The flash flood thing….

Well, we just heard about some flash flooding in Oklahoma on Route 66! That is not where we were expecting to see that kind of issue… So it is a bit of a heads up that we’d better pay attention to our “weather on the road” info. Here is some of the video of a rescue:

and here is a clip that shows how high the water got in an urban area:

posted by Blue Coyote in Other thoughts and have Comments (2)

The hill remains the objective…

Am laughing to myself thinking of all those stories of military campaigns where the objective is to take a hill, because these days my objective is to take a hill in a different sense — Cactus Killer Hill…

Have been pretty faithfully going up there when the weather is not too awful, and I do feel like I am getting a little more accustomed to the steep climb. Not sure I am doing it all any faster. Though I guess I make less stops along the way, or maintain a more stable pace going up. In any case, I do feel like I have made some small progress after only two weeks (it’s too bad that once I am back in NY I will no longer have this challenge to help motivate me! oh well, I will have to continue training in the gym, like “normal” people do… anyway, it’s been fun while its lasted!)…

On another note, they say that there will be a big storm here tonite — with very strong winds. The local media have been talking about it for a couple of days already, so I am guessing it will be unusual. Am wondering if it will be anything like that storm almost ten years ago that tore up all the trees in the parks around the city… Today when I went up the hill I couldn’t help wondering if I would have the same view in the park at the top after the storm passes. We will see…

For now we are still in the calm before the storm, though the first raindrops began falling as I walked home from the store a little while ago…

posted by Blue Coyote in Shaping up for the Trail and have No Comments

Time to think about a new tent…

We should probably start talking about what kind of tent or tents we should bring.

After outlining our basic itinerary, it looks like we will be camping out for about 21-28 days, more or less, depending on if we choose motels or campgrounds along some parts of the route. And the camping will vary from well-equipped campgrounds to truly remote, primitive backcountry camping with zero facilities. In some cases we will be able to camp right next to our jeep, and in a few cases we may have to hike in, carrying our gear, to interior backcountry campsites.

Another important consideration is that we will be constantly on the move, almost never spending more than one night at the same campsite. (HINT: ease of set-up/breakdown is probably important to us)

Additional things to think about… It will be HOT… extremely HOT… in many of the locations where we will be camping. There is also a chance of windy conditions in the canyons. And likelihood of violent thunderstorms (meaning heavy rain), in a number of the western locations. And the certainty of rain somewhere…

We also need to think about whether we get one BIG tent (which would necessarily be heavier) or two smaller tents (which will be lighter, and give us some additional space, but require double set-up).

I have just started looking around online, and at first glance am favoring the idea of getting two tents.

The “main” tent, will be one of the bigger ones that is really solid, and in which we could actually stand, or where the 3 of us could sit comfortably inside if  we find ourselves stuck in the rain for a stretch. It should be well-made, really water-proof and with a profile that will not easily be blown over. However, this would not be something we could easily carry to “backpack” hike-in sites. and I doubt it would be really quick to put up and take down.

The “second” tent would be a smaller, lighter one, similar to the kind we have always used. This “second” tent is easy to put up and down (as we know from experience) and light enough to carry. The drawbacks with the small tent are: first,  it is a “tight fit” as we are three full size people now… (remember it is going to be really HOT out there); second, in heavy rain it is not likely to be so good (remember how we always had to “flee” to motels when there was a big storm… and think about the locations where we will really be in the middle of nowhere with no motels to flee to… and at 100+ degrees it is out of the question that we hole up in the jeep…); third, the zippers on those tents were pretty bad, if i recall, and we are going to be using it pretty regularly for 6 weeks… Of course, as this smaller tent would only serve as a “second” tent, maybe we don’t need to deploy it “every” night…

Of course, the problem with two tents is they take up more space in the jeep…

Here are some relevant links on tents:

posted by Blue Coyote in Planning and have Comments (3)

Maryland: Point Lookout landscapes…

Wet weather can really put the damper on a camping trip, but it can also make for some pretty beautiful landscape shots. And it gets even better when the weather clears up and bright sunlight transforms everything (including our moods!)…


posted by Blue Coyote in America the Beautiful and have No Comments

Maryland: The Birthday…

It was Silly Squirrel’s 12th birthday…


posted by Blue Coyote in America the Beautiful and have No Comments

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