Omnipresent Bobsled Ride
I am one month away from starting another epic hike of my awesome life. Right now my thoughts feels like an omnipresent bobsleds ride. The thoughts in my head are constant, like a bobsled driver visualizing the course, knowing exactly when to drive into a bend, creating the winning ride, success, and happiness as all cheer.
I have spent the last three years preparing to be a winning bob sled driver, as I hike along the route. I feel as if I know every bend, every straight section, every hill, and every valley. But I don’t! It is the fine granular details that are missing. The ten foot deep wash filled with tumbleweed which must be crossed. A fallen ponderosa tree, the flower with a bee, and lichen on a rock next to me.
As the bobsled driver descends the track every ice groove and bump jostling the driver is felt, leaving the crowd on edge as to what will happen. I will encounter unknown bumps too, but I will smile as I drive my sled down my visualized path. If I crash it will be you, the crowd watching me who gives me strength to pick up the pieces learn from what was not known, and make adjustments to continue down the course.
I am on the course now in my head and I am thrilled to have you the wonderful crowd cheering me on, gaining smiles as I zoom along creating the Four Corners Loop as a new National Scenic Trail.
Thanks and get ready for a ride.
Kevin Koski - The Animal
I tested my tracking capabilities today. The red dots represent my Garmin InReach “data”. Every time it takes a bend is where the InReach communicated with a satellite. It then makes a line of the area between the nodes.
The orange line with the white stripe in the middle represents my actual GPS location data for my phone. I was an area that had cell service so it was able to upload it to the map. I tested low resolution, medium resolution, and high resolution. I determined that this uses way too much battery life on your phone.
I plan on using what is called extended tracking for my InReach. This will enable me to save a ton of battery life because it is not communicating by Bluetooth to my phone. This will also enable me to turn off some functions on my phone if I need to save more battery life.
Today was a good test I determined that using my InReach to place the red dots on my map is the best method to save the most amount of battery life.
Gibbs lake is pictured above and it was the wonderful lake I walked around today.
Pictured here is my base pack with no food or water. Everything in this photo weighs 18.3 pounds.
I am happy with it, and I am running out of ideas how to save more weight because I do have a safety margin and I’m not willing to cut out stuff that I feel I need. Add upon this anywhere from 10 to 17 pounds of food per resupply. Water is heavy, 2 pounds per liter. In this pack I have the capacity in empty bottles within to carry 12-1/2 liters of life giving water, so if full add 25 pounds.
I would estimate that for each resupply I will start out with a 40 to 45 pound pack. Some sections that are very dry I could easily start out with up to 55 pounds. The nice thing is you drink water and you eat your food so your pack always gets lighter as you approach the next town.
The Four Corners Loop is massive, so one is bound to have private property issues how do you get from a public land to a public parcel of land. One tool are used also came from my mapping software which still shows the tax parcels. This gave me an idea of who to look up and who owns what. Long story short, I need to write some letters, specifically to two very large ranches in New Mexico.
In the map above the lower orange lines pass to these two ranches, they also passed through some Bureau of Land parcels, and New Mexico state land. As far as I can tell I can just walk across the BLM land because this is owned by the public. The state land of New Mexico I need to get a $35 permit for. It is the large ranches I need land owner permission. Time to write a letter or two, or three, or four. Otherwise I’m gonna have to walk roads.
The only area along this entire road that has significant private property issues is when I start south of Santa Fe. I almost called this trail the “western public loop” because the vast majority of it is public land that you and I own. I am very optimistic I will get permission because I will put it out there in the universe will listen.
The Cocoon sleeping bag liner sold at REI is always too narrow for me, and I keep tearing it to shreds. I got tired of replacing a $60 piece of gear, so I bought my own silk which is a pretty orange and can be used for an emergency attraction device.
Using the orange silk made my own wider silk bag liner. It is open on one side eliminating stress points which caused tearing of the Cocoon brand.
It is a good thing I had sewing class in middle school.
Planing and preparing for my hike on the Four Corners Loop is on schedule for 2020. As we approach 2021 tomorrow, I feel like my planing and packing efforts will continue to fall into place as they always have. Why is this the case? Because my positive thoughts are creating my future. Everything I have always thought about has taken place. I am always thinking about what I have to accomplish, then taking action on my thoughts. So through actions directed by my positive outlook I will be ready for my planned adventure and I am ready to share it with you.
I want to share my experiences, so you feel like you are traveling along with me. For you to experience the FCL, I need to describe the views, smells, winds, sunny days and old clear nights. The darkness of the night sky speckled with stars and the glorious Milky away will be lived under as I will also live under moon shadows cast by the towering sandstone cliffs. People and small towns will be part of my experience as will long durations of time alone watching every rock and blade of grass pass behind me as push forward.
So, for you to be part of the experience, I am about to package more food. Imagine placing 300 grams of food in vacuum bags, imagine the vibrating sounds of a vacuum pump, vibrating hands, as the package shrinks waiting for the “ready” green light. Stop and repeat for 120 pounds of food.
I always thought a factory worker would make a good long distance hiker. I do like repetitive processes.
I am just over three months away from starting the hike tonight I am preparing Buckwheat with Cranberry, Buckwheat with Chia seeds and I took some muesli mix added some syrup and honey to it to make it taste not awful.
These will be placed on the dehydrator fully dried and then packaged in airtight packages ready for me to munch and nurture myself as I walk along my journey.
Above is the version with cranberries.
Above is the version with Chia seeds.
A large part of the hiking trip is not the physical hiking, but is actually planning and one’s mental preparation. I am four months away from the start of a grand adventure. Not only do I have to prepare more food and continue to dial in my pack, but I also have to be mentally prepared.
I do this by visualizing the route like a world class bobsled team. Then I and share my thoughts with others. Now is not the time to doubt yourself. So here is to the Four Corners Loop, I am creating a route to be enjoyed that will continue to make me smile in a life I have so much to smile for.
I have been busy dehydrating and preparing dried food for my hike. I feel I am getting started a little early but the stuff I am preparing can sit around for a while. I have to prepare approximately 300 pounds of food for the 2350 mile hike.
Below I have 23 resupply boxes ready to load food into each one. Each box will receive anywhere from 8 to 17 pounds of food. I have two sections where I have to walk 140 miles in the image tween re-supplies.
The coffee filters in the picture above are not for coffee but for straining muddy water I’m going to practice prefiltering my water through a coffee filter so I can prolong the duration of my pump.
This is 167 sheets of 11 x 17” paper that comprise my maps for the Four Corners Loop. My maps are based on a 7-1/2 minute USGS scale. Printed in color on waterproof Rite in the Rain paper.