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Re: [pct-l] resupply

On Sat, 5 Dec 1998, Margo J. Chisholm wrote:

> I would love to hear all of your experiences regarding how much food did
> you prepare ahead of time and send to resupply places and how much did
> you buy along the way? When I started planning I figured I'd pack it all
> ahead of time but it sounds like many people have bought a good deal of
> food along the way. Thanks in advance for the input.

I have done two longer section hikes, 30 and 35 days each.  One included
northern California, the other all of Oregon and part of Washington.  For me
there was a lessened anxiety about food knowing I could count on it being
where I had it sent.  Also, food at resorts is relatively expensive.  The
reason I could take off was because it only cost four or five dollars a day
to eat.  Town stops were always an anathema.  I had the credit card, and
good ole sis made minimum payments, but i didn't want to mortgage the year
after the hike either.  Food was also spotty in terms of type.  I knew what
I liked from 30 years of backpacking.  Resorts never had what I like to eat
on the trail.  

I had a food box stolen at Big Lake in Oregon, at the youth camp oddly
enough, and while it was an easy hitchhike into sisters and back, it took a
half day and cost $50 for six days.  A short digression.  I think it was a
Saturday I hiked into Big lake Youth Camp.  It's a flat, sandy trail, it was
warm, and about nine in the morning.  I'd been on the trail a couple hours
and knew I was approaching the food drop.  In the distance I heard this
music, a ringing of bells in a soothing pattern that in itself had no
passion or intensity.  It was structure without content.  The closer I got
to the camp, the louder it got.  When I tromped into camp it became a kind
fo white noise, a background just loud enough to crowd out birds, peals of
11 year old laughter, etc.  I felt distinctly out of place.  Dozens of clean
cut, white kids and teens walked and ran from place to place under this
dominating background of ringing bells/music.  And because it was saturday,
their holy day, they did no business, which included opening the main
administration building for me to get my food box.  I pleaded well enough
that an older teen with a key opened it.  Mine wasn't among the boxes.  I
freaked and the kids apologized, their eyes a little wide at my obvious
discomfiture.  I thanked them for their trouble, hiked to hwy 20 and hitched
into Sisters.  I immediately called the Mailbox place that had sent off my
box, and they said they couldn't track the package.  My brother-in-law did,
and UPS said they delivered it.  

Maybe 30 days isn't enough, but I had no cravings for giant helpings of
anything.  I craved Doritos.  My average calorie intake was somewhere around
5000 a day.  I lost weight regardless.  A quart of oatmeal in the morning, a
quart and a half of dinner, three quarters of a pound of trailmix a day -
after the two week honeymoon you can't eat enough food.  I didn't get sick
of "what" I ate.  I got tired of eating.  If I didn't eat it all, I felt it.  
The last third of breakfast and dinner were exercises in self-discipline.  
I was full, but had to eat nonetheless.  Dinner especially often felt like
an assault on my stomach.  It was big enough to take the food without
discomfort of any kind.  I just lost the desire to eat.  I had to force
myself to spoon, chew and swallow.  Such an odd feeling...

By the way, we had twice the normal rainfall in Seattle in November, and
actually set an all-time record.  Above 4000' in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness
is upwards to eight feet of snow.  This is a "huge" snowpack for this early
in the year.  Another 6" - 12" is expected today at 3000'.  

Jeffrey Olson
Seattle, WA

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