Archive for April, 2016

Saturday, April 30 Opening Rock Walk : CRAZY COOK MONUMENT

Saturday, April 30th, 2016
  • april-30-6SUMMARY:  Today was the beginning of the real CDT adventure!  We piled into a very tough vehicle for the 3 1/2 hour ride to the official start of the trail at Crazy Cook monument.  Wheeeeeew, that was one rough ride!  We were being jostled and tossed about, though the driver did his best to go slowly over the really bad spots in the road.  We finally made it, took pictures, and we were off!  The morning and early afternoon were easy–just follow clear signs and posts.  Wow, the scenery was great, too–classic desert mountains.  But the rest of the afternoon was endless rocky gullywalking.  We finally made it to the first water cache and cowboy camped near the “trail” which is now simply little brown plastic posts placed on ridges, so we can stand at one post, spot the next and walk over to it, dodging the cactus and climbing in and out of gullies.  No more trail!   Oh well.  It’s a beautiful night, and we are cowboy camped, looking up at the stars!
  • The EconoLodge has a 6 am breakfast for the CDT hikers and we took full advantage of it!  Masshole and Stummy were there–also Czech Mix (he’s from Czechoslovakia) and another guy whose name I never discovered.  Also keeping an eye on us all was Radar–he’s sort of the “shepherd” of us hikers as we get started. He made sure we all got our stuff into the van and had our paperwork in order, and then he  was worried because our driver was late.  He was just about to drive us all himself when the driver finally did arrive.
  • At 6:45 we were off, just as the sun was starting to come up.  A song from church began to run through my head: ” The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning; it’s time to sing Your song again.  Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me, let me be singing when the evening comes, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, oh my soul–worship His holy name”.  Amen.  That is my prayer for today!  And the early morning light was so beautiful.  What a great time to start our CDT adventure!It was a 3 1/2 hour ride to the Crazy Cook monument. At first it was nice highway, but at the end came 25 miles of seriously ROUGH road.   We were being jostled and tossed about, though the driver did his best.  We stopped at the first water cache for a break, and boy, did we need it!   Once we got to the monument, everybody cheered and piled out to look around and take lots of pictures…and dump out a lot of the extra water we’d put into our packs.  (The CDTA asks hikers to bring lots of water for the ride to Crazy Cook, in case of a vehicle breakdown.)

Czech Mix was the first to leave–I doubt we will see him again; he’s a strong, tall, fast young guy.  We were next.  Stummy and Masshole were still busy taking lots of pictures, and the last guy had a HUGE pack and seemed very unready for the trail.  Hope he will be OK.

The morning and early afternoon were easy—we could follow clear signs and posts, plus there were plenty of hiker tracks.  The scenery was great!  Classic desert, and the ocotillos were in full bloom, with a vivid red “flame” on every branch tip.  The route (still not a trail, really) climbed up into the Hatchet mountains, and we were able to follow it without a problem.  We leapfrogged a lot with Stummy and Masshole, who had finally caught up with us.

But later in the afternoon we found ourselves doing endless rocky gullywalking. Wow, were we glad for our TOUGH La Sportiva shoes.  No way could we have made it without them.  By 5:30 pm, we finally made the first water cache and ate dinner there, feeling a bit frustrated because we’d only covered 14 miles.  We were also frustrated because we didn’t know where the trail had gone.  The water cache is NEAR the trail, but not on it.  Just then, along came Stummy & Masshole again–they filled us in on how to locate the trail and said it was really hard to spot.  No kidding.  We did finally find it, only to discover that it had changed–now there were no CDT signs, just thin, flat brown posts on the ridges.  We tried to follow it–no luck.  Fixit tried to use the Guthook GPS app–no luck there either.  In disgust he said, “Forget this, let’s roadwalk.”

So we went back to the water cache by the road and discovered Stummy/Masshole were camped there.  Stummy showed us how to use Guthook, and when we saw that the trail was uphill above the cache, we said, “Let’s just bushwhack up.”  So we did, until at about 7:00 we reached what Guthook said was the trail route.  The wind was blowing and the ground was so rocky that we couldn’t set up our tent, so we found a sort of flat place in a little hollow  and cowboy camped. The wind finally died down, and our campsite has a beautiful view.  Wow, it feels good to finally lie down and rest!

