Friday, July 23, 2010

Can You Candwich????

Some company based out of Utah came up with a brilliant(???) idea of canning a whole sandwich. Mark One Foods claims that it's the perfect idea for people on the go, it has a "long shelf-life" (without being specific as to how long that is), and it doesn't require refrigeration.  Personally, looking at the pictures of the PB&J and the BBQ chicken make me want to gag. When I see a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that looks like something my niece or nephew made, I tend to be less inclined to eat it. Even if the sandwich has a protective can surrounding it, I have my doubts that the sandwich will look anywhere near as neat and orderly as the picture on the can when I actually open it, but I have to admit that it is a good idea. Seems like an easy way to bring a meal while backpacking, although a can isn't as packable as a freeze-dried pouch. The company will be coming out with a Pepperoni Pizza Pocket and possibly a French Toast - that is, if the company lasts that long. 

Isn't the beauty of a PB&J on the trail that it already lasts a long time, doesn't need refrigeration, and is the perfect travel snack? Not sure why I would need to can it when I can just put it in the top of my pack. 

Speaking of mid-hike snacks from a can, I saw THIS photo yesterday and asked myself why this guy is using his minimalist stove, yet he is cooking a heavy can of stew, and also decided to bring along his frying pans... "just in case" he decided to whip up some eggs on the trail or something? Maybe he just wanted to show his buddies how well-prepared he can be...or what cool gear he has...

What are your thoughts? Would you use the Candwich on road trips? On day hikes or long backpacking trips? Ever?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Update: The Pedouins Journey from Kentucky to Alaska

Remember the second post I wrote since starting this blog? In case you don't, I'll recap for you:
"A dad decides that it would be a great adventure to put his four kids on a five-person bicycle and go on a 7,000 mile ride from Kentucky to Alaska. Sounds like an awe-inspiring thing for a dad to do with teenagers, probably not a 7, a 5, and a 3 year old..." that all said with all with a touch of sarcasm I must add...

Well, I am eating my own words and doubts at this point. The family is now in Anchorage, Alaska and will undoubtedly make it to Fairbanks. Along the way they have had 22 flats, 8 falls with the bicycle (surprised this isn't more), but have only seen two bears - I'm thinking that all those bears in Alaska will look at a bicycle built for four as something they frequently dream of while hibernating. They have been traveling for close to a year now, and the nights they didn't spend in their tent have been split between motels and staying with people they have met along the way.

You can still track their journey here, and can read about their reasons for their trip here. If you would like details about each leg of their journey than you can read about it here.

I thought about checking up on the Pedouins after I read about the lady who is paddling from Seattle to San Diego. Pretty cool story, but I'm not a huge fan of those who do big and extraordinary things to make people aware of the fact that we have an ocean that needs to be taken care of - kind of pushes them in the category of "those people" as I wrote about in the last post.

*After I published the first post about this family, I realized that I made a couple of mistakes with what I said. The dad is with his wife and three girls - not just the dad with his kids.

Monday, July 12, 2010

"These People"

I'm sure some of you have already seen this video making its way around the net, but in case you haven't here it is... 

The first time I watched this was at work without the audio, and I didn't really get it. Watching it with sound for the first time had me in tears after the first ten seconds - not because "IT"S A DOUBLE RAAAAIIIINNNNNBOW" but because this dude is just ridiculous. I can understand loving the outdoors, but crying and speaking like some guy who is high as a kite??? Its because of THIS guy that my wife probably refuses to talk about sunsets and stars. She tells me that she thinks such things are beautiful, but doesn't want to talk like a hippie....Hmmm......

On YosemiteBlog the author quotes directly from this shameless guy also known as YosemiteBear. He says "You could feel the rays, like from the sun or from a heat lamp, only it was rainbow rays. It knocked me down. And that’s why I had that reaction! The camera only captures 40% of the color. You can’t imagine how intense it was...It looked like God’s eye looking at me. That’s why I had that reaction, why I said ‘What does this mean?’” Well, call me stupid, but I think it means that the sun is hitting the particles of moisture just right, but I'm no expert. Isn't "rainbow rays" like the ultimate oxymoron? 'I'm going to kill you with my rainbow-rays!'

After following where the quote originally came from, I was directed to THIS site and got much more than I bargained for. If you want more background on the man, than just check out the site. In case you were wondering what he looks like, I've included a pic for you (by the way, the article states that he wasn't high...right...)

I titled this post "these people" because although I'm sure this is a really good guy, this is exactly the kind of outdoorsy kind of person my wife must be afraid I will turn my kids into - "'s a doooouuubbble raaaaaiiiiinnnnbooooowwwwwww!!!!!" :) Personally, I think moderation is the way to go with everything - even with a love for the outdoors.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Yosemite - Nature's Disneyland

Ten years ago I visited Yosemite National Park for the first time. Although I was with my family and not equipped to do any hiking (or anything other than the typical tourist) I got my first real sense of what our National Parks have to offer. I distinctly remember looking up from the base of El Capitan and wanting to start rock climbing so that, one day, I could climb the 3,000 foot face. I went home and convinced my good friend that we needed to start rock climbing so that we could conquer El Cap a few years later. My friend got so invested in the sport that he eventually opened his own on-line trad climbing store, but I have yet to conquer anything beyond a 100 foot crack which was only rated as a 5.9 - one day though...hopefully...

I was finally able to go back to Yosemite a couple of weeks ago, and was once again inspired to start rock climbing. As I was with my six-month pregnant wife, I failed to do any hiking or anything other than the typical tourist - again. I was, however, able to further solidify my plans to hike the PCT from Tuolumne Meadows to Kennedy Meadows within the next five years. As I will be busy with grad school for the next three, that will give me two years after I'm done with school to complete the week and a half trip. Just typing about it makes me giddy like a little school-girl!

During my first trip I also got my first taste of "real" photography while viewing the Ansel Adams gallery. Although photography was one of those things I dreamt about but never did, I still find a lot of enjoyment in taking photographs. I have discovered that living on a tight budget requires me to choose one or two sports to invest in, and photography didn't make the top of the list. The photos you see are taken with my Sony Cybershot, but one day I hope to own a "real" camera (although the Sony seems to still do a good job).

So, why did I refer to Yosemite as being Nature's Disneyland? 800 miles of trails from simple day-hikes to multi-day hikes, 95% of designated "wilderness", thousands of established rock climbing routes, lakes & rivers for fishing, and unlimited options for photography - the possibilities are endless. It's no wonder that Yosemite had 2.7 million visitors in 2009 and was listed as the third most visited National Park according to the LA Times, trailing behind the Great Smoky Mountains and the Grand Canyon.

Go see Yosemite!!!!