Saturday, July 4, 2009

Rice and Lentils

The biggest challenge I am having right now in preparation for the John Muir Trail, is deciding what kind of food to bring. Unfortunately, I can't remember what I ate when I hiked the Long Trail in Vermont in 2001. Last night I decided to experiment with rice and lentils. I was pleasantly surprised how much food was produced by just a small amount of each. I imagine one could bring one 5lb bag of rice and have enough dinner for the whole trip.

Throw in some spices and Parmesan cheese, and it was actually quite good. The one thing I do remember about the Long Trail was feeling famished all the time, especially after the first week of hiking. I think pack weight is going to be essential this time around. I've been noticing that my right foot has been bothering me a bit whenever I have hiked more than 5 miles in a day. In fact, the last "big" hiking trip I undertook (which was only 30 miles in 3 days in the Smokies,) my foot was hurting so bad I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish. I blame the Washington Redskins. Three years ago when I was living in Arlington VA, I was able to watch the Skins play every Sunday. It was great, come home from church, put a Tombstone pizza in the oven, crack open a Dr. Pepper (or 2 or 3), and watch football the rest of the afternoon. I remember one game in particular in which Clinton Portis (the Redskins running back) fumbled the ball three times in one game. By the third fumble, I slammed my foot down on my coffee table with such force and disgust that I immediately felt a pain and ringing sensation in my foot. After further cursing at both the Skins and my throbbing foot, I noticed that whenever I played guitar for weeks and months afterward, I had to tap my left foot. Whenever I tapped my right, I felt a strange discomfort. To this day I'm not sure exactly what happened, but I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me in the Sierras.

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