Sunday, December 14, 2008

Looking Back - Day 7 & 8 Mt. Meru Pt 2

Day 6:
1am comes fast and we're up early to tackle the summit. I'm not feeling great and feeling the effects of mild AMS. We snack on cookies and tea, but I'm having troubles with my appetite (a symptom of AMS). It had also begun raining the evening before, so it's wet, muddy, and slippery. 2am comes fast, and we're off.

It's pitch black and the wind & rain make for less than stellar trekking. Cha Cha leads, and I'm right behind. We arrive at Rhino point (3800m), and it gets very steep very quick. The ground is mush, and with every step, you're sliding down 1/2 of that step. With the rain blowing so hard, I'm literally on Cha Cha's heels to keep him in my sights. Staring at his boots I follow every step he takes. A foot or two more and I wouldn't see him at all.

I had asked Kassim a couple of days before, why do we leave for the summit in the middle of the night? Turns out there are a couple of reasons: First, the ground is frozen overnight, and easier to trek. Second is psychological. If you saw where you were going, you probably wouldn't want to be there.

It's getting lighter out, but we're incased by the clouds. We can't see far up, and we can't see down into the crater either. I'm thinking that this is a good thing. Much of the climb on the crater rim is scrambling, which is made much more difficult by the freezing rain covering the rocks, my gloves, and everything on me. In the best conditions, it would have been trying and trecherous, but with the cold, wind, and freezing rain... it's another level. I focus on following Cha Cha as we make our way farther and farther up. At this point, I don't concern myself with how I'm supposed to be getting myself down, just eyeing each false summit that creeps up just when I'm sure this has got to be it.

6:59am, and we reach the summit of Mt Meru (Socialist Peak, 4,566 metres (14,980 ft)). In the bitter cold, we pose for a few pictures and rest. Dale mentions to Cha Cha and Kassim that he hopes we'll catch a glimpse of Kilimanjaro when the clouds break. Our African guide know better, and tell us we won't have a chance and need to head down. My hands are very cold as my mitts are wet and incased in ice. Kassim offers me his and puts his hands in his pockets. We slowly make our way down, very carefully with the icy rocks leaving little room for error. I did slip at one point, landing on the step down directly on my shin. Checking to make sure I was still in one piece, we carried on. We kept crouched down to limit the exposure the to wind, but in the most exposed parts of the climb down, the wind so hard it was like walking in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Walking in the crosswinds, I was leaning sideways into the wind to keep myself upright. My walking poles became difficult to control as the winds just blew them sideways. At this point, I just wanted to get down, and get there as fast as possible.

Past the rocky crater rim area below Rhino Point, the trail is slippery mud and we're on the home stretch back to Saddle. A few hours after reaching the summit, we see the huts at Saddle, and there is a certain sense of relief. I mention that this is one of those experiences I'll appreciate later on, but for the moment, I'm just glad we're back safe. Our guides, also very glad to be back, and mention that we'll stay for a few hours to rest before heading back down to Mirikamba. In the hut, we peel off our wet clothes. Everything is soaked, including 2 cameras. We have a bite to eat, and rest for a bit.

The clouds break as we're about to leave, and we see Kilimanjaro in the distance. The wooden 'steps' made in parts of the trail to prevent erosion on the steepest parts and made the journey up the path to Mirikamba so great, are now beating my legs with every step down. After a few hours, and with body and mind battered and exhaused, we arrive at Mirikamba, but not before the rain comes pouring down once again minitues before we make it. In the hut, we empty our bags of gear and water, and hang it all out in our little room. Over dinner, we ask if they've ever been up to the summit in as bad weather, to which they both reply no. I'm glad to be back in one piece, and with that, it's much deserved bed.

Day 7:

We're off by 8:30am down back to the park gate. There are two routes from the gate to Mirikamba, and we take the shorter, steeper trail down to the gate. Still encased in cloud, mist and rain, the trail is once again slick. Up ahead, we notice a group of giraffe, standing right off of the trail. Cha Cha leads and we soon follow slowly behind. We get within about 10m of them as we cross a stream nearing the gate.

Arriving back at the gate, we say our thank you's to the porters, Kassim & Cha Cha for making it all possible, and getting us back safely. We crowd back into the vehicle and head back out of the park. We see more giraffe on the road, just hanging out. Kassim asks if we would like to check out a reptile farm just outside the park for $3, and we do. Snakes of all sorts, crocodiles, and we even handle a few chamilions.

