big regret.  I now know that 1.5-2 hours is the maximum that a granola bar and a rail of Shot Blocks will last me.  By that time, I was fantasizing about macaroni and cheese, sandwiches and almost anything else to take the hunger away.  I even could feel the soft texture of that morning’s waffles in my hands.

3 shot blocks left.  Ugh.

The plan was to eek them out as long as I could.  There are two schools of thought.  One is to extend the rations as long as possible.  The other is to placate the hunger right there and then deal with deal with real hunger later.  I took the former approach.  It’s much easier knowing I have something remaining in my pocket rather than looking forward to nothing.

It was an interesting experiment in both food and hydration management.

Good thing there’s a gas station at the top of the hill where I was at least able to refill my now depleted water bottles for the last mile and a half.  Good thing, as I powered down the refill water with still 0.3 miles remaining.  The heat had taken its toll and I was paying.  By the last several hundred yards, I was really working to move that tire.

It was tempting to drag over to the edge of the road where the gravel was, reducing the pulling force necessary to move my test load.  I kept telling myself to resist.  Not putting in an honest workout here means Antarctica will be that much more difficult.

“You’re only cheating yourself.”

I didn’t but it sure was tempting.

Lessons learned:

  • Bring a PB&J equivalent per 2 hours of towing
  • I need 1L per 2 hours of hot weather towing

A bicyclist also told me, “After you drag that thing around, you’ll be one bad a** mother $@#%@#.”

I got a good laugh out of it, as I hadn’t thought of this that way.