Wednesday, June 17, 2015

May 16 Day 22 Zero in Grants

(Patches showing us how to use the awesome bug net he got)
(Apparently I didn't really take pictures on this day. Apologies)

A grey, drizzly morning greeted us from the other side of the window.  A big smile crept onto my lips knowing that I would be indoors all day today.  Warm and dry.  I was able to get my hiker box from the Mumms, local trail angels who go so far out of their way to help us hikers, and take care of small errands in town.  The hot tub happened of course, along with blogging on the hotel's computer.  I said goodbye to my starting group as they decided to head out in the drizzle to get to the base of Mt. Taylor, our first big summit.  I don't know if I'll see them again, though it would be nice to.  The goodbyes are always questions.  They might be final.  I did get to spend more time with Shane, Lint, Patches, and Scallywag.  Hot Springs, Scallywag and I decided to all hike out together tomorrow to do the Lava Flow section that we had skipped yesterday. Scallywag was allowing a tendon injury to heal and waiting for his hiking partner, Easily Distracted, to catch up.  She had rescued a dog back in Pie Town.

It is an overall chill day with a jaunty trip to Walmart, not my usual haunt, to get some food and gear.  I had decided to relinquish my stove and make a new one.  I currently carry a Whisper Lite stove, which we used on other trips may many years ago, but it is not exceptionally lightweight or practical.  the fuel is hard to find now and can only be bought in large quantities.  I sent it home with a hug and a kiss and bought a can of cat food instead.

Lia, what are you talking about?  The cat food can makes the perfect stove!  Here are some instructions if you're interested.  Basically you feed a cat, clean the insides of the can out, punch holes in the top to allow for air flow, and voila!  All you need is some denatured alcohol or a yellow bottle of Heet from a gas station.  It is an alcohol stove and it is super light weight.  Many ultra light hikers don't even cook their food, they just soak it in water all day and eat it at the end of the day.  Cold mush.  I'm a bigger fan of hot mush, so I opted for a stove.  Many pro-cook thru-hikers use canister stoves like the Pocket Rocket or Snow Peak. I don't like tossing all those canisters, which do not generally get recycled, so I liked the cat food can idea better.  The only issue is that you cannot control the heat output or turn it off.  You have to get used to how much fuel you'll need for certain meals, but that's easy enough.

It is time to retire for the night.  Another night in a warm bed! After one more dip in the hot tub of course!

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