Back to our home base @ Keys, we arrive, and immediately hang up all of our wet gear to dry. The all important shower, and a quick run into town to find some nearly impossible things to find: garbage ags and a knee brace. We eat dinner about 5, and Dale is falling asleep at the table as we eat. I'm sure my conversation about the digital copyright in 21st century Canada didn't help much. Our IMG group from Kilimanjaro arrives an hour or two later, and we stay for introductions and to chat for a bit before calling it a night.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Looking Back - Day 5 & 6 Mt. Meru Pt 1

Day 5:
Packed & ready to go, we left about 8:30am for the hour and a half drive to Arusha National Park. At times, the road rivaled my much talked about, and tire-eating road to Top of The World. Passing through the various park gates, a young Tanzanian man named Gift, would handle all of the fees and paperwork. Arriving at the Mt Meru gate, we looked around while our porters took our bags to be weighed. There is a strict weight limit for each of the porters to carry, and in our case, that meant that our bags needed to be under 30lbs. No problem!

The climb of Mt Meru is much different than Kilimanjaro. First off, every group MUST have a Park Ranger accompany them. They carry a rifle, playfully referred 'Buffalo Stopper.' His job: protect you from the wildlife. From monkeys, to dik-dik, giraffes spotted on ridges far above (and meters away from us on the trail), to close encounters with an angry Cape Buffalo... it's quite obvious we're visiting their home.

Second, the accommodations on Meru are 'huts', some still in the process of being built. The reasons for this, first I'm sure is the animals mentioned above. The second is to limit the amount of people who can be on the mountain at one time. When we were on Meru, there were very few others, but the numbers from the park show that Meru & Arusha National Park are becoming more popular every year. By limiting the of people on the mountain, I'm sure they hope to minimize the impact by trekkers on the ecosystem.

Third, the trail and terrain are quite a bit different, with summit day on Meru being particularly steep and treacherous in places.

Starting up with our Ranger 'Cha Cha', we took the longer of the two routes up. Passing by the Fig Tree Arch, we had lunch in a great spot beside a waterfall just off the trail. Along the way to towards the crater, Cha Cha would be spotting wildlife left and right while we our way through the rain forest. After about 6hr on the trail, Cha Cha pointed out a Cape Buffalo on the other side of a small creek. Standing there looking at it, looking at us, you can immediately tell that this is not a friendly animal. Cha Cha cocks his rifle right at the Cape Buffalo, and lets us know it's time to move on. Later we ask if he's ever had to use the rifle, to which he replies many times in his 3 years as a park ranger in Arusha National Park.

Another hour and we're Mirikamba Hut (2500m), our home for the night. The huts are excellent, and it's an added luxury that we hadn't anticipated. We also get a view of the summit of Mt Meru (albeit brief).

Day 6:
We start out at 8:30am for Saddle Hut (3500m), on the short but steep trail. We are passed by workers of the park carrying long 2x4s and bags of cement on their heads to Saddle Hut. We get some great views of the crater below, and arrive by about noon. Lunch & a bit of relaxing before making our way up to Little Meru (3801m) with our guide Kassim & Rasheed (one of our porters). It's a short climb, maybe 45 minutes or so. The clouds around us obscure the view, then seconds later, they break and we see Kilimanjaro and the valley below.

Heading down, we have an early supper so we can get to bed for the 1am wake up, and 2am summit attempt. It's about this time that I start feeling mild effects of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). A strange dull headache, loss of appetite, not feeling 100%. I eat a what I can and head to bed for a few hours before heading for the summit...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Looking Back - Day 3 & 4 - Moshi

Day 3:
We arrived in in Tanzania about 10am and met our bags with a sigh of relief. A 45min drive to the town of Moshi left me staring out the window of our van the whole way, a whole other world from what we know.

Arriving @ Keys Hotel, which would be our 'home away from home,' we quickly got our gear in our room before meeting our guide for the Mt Meru climb. His name was Kassim, and we got to know him quite well during our time in Tanzania. He let us know what we would need to bring, and what we would be in for day to day on the 4 day trek. With the plan in place, we left for a bit of a walk around.

Keys is just north of the town of Moshi, and with not too much time left of daylight, we decided to head down the road for a bit. We were situated just south of the equator, which meant that the sun would rise and set at nearly the same time all year round (6:30am/pm). Wandering down the road we passed kids coming home from school, and people coming home from work in Moshi. Everyone was friendly and we would greet each other with 'Jambo' which is 'hello' in Swahili. We met an older gentleman who spoke very good English, and he told us about a market down another road. We followed along and chatted about the area and the people with him.