We found out later that the guy with the huge pack who’d seemed so unready had a terrible “first day on the CDT.”  He got completely lost and wandered off into Mexico (without knowing it), then sprained his ankle so badly that he couldn’t walk and had to hit the “help, come rescue me” button on his “SPOT” device.  Bummer.



Friday, April 29 Setting Out

Friday, April 29th, 2016

april-29-3SUMMARY:  It was a cloudy but warm morning at 6:30 am–we were walking to the Greyhound station with jets rumbling overhead, when for just a minute, a bit of rainbow appeared ahead of us–the Bible signal for “God keeps His promises.”  We cheered and hurried on.  The Greyhound ride to Lordsburg was like riding through the sea, where the “water” was sagebrush and the mountains were” islands.”  Now we’re at the EconoLodge, and we’ve already met 2 hikers who will be with us on the shuttle tomorrow!

DETAILS: Fixit’s watch alarm worked this morning, though it wasn’t really needed–we were already awake.  We stepped out into a cloudy but warm day at 6:30 am, and we were walking to the Greyhound station with jets rumbling overhead, when for just a minute, a bit of rainbow appeared ahead of us—the Bible signal for “God keeps His promises.” We cheered and hurried on.

At the Greyhound station, we discovered that 1) Greyhound considers our trek poles to be potential “dangerous weapons” and 2) We cannot bring our packs aboard–they have to go underneath with the other luggage.  We were not prepared for this!  But Fixit lived up to his name–he battled with my ancient, stiff trek poles till he got them apart and I could tuck them into my pack.  Then we had a very good breakfast at the “Cactus Café” in the Greyhound station, and were intrigued to watch some people paying for breakfast with bags full of nickels, dimes & pennies.

The Greyhound ride to Lordsburg was like riding through the sea, where the “water” was sagebrush and the mountains like islands.  There was a progressive change in the other plants as the miles rolled by–different kinds of cacti, even some wildflowers, and interesting grasses.  The mountains mostly look like they were originally lava pushing up through waterlaid sediment, and each mountain has clouds gathered over it, just like real islands in a real sea.

april-29-1  We arrived in Lordsburg in time for lunch at McDonald’s and walked to the Econo Lodge in windy and cool weather. We got some stuff to eat on the trail at the  at the gas station next door to the Lodge,  but at the same time we were mourning the fact that the Kranberry’s restaurant across the street was closed.  Kranberry’s has been feeding CDT hikers for a long time, but turns out they had a fire and will not reopen for some time.  Bummer.

Fixit spent quite some time this afternoon trying to figure out Guthook’s CDT app. He also put my trek poles back together—it was a wrestling match, but he did it! No device breakdown can stop Fixit. And we got to meet Masshole and Stummy, a young couple who will be on the shuttle to Crazy Cook tomorrow with us.  They are really excited about starting the CDT, and so are we!

At dinnertime, we wandered up and down Lordsburg looking for someplace to eat, but almost everything was closed and boarded up.  There was a place on the other side of the railroad tracks, but a freight train was sitting there blocking the way–it finally moved on and we scrambled across to the El Charro restaurant for a good meal.  Walking back to the EconoLodge, we could hear the sound of a youth baseball game.  If we weren’t having to start hiking tomorrow, I would have gone to watch.


Thursday, April 28 The Day is Here!

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

april-28-1SUMMARY:  The clocks all failed us this morning–Fixit’s watch alarm didn’t go off and the motel clock was wrong, but the end result was good–no L.A. freeway gridlock!

And it didn’t take long before we were into the deserts–all kinds of deserts–we crossed the PCT at San Gorgonio Pass, looking up at snow on Mt. San Jacinto.  We did make it on time to Phoenix, dropped off the rental car and did our first “hike”, complete with packs–30 minutes to a motel by the airport!

DETAILS: We made it all the way to Los Banos by 10:30pm on Wednesday night.  We had planned to get up at 4 am, but the clocks all failed us this morning—Fixit’s watch alarm didn’t go off and the motel clock was wrong, and we didn’t realize it till 5:30–yikes!  We rushed to get up, and stepped out into a very chilly, windy morning under pearly cloud skies. We  But the end result was good—no Los Angeles freeway gridlock!

