LooseCrew-JeffO: Fattening Me Up For The Kill


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fattening Me Up For The Kill

My weight is going up through "taper". My body fat has jumped from 13% to 17%. Last year I cared and tried to get my weight as low as possible. This year, I really don't care. I'm trying to feed my body what it needs. The numbers can do whatever they want.

Friday, immediately after work, I loaded my son and gear into my CR-V and we headed to Mt. of the Holy Cross. We got there in the dark, and it was raining, so we bedded down in the back. All night long, dozens and dozens of cars came in. People spoke in respectful whispers. Some people drove in so quiet I slept right through. Then at 3:58am (I know it was 3:58 because one of the guys yelled out the time), a really noisy bunch of small-brain people drove in. They either didn't think, or didn't care that over a hundred people were camped-out within vocal range. They stood right next to each other but spoke so loud I'm certain the furthest people in the campground below us could hear ever syllable. One woman in particular kept talking so incessantly that I swear she didn't go a minute without yelling something. Maybe they were all stoned? They made noise for over an hour and a half.
But we slept pretty good before that.

Everything was very lush and green - quite a contrast to scorched Denver. It wasn't raining when we left the car. We managed not to need our rain gear until we reached our destination. I was carrying nearly everything. My son could see I was carrying more stuff, but he didn't know the half of it. His pack was bulged because of his lofted sleeping bag. My pack weighed more than twice as much. And he still thought he was gonna die! I was concentrating on being careful every step. I didn't need any stress on the knees or feet. In spite of the extra weight, the lack of airborne landings kept my feet from getting pounded. Short steps and straight feet and knees kept my knees from getting stressed.
The clouds were dancing amongst the peaks and ridges. When we first came over Half Moon Pass, I had to tell my son where Holy Cross was, because it was cloaked in a cloud. But soon it passed and you could see its jutting mass. Unfortunately, from the Pass, you can't see the namesake cross. It didn't matter - it was BEAUTIFUL!!

When looking for a campsite, I slipped on a wet log and landed badly. I now have a significant bruise along the left side of my left leg below the knee. Also, a jagged tree branch stub raked into my thigh above the knee. I expected a deep, wicked gash, but everything was so outrageously wet-wet-soakin' frickin' wet, that the jagged ends were a little too mushy to penetrate! So the bruise is the bad part. I can barely tell where the branch stub jabbed. So I was unlucky slipping, but man, it could have been way worse! It hurts today, and it will hurt during the LT100, but I won't know if it will be a factor until it is-or-isn't!

My brother, Joe, was there with his Lockheed-Martin gang. They left Friday morning, so they were camped at the base of HC Friday night, and three of them summited while my son and I were hiking in.
They tried to talk me into camping with them, but to be honest, I didn't think they were legal - not even close. So my son and I spent half an hour - because we had the time - to find a nice spot that was also legal, and 20 feet from us was a rock outcropping where we could get a very nice view.

My son and I like to sit around a campfire (no campfires though in HC wilderness), or in camp and make up stories. So we continued with the one we'd started the campout before where a guy gets sick in the mountains and comes back to town to find everyone dead. (Obviously inspired by "I Am Legend" and a story I read in college that I can't remember the title of.) Eventually he meets other survivors, each having survived a viral attack. A super-virus wiped-out humanity. The only people that survived were already fighting off a similar virus, so they already had their immune systems working at max, creating sufficiently similar antibodies to fend off the one that wiped-out the rest of the world. We made this story up as if it were an HBO mini-series. Each episode they would meet someone new, or a small group.

So that's how we spent our drizzly afternoon before heading to my brother's camp to cook and eat dinner. The rain abated long enough to have a comfortable dinner and stand around socializing a bit. We headed back to our own camp with full bellies.
I brought enough food for two people - as long as one wasn't a teenager! OOPS!! The dehydrated meals were big enough, but I'm afraid I had to tell my son to starve a couple of times before and after dinner.

We broke camp and headed back the next morning. So we really didn't do very much. It was my son's very first backpacking trip He used to freak out about altitude and get all psychosomatic, so there wasn't much use forcing him into the outdoors. But this year he's been more willing. So this was his first time venturing beyond car-camping. I wanted to keep it simple and easy. That wasn't easy in the incessant rain and drizzle, but he did great and had a very good time. We'll work on getting the pack a little heavier next time (he'll have to carry his own extra food!) LOL


At 8:43 AM, Anonymous David Johnson said...

I've been reading your posts and am really envious - you've splurged on some nice new gear! Tina and I were just talking this weekend about the fact that we live within a 15-minute drive of the Blue Ridge Mountains and, in fact, one of the access points to the Appalachian Trail, yet we've never been. And we've lived here since '02! Got to get back into the backpacking thing... glad you had a good time, the pictures are great!

At 10:50 PM, Blogger olga said...

Can you loan me your kid for fun like that? :) Hey, best to you this weekend!!! Remember - it's not about speed, it's about smart!

At 4:36 AM, Blogger Meghan said...

Ok JeffO, really cool that you're getting your son out into the wilds. He looks happy in the photos!



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