Arriving at the market, he passed on through and we were left right in the middle of the 'market'. People had everything from vegetables to little battery powered radios. There would be a pile of used clothes on a blanket, and people would be rifling through them. One man had a pile of 'flip-flop' type shoes made out of used tires. What really struck me though, is that for the first time in my life, I was the minority. Hundreds of eyes were looking at us as we made our way down the road in this market. It wasn't a feeling of being threatened, but it was a little uncomfortable. Here I am, walking down a road through a market for the locals, with a camera on my side that is worth more than many of them would make in a year. It was a tough thing to swallow, and I am still trying to process it all. Heading back, we had some dinner, and then to bed.

Day 4:
The next day was a free day for us, so we headed to Moshi. We met a lady named Janice from San Francisco at Keys who tagged along with us, and we caught a cab to town. Not really knowing where to go ourselves, the cabbie conveniently dropped us off right near one of his "friend's shop", where we were soon meet our Moshi entourage.

Obviously we stick out like a sore thumb, and were quickly targeted by a host of guys looking to sell us things, and take us to their shops. The guys took us on a whirlwind tour of Moshi, we chewed on sugarcane, and took some photos. It just so happened that we ended up at their 'shop' at the end of it all. I wandered around, and my Dad started picking some things out. Of course, there were no prices and we would have a package deal at the end. Picking out some paintings, carvings and the like, they grab a calculator and come back with a price. 850. "uh is that in shillings of dollars?" "Dollars." This was pretty crazy, and although we didn't know what things were worth, we certainly didn't think $850 was reasonable. Taking a few things out, it magically became $130ish. We offered $65 and he seemed offended, while we countered that we didn't know what things were worth because we hadn't seen anything else yet. After much ado, we left Jay and told him we'd be back to see him. We wandered around town a bit more, hunting down places in my fantastic Kilimanjaro book. We were always followed where ever we went, until we finally hopped in a cab to Shah Industries, and then back to Keys. Packing up, then early to bed, we were off to Arusha National Park & Mt Meru in the morning...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How's The Weight?

I've had this question asked of me many times since arriving back.

To catch everyone up, one of my concerns in preparation for the climbs was my weight. It was it's own type of struggle to put weight on before leaving, add to that my training regimen, and a metabolism that just wouldn't have any of it.

During it all, I stopped enjoying food, and would just be eating on schedule because I had to. With one bout of the flu, I lost what I had gained, and another 4-5lbs, and near the end I dipped as well. After 6 months of eating approx 2x the calories I would normally consume, I put on a big 5-6lbs.

Knowing what I was in for, I ate as much as I could whenever I could (with few exceptions), especially on the mountains. I think my group would agree that I probably ate more than anyone in our group on Kilimanjaro. Some people would be heading to bed while I'd still be filling my face.

Though there were no scales in Tanzania, I could still guess the old fashioned way... Coming down Kilimanjaro the last day, my pants were half way down my butt, likely signaling my lowest point of the trip. My guess here is that I'm about 10lbs from my peak at this point, 5lbs below normal. Fear not, as the food on safari was unbelievable, and I ate it all. Food was good again! I'm sure that on more than one occasion, while passing by the food and the cooks before dinner, I could be quoted as saying 'I am going to eat all of that.' I kept my word as best as I could. :)

After arriving back in Canada, I was back to my normal weight, no more, no less. A thank you goes out to the fantastic cooks on the mountains and the safari lodges, without who I would be (more) stick & bones.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Looking Back - Day 1 & 2 - Getting There

Looking back on it now, seems like it was a long time ago already.

Day 1:
Leaving Saskatoon @ approx 5:30am, meant not much sleep the night before. I think I went to bed about 1:30am for the 4:00am alarm. Once we were @ the airport though, I was good for the time being, but it's a 4 flight journey with approx 21hr in the air. Though I'd flown quite a bit in the past (1-3hr flights), I was a little concerned that I might be a little bored with it all, but with three books, iPod, Nintendo DS... thought I'd have it all covered. Turned out I read about 10 pages and watched my iPod for about an hour. Not sure where the time went!