As soon as it was light enough, I started sewing more padding onto Fixit’s pack shoulder straps.  We grabbed some breakfast at a gas station and kept going.  It was fun to pass by good ol’ PCT landmarks–Angeles Crest Highway, Big Bear, etc., and when we crossed the PCT at San Gorgonio Pass we were looking up at snow on Mt. San Jacinto and the Fuller Ridge!  Have fun, PCT hikers!

Then we were into the deserts–all kinds.  Sandy ones, rocky ones, with all kinds of different desert plants (the saguaro are amazing, and the broom was in bloom). We admired the very gnarly “horned” looking mountains that were sometimes in ridges and sometimes in rocky islands.  There were big puffy white ships of clouds sailing by with black shadows below.  Fixit commented that when he was in Alaska, the Eskimos would complain if they had to go someplace with a lot of trees.  “You can’t see the sky here,” they would say.  Well, the desert lands we saw today were definitely lands with SKY!

april-28-2 In Phoenix, we found our motel, left our packs in the room, and drove first to locate Greyhound, then to rental car return—long lines of cars. Walked back—15 minutes to Greyhound, where we discovered their schedule changed two months ago, so the time on our tickets was wrong. Good thing we stopped at the station! Our bus leaves an hour earlier than what the ticket says.

Another 15 minute walk, and we were back at the motel.  Planes were constantly taking off right overhead, and we could hear freight trains going by, which suited me fine–I love trains.  On the PCT, there were several places where the trail and trains crossed paths.  I hope the CDT will do the same!

But Fixit is tired from all that driving, and he wanted to hit the hay.  Usually I would help drive, but I was busy working on his pack for much of the day.  Tomorrow the adventure continues!


Like I said, we are dinosaurs….

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

april-27-1It’s a cold, cloudy morning with rain in the forecast, and we are finishing up all the last details for heading out tonight for the first stage of a summer on the CDT.  Most of today will not be CDT stuff, though–it will be getting ready for our Awana Club Awards Night.  There are decorations to put up, lots of ribbons and trophies to set out, and programs to copy and fold.  It’s fun to see the kids’ faces when they come in and see the big display, and to enjoy the applause as they come up to get their awards!

This will be my last chance to do a post on our computer, though.  Like I said, we are dinosaurs, and that’s not just technology-wise, that’s age-wise, too.   On the trail, we need all the rest we can get, and posting to a blog does not involve resting, at least not for us.

So from today on, I will be scribbling in a journal every night, and writing a couple of neat, clear summary sentences for the day.  At each resupply, I send my journal to our daughter who can then transcribe the summary sentences to this blog.

So from this point on, you will be getting a Readers’ Digest version of our hike–when we return in September, I will fill in all the details!

So it begins…..

Exotic animals??

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

april-26-1Most people the age of Fixit and I are limping around with knee replacements, hip replacements, multiple prescriptions for blood pressure, cholesterol, etc, and they look at Fixit and I as if we were weird exotic animals in the zoo.   They see us putting on 20 lb. packs and heading out for a day of hiking in rain or mud or heat or fog or whatever and they shake their heads and say, “You’re just lucky,”  or “I wish I had knees like you–you got the good genes” and other similar remarks.

At moments like that, I am tempted to growl like some exotic animal and say, “NO, IT’S NOT LUCK!  It’s hard work and living healthy!”   We made a decision many years back to NOT let ourselves get all run down and decrepit.  It started when we decided to hike the PCT in 2005, and discovered that it’s possible to stay strong and do well even if you are “old.”  And to give credit where credit is due, we have also appreciated the insights we gain from “alternative medicine” newsletters–the best one is “Health Alert” from Dr. Bruce West.  We take no prescriptions, and we  literally have not had a cold or flu or any of that in years, thanks to his ideas plus others we’ve gleaned here and there.

Before we did the PCT in 2005, we did have a few knee problems and feet problems and hip problems.  But all of those have gone away as we maintain a lifestyle of hiking a lot!  We sort of joke about it–“Are you hurting?  Walk it off!”  Once in a rare while (and it’s been years since I’ve had to do this) we will take some “Vitamin I” (ibuprofen) if something hurts so much that we can’t sleep.

april-26-3It’s been discovered that basically, we humans are engineered to WALK.  It’s our most efficient and comfortable activity.  Running trashes your knees, and sitting trashes a lot of other stuff, but walking makes your whole body happy. So what could be better than a really long walk–like the CDT??  A walk where you can throw away the car keys and just walk as far as you want and see new things every day and meet new people and have new adventures–there’s nothing better!

