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[pct-l] An unusual trip report


My name is Matt Davis and I'm relatively new to this list (and several
others :-) but I love reading the posts and thought I'd try my hand at
contributing something interesting.  My wife Mary and I live in Lincoln
Nebraska and we've just caught the backpacking bug :-)

My wife and I decided to risk it and go hiking a couple of weeks ago and I'm
happy to report that we had a splendorific time.  We camped for two nights
in Rocky Mountain National Park and hiked a total of 4.4 miles.  I know it
doesn't sound like much but I was just a little concerned about how things
would go because even though my wife is a super go-getter, she also happens
to be completely blind.

My biggest concern was footing but we really didn't have that much trouble
(until we tried boulder hopping :-/)  We held hands along much of the trail
and I held one end of a stick and led while she held the tail end and also
used her cane on the narrower stretches.  Boulders did pose somewhat of a
problem, however, and it wasn't so much having to climb them as that it was
very difficult for her to find her footing among the smaller rocks (the ones
that tend to have cracks between them which are just the right size for
twisting (or breaking) your ankle).  We made decent time all in all but it
probably took us a good hour just to go 300 yards among the boulders!  I
think we'll skip those next time.

It's been quite a while since I've hiked and I honestly can't explain why
that's the case since I love it so much every time I go (My "first love" was
to hike along the hudson in New York).  East coast terrain is much different
and quite impressive.  One of the great things about having my wife along
was that she insisted I describe everything to her.  If you've never done
so, having to put what you see into words so that someone else can see it...
without seeing it... tends to ad immensly to your own experience.  I have to
admit I stumbled and bumbled a lot in my explanations as I tried to describe
the majestic secrets of the moutains to her but it was well worth it
(especially since my audience was my wife)!  

We camp off and on, in fact I drug her out to a lake near here on our
wedding night (much to her chagrin).  What a nightmare that was.  We were so
tired from doing this and that immeadiately collapsed without even setting
up our tent :-)

This trip we had a new experience - rain.  I've read a lot in the past
couple of months about how others seam seal and scotch gaurd their tents but
I've always just packed up and headed for the car when the rain started :-)
This time, however, we toughed it out and it was a blast.  Having to deal
with wetness all the time wasn't exactly thrilling but our tent held up and
didn't leak though it rained nonstop 8pm to 8am!  From now on, rain - not a
problem :-)

We ended our short trip with the long drive back to Nebraska (about 9
hours!) and neither of us can wait for the next time we can get away.  It
may be a while before that happens though since, I forgot to mention, my
wife is also 5 weeks pregnant>  In fact, we were cautioned not to go on this
trip but we did anyway :-]

I was thinking about the boulder thing and wondered if somehow a modified
snow shoe might help protect against those broken ankles:-)  OK, maybe we'll
just steer clear of 'em.

Happy Trails,

Mary and Matt

You can see our page at:
http://www.outdoorclassified.com - tons of stuff :-)
Matt Davis

  Your one stop shop for affordable pre-owned hiking and camping equipment.

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