Starting it all off, we checked our bags in and took the first flight to Minneapolis. It figures that once we arrived there, our bags didn't, and panic quickly set in. What if our bags didn't arrive? All of our gear was in there, and we'd be beginning our first climb in 48hours! After finding only broken internet terminals, we finally found one and e-mailed the guide company to give a heads up, in case we'd need them to find us gear in Tanzania, and also our travel agent to see if she could offer any help while Northwest wouldn't at all. With that, we had done what we could, and headed off to Amsterdam.

Day 2:
It just so happens that in planning the trip, we had about 16hours in Amsterdam on the way over. So after landing @ approx 6am local time, we took a train into the city to have a peek around. We wandered for hours, rarely coming across a street we had been down already. We ate the food, took a ride down the canals, and took in the World Press Photo 2008 exhibition. We also hopped on the internet to check the e-mails we had sent from Minneapolis. Word had gotten around back in Saskatoon, and my e-mail was filled with 'Where are your bags?!?!?!' messages. Back to Amsterdam Centraal Station about 6pm for our flight later that evening. Ironically enough, my feet took the biggest beating of the trip on this day, as the cobblestone road made me realize what little support my shoes had. I also had a couple of hotspots on the tops of my toes from my shoes rubbing. My boots were so much better! An exhausing day.

This made it easy to catch some zZz's on the way to Kenya, and we were both out for the majority of the flight. Arriving early in the morning, we had a short time in the Nairobi airport, before catching the last flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). We got our first glimpses of both Kilimanjaro, and Mt Meru on the flight... a teaser for what was to come.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Back in Canada

After 3 unbelievable weeks away, we arrived back in Saskatoon late Monday evening. It's been a little surreal trying to get back into the swing of things, in part because of the jet lag (still not into the groove), and just comparing ways of life. Large houses with several cars in the driveway, plush lawns, walking dogs; vs little shacks with rusty metal roofs, narrow red clay roads with cars driving 3 wide, cutting long grass & vegetation on the side of the road by swinging large blades & machetes. Utter poverty, treating your water, all still difficult to put together.

Being back won't mean the end of the site though. In fact, over the next week or two, I'll be posting stories, day specifics and photos not possible while away.

Thanks for keeping in touch by the comments and e-mail, and following along. We have had hundreds of people watching while we took on what appears to be a life changing journey.


Saturday, June 28, 2008

One More Day in Africa

(8:07pm local time) Well we're back from our safari in the Serengeti & Ngorogoro Crater. We saw THOUSANDS of animals, and it was quite the sight to behold. The visit to Olduvai Gorge was also particularly interesting (the dawn of man). Sadly, this evening we saw the rest of our group off. It was fitting to be able to see Kilimanjaro (for only the second time from below) with clear skies as they left. After living every moment with a group of strangers for 12 days, they become your friends. I miss them already.

We have one more night in Africa before boarding plane after plane to get home. We have bags to cram, and sleep to get. Tomorrow is a bonus day for us, and we're leaving our options open. Back in a few days, I'll begin to post details on the trip, and photos as I sort through them.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bring on the safari!

I received a phone call this morning from Dustin at 2:30 am Saskatoon time. They had already made it down Mt. Kilimanjaro and were just descending into the rain forest heading back into the village for some well deserved rest. Unfortunately the conversation was breaking up terribly and the delay was almost 10 seconds. (It feels much longer when you don't realize there's a delay and for a split second you think he's not getting your jokes) In the afternoon I was able to talk to Dust once more this time the reception was so much better but they delay was still there. It was a short conversation to let me know that they were just finishing packing and heading to bed for an early rise to begin their last leg of their adventure : the safari!! Sounds like a pretty amazing way to end a pretty amazing adventure, I am starting to picture the photos they'll take and I know they'll be breath taking. This will be my last entry on Dustin's behalf, I am heading to Manitoba for a few days. I know what you're thinking!!! Manitoba is so much cooler than Africa. I know, oh my I know. Well I can't wait to see what else Dustin will add to this blog, but its been a blast to relay his news to you guys! Have a safe trip home boys! I can't wait to see you both.
Much Love,

Monday, June 23, 2008

While we were sleeping.........

At 9:05am Tanzania time (12:05am Saskatoon time) Dustin and Dale made the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. They tried to call a few times but as you can imagine reception on the top of the African world can include a little static. I could hear them but they could not hear me. Dustin wasn't able to dial out from then on, so it was a few short text msgs to let me know that they had made it, and he would call me later tomorrow. 6 out of 11 trekers made it to the top, while the others had to unfortunately head down due to AMS related illness'. Exhausted but proud, they were heading for some well deserved rest. I can't wait to hear from him tomorrow and I'll let you know how they're doing.