So when people look at us as if we were exotic animals and talk about how “lucky” we are to not be suffering from the usual “old people stuff”, we don’t growl–we just smile sweetly and say, “It’s not luck–it’s hard work and determination.  And it’s fun!”

The fun begins tomorrow night, when we leave home behind and start making our “run for the border”!



Monday, April 25th, 2016

I spent my whole afternoon yesterday setting up for, helping to run, then putting away, a leadership class for teens and preteens connected with the Awana Club we run for kids.   It was work, oh yes–but MEGA worth it!

Years ago, two of our own kids were in 4-H, which is a great organization, and one of the basic principles in 4-H was that kids not just learn how to DO projects (raise animals, sew, cook, build machines, whatever) but that they also learn how to TEACH what they learned and how to be LEADERS in the various project categories.  When we started the Awana Club, I took that idea and ran with it.  So as a result, many of the leaders in our club, who help run club and teach younger kids, are preteens and teens, just as in 4-H.

With the PCT and CDT and AT, there is no way these trails and all the work connected with them could ever “just happen.”  It took leadership.  It took somebody or somebodies willing to bear the burden of planning, of organizing, of hearing all the complaints and grumps and grouses, of being criticized and critiqued, and all the other “wonderful” benefits of being in leadership.  It took time.  Lots of time.   It took vision that could survive all sorts of stress and distractions.  It took caring–caring about the trail and about the trail community.  And a lot more.

So thank you to all those in leadership on the CDT!   I have never met you, but I know you are there–I hear Teresa’s name mentioned often, for example–and I am grateful that I can set down my own “leader hat” for this summer and just put on a pack and hike the trail that YOU have made possible.  Thank you so much!


Age & guile??

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

We have a saying at our house that goes like this:  “Age & guile beats youth & strength, but little & cute beats everything!”  Well, we passed the little & cute stage a looooong time ago, and youth & strength is in the misty past, too.  So we’re left with age & guile.  Yes, to do a 3,000 mile thru hike when you are 60, 70 or 80 years old does require a certain amount of guile (the GOOD kind!).

So what’s our “guile”?   It’s taken us two thruhikes of the PCT to figure it out, but basically it’s these things:


  1. Get enough rest.   We take a break midmorning and midafternoon, where we lie down and totally relax for about 15 minutes.  We take an hour off for cooking lunch and lying down for awhile.  We stop at around 5:00 for a cold supper before hiking on till 7:00 to make camp.  And when we are in town for a resupply, we try to spend as much time just lying around resting as we possibly can.   We met Bristlecone, who was hiking the PCT at age 80, and he said his policy was “A full zero at every resupply.”  Welllll, we tend to do neros, not zeros, but Bristlecone is on the same page with us.
  2. Train, train, train.  If we don’t thoroughly train, we get blisters, we are sore and our knees hurt.  Train means carrying weight (we are carrying 20 pounds right now) and doing around 30 plus miles a week.
  3. Trek poles!   There is no way we could hike without them!
  4. Shoes that protect our feet from rocks.  As you get older, you lose the fat padding on the bottoms of your feet.  It’s so not fair, but that’s how it is.  (Too bad there isn’t some way to transfer fat from OTHER places down to our feet)  We have found that we MUST wear shoes that have tough, protective soles and foot protection.  For us this year, that’s La Sportiva Ultra Raptors. They are reasonably light, but do the job on rough trail.  We used to wear Vasque Velocity but sigh, can’t get them anymore.

So that’s our “basic guile.”   This time, I am finding also that being older means I don’t sleep as well, so I am also bringing melatonin.  Never used to need it, but now I do.

Countdown progresses: 4 days left to go!

Last training hike–wet grass, ticks, FUN!!!!

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

IMG_0472Well, the countdown is seriously happening–we did our last “big” training hike yesterday, out at Point Reyes National Seashore, on one of our favorite 20-plus mile loop hikes.  The route we took has everything we want–big hills, awesome mountain and ocean views, and enough uncomfortableness to make it a reasonable replica of what we figure will be the real deal on the CDT.

