Training for Grand Canyon Backpacking Tour

How is the training going for the Grand Canyon Backpacking Tour, you ask? Well, there is both bad news and good news.

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First Impressions of StickPic and TrekMount (Camera Mounts)

I found a couple of small, inexpensive products that looked to be of use for my upcoming Grand Canyon Backpacking Tour and I present my first impressions in this post. I’ll post again later once I’ve got some experience with them. I found both of these products while searching for trekking poles that had camera mounts built into them. I found a couple of blog posts where people had described various ways of carrying cameras on trekking poles. Indeed, there are some trekking poles that have camera mounts built in, but what if you already have poles? Both of these product seemed to fit a useful purpose for the hiker/backpacker.
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Breakfast Meeting Run Commute

My boss has been in town this week and because of a strike by Lufthansa pilots, he was not able to fly out until Saturday afternoon. He asked for a breakfast meeting at the Westin in Huntsville. I guess I could have said “no”, but I had things I wanted to discuss as well as whatever he had on his mind. Of course, he’s the boss so I try to accomodate him. But here’s the problem, I’d really rather use one of our first, Spring Saturday mornings to train for my upcoming Grand Canyon Backpacking Tour or to simply work off those remaining Winter hibernation pounds. The answer, of course, is to combine the two.

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Grand Canyon Backpacking 2014

Did I mention that the Emerald Coast Bikepacking Tour (of 2013) actually started out as a Grand Canyon Hike? Yep. That was the original plan, but we failed to secure the backcountry permits from the National Park Service. You see, Smoky The Bear only allows so many human animals on his trails at any one time and the permitting process is the gauntlet to thin that dangerous herd. So, since a GC hike was already on the bucket list, we had no choice but to re-enter the lottery this year for a chance to walk our own National Park. And win, we did.

We’ve actually been working on this for about one month now and, for nerds like us, that means almost every detail is planned, scripted, measured, weighed, and analyzed. Never fear, though, we’ll continue to find ever more details to research, discuss and decide. But the big decisions have been made and I’m confident enough to share.

The dates of actual hiking is 15-18 May. My daughter was shocked that we’d wait so late in the year because it is a frickin’ desert and it’s going to be crazy hot. Right? Well, May 15 is the first date that the North Rim opens after closing on October 15 for the Winter. At an elevation of 8500 feet, Winter is a big deal. According to the Grand Canyon Lodge FAQs, we “can expect highs is the upper 60s and lows in the 40s” at that time of year. Whaddayaknow? (See more about the climate of the Grand Canyon here.)

Our overall itinerary follows this map (reference the red numbers on the map)…
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New Frame from Surly

Surly Straggler

I ran across an article on Urban Velo about a new frame from Surly; the Surly Straggler. Searching a bit further, I found a post on Surly’s blog about it. It is described as a cross bike with disc brakes. Assuming that it has geometry similar to the Cross Check, that’s good enough for me.
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Chunky is just ahead and Fat not far beyond. I’m not sure where Obese is, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t take long to reach. Thoughts like theses keep the pedals turning.

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A Good Morning – Google Streetview Edition

Today was my lucky day, but it was also a good, good morning. As I wrote in my previous post, I think I’ve figured out my recovery problem. I went on a short, but hard (effort) ride Wednesday evening and a longer ride Thursday evening and still woke up this morning ready to roll. I’m feeling more like myself again. Does my use of ibuprofen make me a doper a la Armstrong? Well, an old guy needs an advantage.
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