Resting a little easier,


Sunday, June 22, 2008

On The Top Looking Down.

More e-mails from Dustin this weekend, and as I sit here and type this, Dale and Dustin are making their last leg up to the top. They're probably sitting at the top looking down on their climb. A few members of their party we no longer able to carry on due to acute mountain sickness (AMS) and fatigue and had to make their way down a little prematurely. A few other members were able to continue climbing after taking Diamox. Both Main boys were feeling great and they were able to acclimatized easily, most likely due to their Mt. Meru climb. Dustin met another climber (Ryan) who had the same weight issues as him, but unfortunately he had to make and early descent due to illness. They had been sleeping under a blanket of stars the last few nights, and some constellations were in view that we in Canada would not be able to witness. All is well, and I am anxiously awaiting a call or msg to see how their few moments on the summit played out. (DUSTIN I HOPE YOU TOOK MANY PHOTOS!!!)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This is what you've waited for

Dustin called me about 20 mins ago, it was 6am and they were just getting up to have a quick shower, eat and then it was off for their first leg of the Kili trek. A few more text msgs have trickled in over the last few days. He shared with me some interesting things that some of us will only dream of experiencing. Whether it be trekking up a mountain in freezing rain trying to keep yourself going (both mentally and physically), or standing on the ridge of a mountain with 100km winds nearly blowing you off the side, either would be more challenging then most of us will ever experience. He talked about seeing 11 giraffe along the trails and encountering some of the poorest people he'd ever seen, both of which will stay in him memory for the rest of his days. He'll be on Mt. Kilimanjaro for 7 days, and he will push himself to his limits to make it to the top. Not many of you may know how hard Dustin has trained for this trip, although you may have some idea from reading his posts on this blog. Dustin trained for over 6 months to gain muscle as well as weight for this trek. He wore those crazy hiking boots everywhere (and I MEAN everywhere) for months trying to break them in. He would lug around a 30 pound backpack on evening walks, running up and down black strap mountain with it on, run on the elliptical machines and snowshoe for hours in the field behind his house in the winter trying to get his cardio up, not to mention the weight of a pack on your hips. He DOUBLED the amount of food he ate everyday, consumed some pretty nauseating protein bars and drank power shakes on a daily basis. He cut out many foods that didn't give additional nutritional value (and we ALL know how much that kid loves the candy) even getting to the point where he actually stopped enjoying food itself. For the most of us, gaining weight seems so simple, I can't tell you how many times I wanted to strangle that boy (sorry Shirley) for not being able to gain weight, must be nice right? Not so much. Watching Dustin struggle with his weight became very worrisome in the last few weeks. If he missed a meal, he would lose up to two pounds, something he worked at for months and months to gain. In the end, it was 6 pounds. 6 pounds in 6 months, and today he makes his trek up to the roof of Africa to accomplish a dream he and his dad have talked about for years.Be careful up there, so you can come home safe to me and share your stories of this once in a lifetime opportunity you have in your hands. We're all thinking about you guys.With love,Stace.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summit of Meru

(10:25pm local time) Just a quick post and pic from the summit. Made summit @ 6:57am on Sunday morning after 5 hours through some of the worst weather I've experienced in my life... and certainly the worst trekking. Will follow up with details soon.

This is a pic of our ranger Cha Cha and I on the summit. Couldn't load a pic of my Dad and I because of a different memory card, and I only took my little camera up.

Day in Moshi tomorrow, then pack and off to Kilimanjaro. Stace will continue the updates!


I received a few more msgs from Dustin on the weekend. When he sent them they had just gotten up and the sun was shining and the summit was visible, but for only about 15 mins and then it clouded over. They had climbed to 3500m to the saddle hut today, then on to little Meru then back to the saddle huts. He told me it was a very very steep climb, they used their poles a lot to climb and it was very very slow going.

