I've made a little bit of dried veggies. I have some zucchini drying right now. It's more cost-effective to buy it already dried at the store but they don't have peppers, onions and zuc so I'm supplementing. The Asian market had dried onion so I'll probably buy some of that rather than continue to stink up the house. And some dried tofu, too. The dried tofu looks quite promising. I wonder how long miso would last unrefrigerated.
I've also discovered Israeli cous-cous. It's kind of like tapioca pearls. It cooks very fast. Looks like I'll have a lot of variety. I probably am worrying too much about food, but I don't think I can complete the hike on Little Debbie and beef jerky like these silly fool 20 year old boys can do.
Today I made a giant mylar shower-cap for my umbrella. It actually does feel cooler underneath. I hope this will help in hot weather. I'm going to test it out on a backpack trip this weekend to Hurricane Deck.
Hurricane Deck is behind the burn zone so there won't be any shade now, not that there was any before. No shade, no water. Should be very hot. I'll have a chance to test out everything on this trip, including my body.
The first day is already more than I've ever been able to accomplish on the Manzana trail. All the way to White Ledge in one day? Yikes! Then all the way across the entire Hurricane Deck on Saturday. Sunday will just be from Schoolhouse back to Nira. That I know I can do. I will have to practice what I've been preaching, which is that if I'm prepared to walk 10 hours I don't have to go that fast and I will make it without killing myself.
I've been trying to get my body back in shape somewhat gradually. I haven't hiked every day, but I've hiked most days. I feel pretty good but suddenly I'm starting to feel my fitness kick back in. It's amazing how cubicle life takes its toll on your fitness. Just the dreary fluorescent lights (if we were ever lucky enough to have them turned on) and lack of sunshine is enough to drag a body down.
Yesterday I hiked Blue Canyon. This is a pretty easy hike, but it's remote and wild enough to bring the zest back into life. I feel so alive and happy now. I love my new life. I don't want it ever to end.
When I'm out there I'm so happy and fulfilled, even if I have to push through spider webs and poison oak on the trail. Back in real life I have to read how the Bush administration wants to put power lines through Joshua Tree and basically destroy all that makes me personally wealthy. People have to wake up. More plastic trash and gadgets is not the answer to happiness. Fresh air, sunshine, birds, flowers, creeks with frogs and a long trail through beautiful places are the true riches in life, the true path to happiness. And if you disagree with me, then please don't destroy my riches for your temporary gain. On your death bed you'll understand how it wasn't worth it.