I am totally immersed in preparations for the trip while still trying to substitute teach enough days to ‘pay the rent,’ so to speak. Spring Break comes next week so I will not be able to work. This will be a good time to tie up a lot of loose ends.
We brought my Eddyline Shasta kayak into the house the other day because I needed to apply a keel strip for protection and the weather has been too cold. The temperature needs to be at least 70 degrees, so into the house it came. I went ahead and applied the new boat name letters, too. I am very pleased with the outcome. Next, I will apply this blog’s web address on the side along with some of my sponsorship decals. Isn’t it pretty? Handsome?
Alpine Shop in Columbia is sponsoring me with some significant gear items. Thank you, Brennan! He has donated a camp stove-MSR Reactor system (yes!), a Thermarest mattress (3 in thick. excellent!), and a Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner. They will also communicate my links and updates on their social media sites and to their email recipients. You should stop by the shop and check out their new expanded paddling section. They are becoming a premier paddling retailer in mid-MO.
I ordered my tent, a Hubba Hubba 2P tent from Walt’s Bike & Wilderness Shop. Besides a Patagonia balaklava, polarized sunglasses and SealSkinz paddling gloves, they were able to give me a 10% discount on my tent. Every little bit helps. Thanks, Sarah.
After four of my emails were ignored by PowerFilmsSolar, I talked to Julie on the phone, mainly because I needed to purchase my solar charging system and a friend, Barb Giles, offered to donate funds to purchase it. We weren’t sure what exactly what I needed, so when I talked to Julie, she ended up apologizing for them ignoring me, and offered me a pro-discount on a 14R roll up solar charger. Thanks, Julie! And, THANK YOU, BARB!
I’ll order my sleeping bag today, and a GoPro camera. GoPro has not responded to my sponsorship proposal, nor has Cascade Designs for a sleeping bag. That’s okay, though. I am content with all the things I have been given. Oh, and I will probably purchase a GPS device, but not sure yet. Norm Miller will have one we can use to get to Brower’s Spring.
My Kokatat gear should be arriving any day. That will complete my paddling gear. I’m excited about looking it all over. Once I have all of my gear, I will need to start puzzle piecing everything into the boat. That will be the biggest challenge. I normally carry everything but the kitchen sink with me, everywhere I go. My first backpacking trip, when I was 16-years old, was unforgettable because I was ribbed extensively due to all the stuff I had to unload out of my pack. I cannot remember details, but somewhat recall a big tube of Crest toothpaste being the brunt of long-lasting jokes. Hey, one has got to keep their teeth brushed, right?
Veteran paddlers have offered a lot of good advice about food to bring. I posted a request for their thoughts on the “Missouri River Paddlers” Facebook Group as well as the “Expedition Canoe and Kayakers” Facebook Group. I received a lot of great ideas, a few of which I have included here:
Dale Sanders: Tortillas – most any eatable food can be roled into them, very satisfying meal and they have long “shelf life” and available at most grocery stores. Try Nutella rolled in – delicious.
West Hansen Keep it simple: instant oatmeal with Starbucks Via for breakfast. Mid morning sip 1200 calorie bike bottle of SPIZ (half vanilla/half chocolate). Lunch: can of tuna with Cholula sauce and some dehydrated fruits. Mid afternoon – same SPIZ drink. Supper, dehydrated meal with some canned meat mixed in for calories. When racing, I up my SPIZ mix with some extra maltodextrin electrolytes. Sometimes I add a Starbucks Via to the SPIZ. Then we call it SPAZ.
Kathy Norpell Kurzhals: Tuna, tortillas wraps ( cheese sticks, pb&honey, foil chicken breast), brown minute rice with any seasonings, chicken helpers and tuna helpers, pita bread with pepperoni and squeeze tomato paste and cheese-pizza!, polenta, quinoa, even mac’n cheese…….
Marin Medak: Beef jerky is one of my favorites. Then mini Snickers, and also some fruits – bananas, oranges, apples.
I will include other “good advice” contributions in an upcoming post. I learned a lot from all of these experienced paddlers. As a result of the good advice, I have purchased a dehydrator and seal-a-meal machine to vacuum seal the food. So far I have dried beef, apples, bananas, pineapple, and blueberries. Next, I will dry vegetables, more beef, some fruit roll-ups, and some sauces. Yes, you can dry spaghetti sauce like a fruit roll up, and just add water bring it back to sauce. Cool, eh?
I have just started throwing interesting food items in my basket when I come across them. Mostly, they are side-dish pastas and rice, which will be wonderful to have after long days of paddling. I will also make my own trail mix.
I am going to buy some Tanka Bars, too, made and sold by the Oglala Lakotas on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The bars, and bites, are made with buffalo and cranberries, and are all natural (and delicious, too). Check out a location that sells them near you and HELP SUPPORT the Pine Ridge Reservation Oglala Lakotas! The Tonka Bars will serve as my energy protein bars. I’ve never been ‘into’ Cliff Bars or other types of energy bars.
Fundraising continues with the hope that I can be financial sustained during my 3 1/2 month excursion. I am looking forward to the Love Your Big Muddy Blues Benefit on Wednesday, March 27. The event will be held at a local pub, MoJoe’s (THANK YOU, MOJOE’S!!), on a full-moon night with some of the best blues musicians in Columbia, MO. It is a jam, so musicians can step up to the stage and contribute their talents.
The host musicians include John D’Agostino, Dennis Ternamian, Alan Loshbaugh, and Charlie Waddell. Other musicians playing music are Scott McCullough, Zed Zardoz, and Debbie D’Agostino, John’s sister. The D’Agostino family have been blessed with beautiful voices. Johnny D will be taking names for the jam. Naked Dave will be MC for the event (Go Dave!), so YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THIS EVENT! Free appetizers made with tender loving local care will be provided. And, buy lots of raffle tickets because you get to choose your own reward! The more tickets, the more chances to win a great prize! Big thanks to the committee, headed by Heidi Brunaugh. Love you guys!
If you would like to sponsor me with a financial donation, please visit my “Donation Opportunities” page, or my GoFundMe page on the web. To see who has contributed thus far, visit my “Financial Contributors” page on this blog.
Thank you for your support! You are making this happen!
Live fast ~ Paddle slow
See you on the river!!!