The conundrum facing the Tour Divide riders this year is quite interesting. As if the event didn't already have enough drama, ma nature has forced some tough decisions. Snowpack is near record levels from Colorado to Banff.
There is a contingent starting in the south this year. They are clearly in the minority (90 vs 15?) but that is likely to change.
I've put together a KML file that can be viewed in Google Earth. The file contains the Tour Divide route and snowpack image overlays from Northern NM to Banff. Got Google Earth? Download the KML file here (right click ->save as) and check it out for yourself. The snowpack graphics should refresh automatically on your computer so you have the latest.
The latest as of 5/26 is um, wintry. It looks white as soon as you leave Banff.
I love being in the back-country under the great blue dome. Backpacking used to be my prime mode of getting in deep. I saw some really cool places. I gave it up about 12 years ago. Pregnant bellies, babies and toddlers just don't fit with backpacking. I'm very excited now Emma and Wes are big enough to start backpacking.
We went on our second backpacking trip last weekend. This time we had a more ambitious plan to go further someplace more remote.
I want the kids to learn how to move and be safe in the back-country, not lambs following their mommy ewe. What if I get hurt and they need to rescue me or what if they get lost?
Emma and I (Wes wasn't interested...) brainstormed about what should be in a survival kit. She was fascinated by it and the concept of survival and self rescue. We spent time with each item talking about what it did and how to use it in different situations. We ended up with a map and compass, an emergency blanket, water purification tabs, waterproof matches, whistle, signal mirror, multi tool and flashlight. Both kids carried their own personal survival kit along with water, food and clothes.
They learned how to use the map and compass
We found a spring and filtered water. The spring was not an easy find so that added to the adventure and a little tension too as we needed water!! The tank where we thought we would get water was dry. We found a second tank also dry. Then we hiked and searched further up a side canyon and found a concrete tank with a beautiful dripping spring above it.
Wesley is already a master of fire making
Then the kids proceeded to ask loads of questions I didn't have the answer to!! Hey mom, what if you were dropped out of a helicopter with nothing, what would you ____fill in the blank here___? What plants are edible? How do you build a shelter? What would you drink? Good questions. Guess I am not a survival expert!!
We had the pleasure of DH's company on this trip.
Whaley and dolphiny made the trip again
We went down Snake Gulch which has one of the largest rock art sites in the area. The pictographs and petroglyphs were amazing!!!
Emma got tired at the end. We hiked about 14 miles in total. Wes does not get tired, ever...EVER... He carried a pack only a little lighter than mine and did not complain once about it (I complained about mine a few times). He is 11 years old and a beast already!
I haven't seen much of DH lately. He has been shut up in his Dave cave with his nose deep in a coding obsession/binge (which when ready, will be unveiled by him - my lips are zipped). Fri night is usually date night so we took it outside this week to get DH off a chair.
After the "real" ride we messed around on Wes' new 24" wheel dirt jump bike. Lacking some good jumps we made the best of what the curb had to offer - but plenty action for me. It is a fun little bike. Makes me want a pump track! Is there one in St George?
Thanks Joel and Skylere for the bike - I love it, err I mean Wesley loves it ;-) Emma is very very very very jealous and wants one too.
Sunday on Gooseberry Mesa was amazing. We slacked around in the morning so ended up riding later in the day. Winter afternoon low angle light and shadows had all the slickrock colors popping and the Zion cliffs glowing.
Zion seemed to loom larger than life above. Somewhat surreal.
We rode out to the point on the North Rim trail with a nuclear tailwind.
At the point the wind died and it was strangely/beautifully calm.
Then the wind flipped direction and we had a tailwind all the way back to the car. Whoohoo!!!
DH and I often bring surprise snacks on the trail for each other. I made this mashed yam, rice and secret spicy sauce mixture that was super yummy.