We parked our car at the Bear Valley trailhead and headed out across the meadow on the Rift Zone trail.  It didn’t take long before we were knee and thigh deep in VERY wet grass hanging over the trail.  (Trail?  What trail?  We couldn’t even see it in all the long grass!)  Our nylon hiking pants were totally soaked, but no problem–we knew they would dry fast.  Then into the cow pastures (short grass, well chewed down) and waved at the cows as we went by.  We’d anticipated a lot of mud there, but it wasn’t as bad as usual.  Along the fire road then–easy going through the beauty of a Point Reyes forest full of magnificent trees, ferns and wildflowers.

IMG_0476The Horse Camp was empty–no horse people there yet–we joined up with the Olema Valley trail, and finally  began climbing the first big hill, up and up till we reached the Bolema Trail at the top of the first ridge.  From there we switched to the Lake Ranch Trail, which passes a lot of interesting territory (including some bogs and swamps) high up on the mountain, before switchbacking down through a lot more long wet grass with the added challenge of large stinging nettles and poison oak.  Sometimes I felt like I was running a gauntlet, trying to avoid the nettles and the oak.   Usually along here we get our first wonderful views of the ocean, but no luck there–it was gray and obscure, since we were actually IN a cloud.  The forest around us looked mysterious, misty and wonderful.

IMG_0475Four hours later, we had come down to the Coast Trail, and one of our favorite lunch spots under a huge old Douglas Fir tree that overlooks a large lily pond.  When I sit there leaning on the massive old trunk, with long branches drooping almost to the ground around us, I feel like a chick under its mother’s wings.  And another bonus–underneath a Douglas Fir, the ground is dry, even if it’s rainy.  And it was rainy–misty rain that didn’t even make raindrop ripples on the pond.

IMG_0467After lunch, we followed the Coast Trail past large, dark, beautiful Bass Lake to the Ocean Lake Loop trail and headed along there for ocean views and more lakes.  Finally we reached  Wildcat Camp and another big hill climb with views (and often wildlife sightings).  The trail wanders through dark forests and sunny meadows, on rough trail and smooth, before reaching its final descent to the clifftops right above the ocean.  (Yesterday, somewhere along there, both Fixit and I picked up some ticks, which we had to deal with later. ) The hike along the clifftops is wonderful–wildlflowers!  Waves breaking on rocks!  Fishing boats offshore!  Finally we made the turn for home onto the Bear Valley Trail and followed creeks up the wooded, ferny valley to the ridgetop, then down the other side.

IMG_0465It made for 8 hours of awesome hiking, with only a lunch break.  We didn’t follow our PCT/CDT routine of stopping every 2- 2 1/2 hours for a snack–just kept walking.  So when we got back to the car, we were pretty tired!   We also discovered that we’d picked up some ticks–they were crawling on my pants (but my gaiters kept me out of trouble).  Once we got home, we did a thorough “tick check” before taking showers and I found two ticks crawling on Fixit and one teeny tiny one crawling on me.  But crawling was all they were able to do–we got rid of them, pronto!  Oh well, my motto this time of year is, “When the grass is green, the ticks are seen”.   As long as they don’t “bite in”, we’re fine!

Our CDT boxes have left our house and gone to live at a friend’s house–he will be mailing them for us!  Now we are down to all the “little stuff”–I still have more modifications I want to do on my pack, and we need to make sure our garden irrigation system is working OK.  And we are getting ready for our final big Awana event–Awards Night!

Yum, yum!

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

People sometimes ask us “What do you enjoy about doing thruhikes?”   I could say (and very truthfully) that I love being able to just hike and hike without feeling like I’m on a leash where eventually I have to turn around and head back to the car.  I could say that being able to see the awesomeness of the mountains and the trees and rivers and not having to deal with crowds of people is a big plus.  I could say that being in a situation where I actually have to depend on God and not just rely on civilization is a great experience, which it is.  On that subject, I’m with Joe Anderson at Casa de Luna on the PCT.  We were sitting around at his place in 2010 and he was telling us the story of how he started hosting hikers and being a trail angel.  Joe said, “Listen up!   I get to hear hundreds of hiker stories from all you guys and you all talk about trail magic.  I got news for you, reality check.  It’s not magic.  There really is Somebody up There, looking after you.  The stuff I hear that’s happened for hikers, there is NO WAY that could all “just happen.”  So give credit where credit is due.”   Fixit and I listened and almost started yelling, “Amen!”  It is so true.

