jeudi, septembre 15, 2005

second denver installment

I'm generally pretty good at packing things in bags, ziplocks, etc. so the mesh pocket in the Gregory pack was hardly a downside. On this trip weather protection was indeed desireable! incidentally, on my continuing pro-Gregory Iris pack rant... it is amde of an extremely lightweight silicone impregated fabrc . Iw as amazed at how strong the material was and how waterproof it was without compromising weight. G70 material is much to be admired.

The trip created a nifty neat discovery or two about wool. Discovery one, wash wool in a soap containing lanolin so it won't be scratchy. To restore already scratchy wool requires several treatments with lanolin. Dove liquid soap works nicely for that. Discovery number two, wool t-shirts don't smell when you wear them on long hiking trips. Something about the natural fiber causes this interesting effect. While one can wash one's clothes, one finds that one doesn't stink the way a capilene shirt would. I wonder why. One downside is that they don't dry as fast as capilene might.. or as fast as I recall capilene drying. The other downside is the shirts come in really odd colors and patterns.

I learned that one can tie hiking boots with a pulley system (pulley trick which moves the lock in between hooks: laces in two eyehooks on the same side, then loop the one in your left hand under the string that is between the two eyehooks of the right side and vice versa, so you have an x created in between where there would have been two originally) and with a sectioning habit (segment: simply tying a knot after lacing left and right, to keep that tightness localized over a certain part fo the foot), which causes each part of the boot to set in a separate manner so you can tighten certain parts , lock the foot into the boot a certain way, etc. Of course this isn't ideal for those who are going climbing on rocks as a fall or twisted ankle will want you to have easy pull laces to remove the boot from the foot quickly for treatment, but for those of us who own boots that are maladjusted to our weirdly-shaped feet... this is a great set of techniques to learn for less painful day hikes and camping. Between such techniques and the superfeet insoles which are now becoming every podiatrist's most recommended insole, one may nnever need to figure out how to use that moleskin pad... ;) would that I had never had to learn that lesson 6 years ago in Acadia National Park with my sister and those dratted Saloman boots! In retrospect it makes perfect sense that one can use pulley and segmenting tricks to fit a boot to one's foot's contours properly but heavens to Betsy! I never thought of it myself!

Romanian Kosher Meat Co. salamis were a must for this trip. Not only are they representative of Chicago and Chicago's best Jewish contribution to the kosher market, but they're perfect for travel. Of ocurse,.. not if you mind the smell of salami in your suitcase, though once again the ziplock bag habit came in handy and kept my things meat smell free.

Gratuitous plug for Zelda's Sweet Shoppe --which provided the scrumptious biscotti --pistachio and dried cherry-- for our trip. YUM! They were excellent hosting gifts and really tasty snacks for hiking, too. I highly recommend biscotti for hiking trips.

Okay, so our first adventure of this whole thing was the ah.. well,... so there's this weird thing orthodox Jews do... with their cookware and pots. It's a ritual immersion in water called toveling... but you see it has to be a certain kind of water. Naturally accumulated water. Check Leviticus if you don't believe me. Anyway, they call these containers thhat hold such water mikvahs...

I realized in the week before thhe trip that I needed to tovel the camping cookset. The earliest date I could do so was a Wednesday a week before we were to leave. We had quite a harried schedule up until then, so this was a must do it then or no other time kind of opportunity. Mir and I went to the WRP kelim mikvah (which is where Jews do this ritual immersion thing generally) only to find that it was closed for cleaning the water. In hindsight, this was probably a good sign as to how the rest of the trip would go, but silly me, I didn't think of that of course. I'm just a cat.

So we went to the ERP beach to immerse pot, pan, handle, and two metal plates in the Lake. I'm sure it was a sight to see.(Part of this immerrsion thing is that one lets go of the item one is submerging so it is surrounded entirely by the free flowing water. This can be a bit tricky in a lake with a lot of wind and sloshing rough waves. I wasn't there to LOSE the cookset. ;)