Monday, May 23, 2005

Sweet Snickers

"Hi, My name is Adam, and I have a problem. I eat too many Snickers bars." There I admit it, my obsession with Snickers is unhealthy (in more ways than one). Ever since hiking the AT five years ago, I have been convinced that Snickers bars are the perfect energy bar. So many hikers around me would be munching away on their Snickers, talking about how they couldn't get through the day without it. I was dubious at first. I'm not even sure that I took a Snickers with me out of town the whole time I was hiking the AT, but ever since I've finished the AT, whenever I need a chocolatey snack I go for Snickers. Now that I'm employed full time, I eat one every work day. As sad as it is, I save it for my last break of the day so I have something to look forward to through the work day. Sigh. I am open to suggestions as to how others have kicked their trail induced addictions. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who was left with one. Any success stories out there from people who have kicked M&M's, ice cream bars, cheap beer, hour-long showers, not showering, or yogi-ing in the lunchroom (ex. 'Hey Joe, what do you think of this weath-... hey, are those M&M's? ... *big sad starving hiker eyes*... Well, if you don't mind I might have a couple.' )?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Mountains From Above

As you devoted reader(s) of my blog are aware, it was recently my birthday. I, in a fit of Appalachian Trail nostaligia, printed off pictures of a bunch of AT products and distributed them among family. That's usually as far as my gift suggestions get. But, rather than getting socks and underwear this year, I actually ended up with a bunch of AT loot. My ever-so-thoughtful wife got me a beautifully AT mug crafted by Fictilations Pottery. And a bunch of trinkets that are emblazoned with "I'd rather be hiking the Appalachian Trail." Am I happy because I got a bunch of stuff? Nope, that's not it. I'm not much into stuff. What makes me happy about them is that they're like memory triggers. The truth is, with pretty well everything I do, I would rather be hiking the Appalachian Trail. And remembering that makes me happy because I have hiked the AT and I can look forward to making great memories along the PCT and more trails beyond.

My parents chipped into the nostalgia-thon by getting me the coffeetable book "The Appalachian Trail: An Aerial View" by Mark Warner. It's a really nice book. I was really excited when I pulled off the brown paper wrapping. The one thing that I find a little disappointing is that it
doesn't actually work as well for a memory trigger as the magnet on my desk drawer at work. It's almost too visual. It's a way of seeing the mountains that I haven't experienced. I keep trying to map my memories onto the flattened two dimension image. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The picture of High Point, NJ takes me instantly back to coming around one side of the monument and happening upon a middle-aged couple locked in an embrace that is much more appropriate behind a locked bedroom door than at the foot of a monument to war veterans. But as I look at the picture, I keep flipping back and forth between the image and the memory. Was it really cloudy and cold when we were there or was it sunny like the picture tells me it is? I'm starting to come to an even stronger appreciation for the book though for the very same reason that I find it a bit disappointing. It challenges me to see the mountains in a different way than I am used to thinking about them. So, thanks Mom and Dad.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Edible Gear

This is one of the funniest sites I've come accross in a while. The sometimes absurdity of ultralight
exposed. I love this from the FAQs, "Question: Aren't animals attracted to equipment made of out food? Answer: No. Animals aren't stupid. Animals don't consider Edible Gear food. You on the other hand, are clearly smart enough to understand that weight saving takes precedence over everything. As you're choking down your sleeping pad just think to yourself how easy it'll be to
heft that pack tomorrow morning with two ounces less weight."

Monday, May 02, 2005

Sunset

All day I knew the sunset tonight would be magical. You see, it has rained for days. Yesterday we got 30mm more rain than the next wettest area of the province. Cats and dogs doesn't even apply. I got out early this morning for a walk. Even then the sun was shining with intensity. It wasn't shining warmly. The quality of the light was almost surreal as it glinted off the soaking grass, made long shadows with the clothes that had been hung out remarkably early. So, tonight we headed for the beach. We found a stretch that neither of us had been to and set off toward the spot where the waves seemed biggest, slamming into the rocks. As we reached the rocks and climbed to the top, the sun neared the horizon. It was one of the biggest sunsets I've ever seen, everything was exaggerated. There were only two colours in the sky, pink and blue, but the interplay was incredible. Everything around soaked it in. The jumping spray, the calm tide pools, the silhouetted rocks. The windows of a nearby house flooded with colour, making them look like the Dante's gates as they stood out against the beachrock and mortar walls. The sun was glad to be back and wanted us to know it was looking forward to the morning.