A little look into our daily trail life. What do we eat?
Well, it strongly depends on the stores that are in town. Sometimes the only option we have is the Dollar Tree. In those instances it can be hard to get nutritious food and we end up eating mostly sugary treats. Those kinds of resupply make us happy initially and then as any sugar rush does, we crash. So we try to balance things out.
We start the morning off with protein bars, eat snacks such as beef jerky, chips, sweet & salty mixes, & candy. Lunches we try to mix it up, sometimes we will do peanut butter and nutella, other times it’s tuna. Tortilla wraps vs. bagels are always a battle because they both get old quick. If we have a lot of fuel then we will sometimes make a hot meal for lunch. That could vary between a backpacker meal to ramen noodles to pasta sides. More snacks are consumed, & then we shuffle through our food bags to see what we can eat for dinner. Especially with this heat wave we make sure to have electrolytes, either propel packets or caffeinated nuun tablets. If we feel like taking it slow that day we will stop and do a caffeinated tea break.
There is no science to what we consume out here, usually it depends on what kinds of food we are craving at the time we shop. We always look forward to boxes being sent as their contents are a surprise. Our creativity only goes so far with buying food so we are thankful for the support from our family and friends.
Besides are food choices, we only have a few other decisions we have to make on a daily basis. One, is when to wake up. That one can be difficult because Level and I both love our sleep. A hiker named, ‘Happy’ gave us some advice the other day to help us arise earlier in the morning. He said that as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning, take all the air out of my sleeping pad so I am no longer comfortable. We have tried it a few mornings and I will say that rather than snoozing the alarm for 2 hours, I get up within 15 minutes. We won’t ever be quite as motivated as ‘Happy’ as he is often up and hiking by 4am…
Our hiking reality is that we are up and hiking anywhere between 6:30am-8:30am. We eat our bars on the go & use the first 3-5 miles to wake up. Sometimes Level & I chat a lot and sometimes we just take in the scenes in silence. Water sources usually determine where we take our breaks. We always hope for a luscious shady, big area near water to sprawl out, stretch, and air out our feet but that is rarely what happens. Oftentimes we find a small, sloped area, in the sun, basically in the middle of the trail. I have learned to get comfortable in all sorts of spaces. If it is a large creek sometimes we will wash out our socks. The amount of dirt that comes from one little sock is incredible, even after wearing them for a few hours.
We continue hiking through all sorts of landscapes. Sometimes we are hiking through fields of wildflowers in the exposed sun, other times we are in the dark, shaded forests.
In the past couple weeks we saw quite a bit of wildlife! Level & I saw our first bear together, it was massive!! We were in such a state of shock as it heard us and started barreling through the forest away from us. I laughed as I thought how scared it was of us, when really it could have plowed us over in one stride if it had wanted. We did not get a picture or video of that, as we were so surprised and it all happened so quickly. We have seen a lot of very curious deer. The other night we were cooking late into the night by a stream and I saw an animal only 20 feet away which in the dark I thought was a small cougar. There has been a lot of talk about hikers encountering cougars on trail. It had my heart racing and I shouted to try to scare it away. Then once it finally started moving I realized it was only a docile deer… Our eyes often play tricks on us out here, especially when it becomes dark and your imagination is running wild.
**This was not the same deer incident**
I always get excited when we see random, unexpected places and things on the trail. Sometimes the trail takes us on real roads! We get to see bridges, signs, and best of all usually it is a flat trail.
Most recently we finally got a huge milestone, entering Oregon! It’s only been 1,700 miles that we have been waiting for this moment. In celebration Level & I broke out a few dance moves.
Needless to say, we have been having a lot of fun despite the difficulties we encounter every day. It’s great to have a partner in crime. We make each other laugh during the hard times. Even when a wasp stung my finger the other day and I was sobbing uncontrollably for a bit, I looked at Level and he made me laugh during my state of despair.
We have now gone over 1,700 miles and are still hoping to raise money for Anxiety & Depression Association of America. $1 per mile! As we are learning on trail, each little step will get us there eventually. And in this case, each dollar. http://www.crowdrise.com/hikingheals