3:45 pm- Summit of little Meru at 3801m. They were in the clouds with white clouds all around them and they had brief glimpses of the land and villages below. Dustin said he was hoping to be able to spot Kilimanjaro but wasn't able to. Dustin also called me late last night to let me know that they had just woken up to begin their descent down the mountain and in to the village. They only had 900m left to go and then they were going to spend the day in the villages relaxing and doing laundry. He also left out a little detail about freezing rain hitting them on route to the summit, something the porters hadn't ever quite experienced. It made the route very treacherous and made it even more slow going on the down. They made it! Dustin said it was the hardest thing he's ever done and it was a constant struggle to keep one foot in front of the other. When I asked him how this climb would compare to Kili, he said the terrain is different and thought that this would be the hardest of the two climbs.

All is well in Africa. I am so very proud of you boys.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A msg from the Main Men.

Just a quick note from those boys of ours. I received a few text msgs from Dustin this morning before I went to work. They had climbed 5 hours up Mt. Meru, 2600m into the crater. They saw giraffe, zebra, blue monkeys, black and white calaboose monkeys and had a very close call with a buffalo. Apparently the buffalo was getting a little too close and the ranger had to cock his gun. It was over cast much of the day (10c)today and tomorrow they are climbing above the clouds to 3500m. The huts and facilities there are great and they boys were sitting down enjoying a break with some tea and popcorn. Sounds like they're having a great time! I'll keep you all updated with any more information.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Day In Moshi

(8:49pm local time) We arrived in Tanzania yesterday morning from Nairobi, Kenya, and our clocks were way out of whack.Fortunately our gear arrived with us and all those worries were set aside. Once arriving in Moshi, we went walking and stumbled upon an open market that will certainly stay with me for along time to come. Today we spent all day in Moshi, did some shopping, but unfortunately, only took a few photos.

Off to Mt. Meru tomorrow morning. Just about to pack our bags and head to bed. Sun sets here@5:30pm and it's black by 7:00pm. Temp been good, cloudy all today and much of yesterday kept temps cooler. This is the coolest time of year here.

Gotta cut this short, space button on this keyboard doesn't work,will update via txt in the days to come.Got cell phone hooked up and going this aft.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One Last Leg

Sitting in the Kenya Intl Airport (8:30AM Local time) awaiting our final flight to JRO. Just a 50 min flight and we're there. Long day in Amsterdam, put on some serious miles in shoes that shouldn't be worn when putting on serious miles.

S/B @ Keys by this evening and then to Mt. Meru tomorrow for the first climb beginning tomorrow. Well rested (relatively) from the Amsterdam-Nairobi flight so we're ready to get going. No official word on the bags at the moment, but we'll know in about 2.5hrs.


Half Way There

We're in Amsterdam for the day, and have been roaming around Amsterdam Central since about 8AM. Hot sun, clouding over for the moment, which is nice. (Currently 1:54PM local time June 10th)

Less nice, is that NorthWest Airlines lost our baggage on the first flight out of Saskatoon. The staff had been less than helpful, but we spoke with a rep here in Amsterdam who seems to think our 4 bags will meet us @ JRO. Hoping for the best!

More bicycles than you've ever seen in your life here, and people just lock the tire and leave them in piles before hopping on the train to work. Most of the bikes aren't anything to write home about, which is probably why they're still around when they come back from work.

In Tanzania in 24hours. 9 hour time difference from Saskatoon. I need a nap :)


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Off and Running

Well I'm off in just a few hours. We'll be updating the site while we're away so keep checking back day-to-day. Stacey will be relaying messages sent through here as well when we don't have access to a computer.

You can also leave a comment that we'll see below each post. Just click '__ Comments' near the bottom of the post. Type out your comment, and where it says 'Choose an Identity' pick 'Name/URL' and type your name in. You don't have to register. Finally click 'Publish your comment' and you're set. We'll be checking these when we can.

Only 21hrs of flights over 2 days from Tanzania...


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Gearing Up

The countdown is on. Just a few more 'sleeps' and I've been busy tying up all the loose ends that always seem to pop up when you're about to leave regular life for a month. I've now started sprawling all of my gear over the floor in neat (hah), organized (hah), piles (bang on) in hopes that I can curb a last minute panic for a piece of missing '___.'

My body has been taking a bit of a beating as I train it to carry more weight than I'll need to on the climbs. The idea is that by putting a bit of extra weight in the pack now, it'll be a bit easier when I've got a wee bit less in later. Admittedly, nothing too serious going on the training front now. Just doing rounds with the pack and working my stretches and whatnot. Keeping it simple and injury free.

Camera(s) ready to go, lenses outfitted, and filters loaded up. Looking forward to spending some time catching up on my photography for sure.