Friday, May 13, 2011

Dakotas Trip Update - 11 Weeks Out

It is eleven weeks to the day until we board a plane for Denver and set off on our Dakotas trip. The initial burst of detailed planning that occurred back around the Christmas holidays has petered out entirely, and with most of the trip planned out (and all possible reservations made), there has been very little communication on the matter. But now that we are into the warmer weather and the weeks seem to be rolling by faster and faster, it occurs to me that there are a number of things that I need to do to feel like I am ready. In no particular order...

I need to do a little conditioning work to be in better shape for hiking, especially since some of it will be at higher altitudes, especially around Harney Peak. I have done a good bit of walking around as a part of my geocaching, but that is typically more a mile or two here or there in a park or natural area, and not longer or more grueling stretches. I haven't done a single hike yet this year (that I can remember at least) of at least 5 miles. In order to make sure my legs are up to the challenge, I absolutely need to get out as much as possible. I don't want to spoil what could be one of the trips of a lifetime by not being in good enough physical condition. Carrying a 32 pound pack for 12 miles hurt my knee. Hiking on this trip will only involve carrying a day pack with water and miscellaneous items and not a fully loaded backpack, so the physical demands will be different, but I still should not underestimate them.

Input from the boys on what to take will be critical. I did a lot of research about backpacking prior to the Pinchot Trail trip last summer, but this is different. Car camping is a significantly different thing than backpacking in certain ways, and I have never done this before. I need to rely on the experience of those who have to help me figure out what I need, and if I have purchases to make, I don't want to leave them until the last minute. As a group, we collectively need to get together and plan out our packing lists, as there are a lot of items that you you need one person to bring, but not everybody to bring the same thing. And the four of us will be living out of one large car, not an SUV or minivan, so space will need to be used wisely. Probably very wisely it seems to me, but they have done this before and say we'll be fine.

Photography. As I indicated in the post about my new DSLR camera, probably the main impetus to buy the camera right now was the desire to have a really good camera for this trip. Now I need to figure out how to use it to get my money's worth out of it, otherwise I should have just stuck to the old reliable point and shoot. The T3 is loaded with features and capabilities, almost none of which I know how to use at this point. I need to set aside some of my fun reading and put some serious time into studying the User Guide that comes with the camera, and then actually playing around with it as much as possible.

11 weeks is a long time, but not really. With work and family and all the other commitments that take up time, the trip will be here before I know it. I'm getting more and more excited as I start thinking about it again.

No comments:

Post a Comment