But one of the other reasons why I really enjoy thruhiking, including right now when we are just preparing, is that we get to EAT!   Eat all we want!  Normally we are careful because we don’t want to be overweight.  But when we get into serious training mode for a thruhike, we get to eat all we want!   Bring on the calories!  In 2005 we were on the PCT and reached Sierra City.  It was chilly and cloudy that day, and we were glad to head into one of the restaurants to have dinner and sit by the fire.  We had just finished up our food when the owner of the restaurant came by.  She said, “I love PCT thruhikers!  You always clean your plates!”   We looked down and she was right–not a speck of food left!

So I am having fun eating spoonfuls of Nutella, lots of gravy and potatoes and cheese and cookies and, etc.  Yum, yum!


Piles of boxes…and what about those piles of snow?

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

We’ve now filled 23 resupply boxes with stuff for the trail.  It’s been interesting to watch the “cycle” through our house.  First came the lists (that was me), then the shopping (me) and ordering stuff online (me and also Fixit).

Once the stuff started arriving, our living room became the receiving dock.  Soon there were bags and boxes of trail stuff, roughly categorized into things like “freezedried dinners”,  “dried veges”, “granola”, “nuts”, etc.  Our living room is small, so it got to the point where we could hardly walk around.

Once we had everything, came step 2:  Measure and count.  (That was my job).  I spent countless hours measuring and counting so that our supplies ended up as individual daily “baggies” of everything.  When we first started backpacking, I didn’t bother with this step–just threw all the granola into one bag, all the dried veges into another, all the powdered milk into another, etc.   Problem:  out on the trail, I never could get it right and at the end of the trip we either had stuff left over or were running on short rations.  So when we did the PCT in 2005, I bit the bullet and disciplined myself to measure and count everything for each separate day.  Wow, on the trail it was great!  No measuring, no counting, no worries.

Once all was measured and counted, came step 3:  collate.   This was also my job.  I assembled a “dinner bag” for each day, containing a freezedried meal (I repackage so it’s lighter and less bulky), extra carbs (rice/noodles/potato), dried veges, and some cookies.  “Breakfast bags” contain vacuum-sealed granola (Fixit did the sealing), freeze dried fruit, nuts and powdered milk.  “Lunch bags” have crackers, peanut butter or freeze-dried refried beans & cheese, and dried fruit.   Then because we are old, there were the “vitamin bags” with our daily vitamin rations.  And the “drink bags” with Emergen-C, Crystallite, and electrolytes.  Oh, and every one of those bags was labeled as to which resupply box it belonged in.  And there were various other small things, too.

Meanwhile, out in our garage, Fixit was laying out boxes, making his best guess as to which size for which destination.  We use ordinary brown cardboard boxes, and scrounge them from all over the place, including out in back of a nearby large office building.  Once I was done collating, he and I started making lots of trips out to the garage and dropping things into their destination boxes.   Finally our living room was cleared out!   We could walk through it without feeling like it was an agility obstacle course!

At that point, Fixit took over.  He likes the challenge of seeing how small of a box he can make stuff fit into, and he is really good at it.  Once all the supplies are into a box, on the top he lays the maps, town guides and journal pages.  Then with the prayer, “Oh Lord, hope we have everything here!”  he seals the box and tapes on labels (address, “CDT Hiker, ETA______”) and  “ORM-d” because there are Esbits inside and another note on some of the boxes that says “Liquid not over 4 oz, double sealed” (those boxes have tiny bottles of Purell or shampoo in them).  Last of all, every side of the box gets a green stripe that says “CHIPMAN” (our last name).

Once a box is sealed up and finished, it goes back to our living room, stacked in towers based on what mailing date the box should go out.   We mail everything USPS ground, except for 3 boxes that HAVE to go UPS.

The one box we have not sealed up yet is the one for Chama–we are still hesitating about whether to send snowshoes.  We go snow backpacking every year and know how awesome snowshoes are, but they are heavy and they are a hassle to mail.  Reports of this new storm in Colorado have us a bit concerned. Will there be piles of snow, or will it be pretty much melting down by the time we get there?  We are going to wait till the last minute to decide, and are watching reports on Colorado snow in the meantime.

Yesterday we enjoyed looking at pics of the  “CDTKO” in Silver City.  Looked chilly.  Looked like awesome fun!  Both times we did the PCT, we went to the PCTADZKO and it was a blast.  We were sorry to miss Silver City, but there is no way for us to leave till after April 27, when our Awana Club kids all get their final awards and the big Awards party!