Friday, May 18, 2012

Oh Those Bones, Oh Those Skeleton Bones

I've been thinking about that with every step I take for the last three weeks in an effort to retrain myself to walk properly.  Some kinda mantra, eh?

My physical therapist had determined that some trauma to my foot had caused the joint between my ankle and heel, the sub-talus, to seize up.  That joint allows the heal to slip around, provides shock absorption with each heel-strike, and allows the foot to flatten mid-stride, so that we launch off our big toes at the end of the stride.

At the same time our foot flattens, our tibia rotates inward so that the knee is pretty much right over our big toes at that point.  The femur and the hips roll in at the same time.

A whole lotta shakin' goin' on!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Getting to Katahdin

Anticipating being cocked, locked, and ready to walk in time for an early southbound Appalachian Trail start, I started looking into how one gets to Katahdin. Here's my notes:

Monday, May 14, 2012

When To Start a Sobo Appalachian Trail Thru Hike

Oil on Canvas painting of Katahdin by Frederic Edwin Church

I started a northbound (nobo) hike in Georgia on the spring equinox, and hiked 114 miles before leaving the trail with an injury. I'm in physical therapy, healing fast, getting stronger every day, and have been considering my options to finish my thru-hike. At this point, it's reasonable to assume I can be ready to go some time in June - Maybe, possibly early June ...

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's web site has all kinds of strategies listed beyond the traditional northbound thru hike. Flip-flops, southbound (sobo), leapfrogs, head starts ... All with their own pros and cons, and optimum starting times. A June start means I could flip-flop by starting at Harper's Ferry, WV, hiking to the northern terminus in Maine, hopping a train back to Harper's Ferry, then hiking south to Georgia. Or I could go for a more traditional southbound (sobo) hike.

The latter has a lot more appeal to me.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

MYOG - A Smaller, Lighter Cook System

My MSR Titan Tea Kettle has an 850 ml. capacity, and I never used more than a half that during my, uh, shakedown hike this spring. So I boiled water in my old 600 ml Snow Peak cup over my backpacking stove to see if the flame pattern was ok. It was.  I have one of Tinny's aluminum lids for the cup, and together it weighs about an ounce less than the MSR. Takes up less room in my pack too.  Now I needed a cozy/pouch.

I had built one for my MSR Titan Tea Kettle. It's a simple, insulated pouch with a drawstring top, that serves as both a cozy and as a bag to carry the pot with stove, lighter and misc cooking stuff inside.  It's made of a light ripstop cotton duck, and insulated on the side and bottom with Insul-Bright, a hollow polyester fiber with a metallized film backing. 

It's over-built, and I figured I could get away with a lighter material. I still wanted cotton, cause I didn't want it to melt from a hot pan.  I broke out some scraps from a Ski Patrol project, the leftover Insul-Bright, and Mary's sewing machine.