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Forging on

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I spent the entire day at West Thumb recouping and looking around. Fingers are quite bloody from the cracks which is no fun. That is defintely one thing I got to solve otherwise I’m Gonna be toast.

I’m forging onto Old Faithful tomorrow. Apparently there’s a couple who walks to Old Faithful on snowshoes every year. Their goal is to walk to Old Faithful on snow shoes from every entrance in the park. After crossing the park on snowshoes I have to say that’s a pretty steep challenge. But they catch a ride back so it’s not like they have to round trip it.

It was cold last night minus 20 again but not too shabby know the warming hut.

I’m getting in Alpine start so I need to go to bed since it’s 8 PM. Hopefully I will be a will to make it over Craig pass without too much trouble.

To be 38 years old in the winter.

In west thumb

Having a good and educational time in Yellowstone. Had my first equipment loss – the precious cereal bowl.

It seconded as the scoop for making water. I didn’t pack the bowl in its usual place in a bag. Sure enough, I must have dropped it when digging through the gear bag.

My efficiency is low for gear handling on this trip. That needs some serious work prior to any larger expeditions.

Need the lexan cup. It is smaller than a cereal bowl and won’t shatter at minus 20 deg.

Tonite finds me at west thumb. Last nite was -20 deg. Brr. It was the classic cold after a storm clears out.

Having serious cracks in my fingers to the point of bleeding. Never had this before. It makes touching anything painful. Maybe the opposite of Midas?

My route has been completely changed due to the lack of snow in Haydon valley. In order to reach Indian Creek, I have to go via Old Faithful and over a miserably steep pass.

The toughest part of this trip has been my speed. I am only making about 50% of what I was doing last year. I should have been at West thumb last night or early this morning. Instead I arrived this evening at 8 PM. Carrying 50% more load as a direct correlation to the time involved with the travel.

Having it snow all day yesterday made travel also extremely slow due to the drag. Since my permit requires me to go to Old Faithful but I do not want to go over the continental divide twice that is extremely difficult. And I wouldn’t have to make the double jump on the way back as well.

As with all trips I am at that point where I have to decide what to do. I am concerned that the severe cracks in my fingers are going to lead to potential infection but not only that it makes it extremely difficult to handle anything.

What I wouldn’t give for some paint on second skin right now. That would at least seal up the wound and stop the bleeding.

Tomorrow is evaluation day.

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Smoothing out the towing

After training for several months for an expedition to Yellowstone, I’ve been searching

Bungee elastic in trace to harness
Bungee elastic in trace to harness

 around for how others have changed the shock of dragging a tire or a sled.  As the rope pulls taught, the lower back and hips take the impact of the full weight of the sled or tire I’m towing.

This makes you a little tougher but over mutliple days, it’ll kill your back.

Enter bungees. Continue reading “Smoothing out the towing”

Value of the workout log

The workout log has again proven its value.

After finishing the 1:20 towing session, I loaded in my pedometer data to see

Average tire tow speed
Average tire tow speed

where I am in terms of performance.  It looks like I’m reaching a plateau in travel speed.  Once I add the hill from El Camino Real to Skyline Dr on Tamarack in Carlsbad, my speed drops a full 0.5 mph.

That’s huge!

But the hill is huge, too. Continue reading “Value of the workout log”

Best time yet

My short route time is still getting better.  It’s good but it tells me that I’m not at peak performance ability.  I was able to crank out the 1.4 miles in 26 minutes.  3.2 miles per hour.  My average speed is now my walking speed.  That’s great!  It’s my best speed yet.

Funny thing – a guy slowed down in the morning to take a photograph of me.  I gave him the thumbs up, he snapped the shot and continued taking his kids to school.

It must be pretty funny to see a guy dragging a tire wearing shorts outside of his sweats, using trekking poles.  Too bad I was drinking from my water bottle at the time.  I need to grab a friend to get some better photographs.

Field updates

I’ve been working on updating my website for a few with some serious help.  One thing I’ve been trying to do is embed a map of my current position.  This has been a little more challenging, as it has to be done in the field.

The goal is to do field updates with my iPhone for the Yellowstone expedition in a few weeks.  There are various services and devices (Spot) to do this.  However, for the moment it’s just another bill against the funds to get me to Antarctica.

As such, there’s a risk I won’t have a good enough data connection to send map updates and I’ll be out of business on the website.  That would be unfortunate but it’s worth a try.  One trick I did find with the iphone is screen capture.  That would be my last hurrah in trying to update my site from the field.

To do a screen capture with the iphone, simple click the home and power buttons at the same time.  The screen will be captured to your pictures (camera roll).  You can then email, send or whatever else you want to do with that.

Very handy indeed.