Wednesday, June 20, 2012

*Updated!* Packing photos

Clearly the Blogger App from my phone doesn't do photos well at all.  Thus, I'm redoing the post.

Gini, she's the reason I'm here!  She's also sending home two pack saddles with me for the summer.  Griffin is DEFINITELY learning to pack, and Q will likely get a lesson or two, also!  Oh, and Gini won Best Condition in the Old Dominion 100 several years ago...HOW COOL IS THAT!?

My packing partner Rebecca and I with our teacher, and Montana packing legend, Bob Hoverson.  Bob spent 42 years packing as a part of his job with the Forest Service.  He has written a book and has put out a DVD about packing Decker style.  Its been a lot of fun learning from him and getting to know him over the past two weeks.

The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of learning, meeting new friends, and playing in the Smokies.  I'm now a Leave No Trace Master Educator and can teach any of you the LNT information I have been taught.  In addition to all the LNT information, I learned a LOT about how to properly pack a horse into the backcountry.  I will be applying all the LNT principles and the packing knowledge come Monday morning.

I made the decision on Thursday to travel east for the weekend to stay with my Aunt and Uncle and visit my grandparents.  The Smokies are pretty, but ee gads are they HUMID.  I though WV was humid...WV is NOTHING compared to this.  Basically everything I owned was damp in some way/shape/form.  Yuck-o.

I mosied the 2 hours east with a stop in Asheville to eat the sushi I was jonesing for and to do a little boutique shopping.  I hadn't bought myself any clothes since October 2011.  That's a pretty good amount of time and I'm proud of myself for being able to do that, but I gave in yesterday and bought a cute green dress that will be very versatile.

I've done 4 loads of laundry and am currently packing/repacking my car for the trip back to the mountains for the pack trip.

We have a limited number of stock that we're allowed to take into the park, so getting in the equipment we need to build the hitching rails and the people we need to do it is tricky.  Lots of preparation and planning ahead! 

We will be traveling a total of 34 miles to install hitching rails on the Appalachian Trail.  I'm excited to experience my first trip and settle into "life at 3 mph".

The lumber bunks featured here are how we will pack pipes and lumber onto the Appalachian Trail to build the hitching rails.

I'm really excited to finally apply all I've been learning - and I'm really excited to get to pull a string of animals! 

More posts will follow in the upcoming days, I plan to rehash what I've learned and memorable moments into a series of posts while its fresh in my mind.  Photos will be minimal until I've returned home to my  CS4 capabilities.

And obviously a bigger keg would be easier, but we learned how to properly pack a keg into the backcountry.

I've been doing my best to keep up with everyone while I've been away; only one more week until I return to the "real world".  =)

On one of the many natural balds with a 360 degree view of the Smokies.

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