I don’t have any crazy world adventures to report today, but I am preparing to enter parts unknown. At the end of this month, I will be attending the ADK Winter Mountaineering School. This is a non-profit group sponsored by the Adirondack Mountain Club. The school helps individuals gain knowledge of winter camping and mountaineering through the common medical approach – see one, do one, teach one. Except in this case, we will be bypassing “seeing one” completely and starting right off with the second step. This opportunity was graciously offered to me by Eric Shaw, one of the faculty at SUNY Upstate. Being from Wisconsin, the cold weather aspects of this trip don’t scare me. But what so far has been frightening is the amount of extremely expensive items on the required gear list. After obsessively looking at expedition sleeping bags for weeks, I finally pulled the trigger last night and purchased a -40 degree bag.
Yes, you read that correctly – $899!!! Ouchies! Don’t worry, I will definitely include my thoughts regarding this beast’s performance after my winter adventure. I’m scheduled to take a trip to the Arctic with my brother this spring as well, so at least it will get a little more use. Let’s see, if I use it for 12 nights total, that’s only roughly $75 per night… That’s about the same price as a Super 8 along a congested expressway at 2am when every other hotel is booked.
So I was pretty proud of myself for making the commitment to this venture, and for starting to get the gear early. Usually I am buying items and then packing them mere hours before a big trip. But then it dawned on me that maybe I’m missing a very important piece of this puzzle. Um, like getting in shape. So I bundled up yesterday and hit the road for a quick 3 mile run, in 20 degree weather, in freezing rain. I think I may have worked off at least half of one the almond cookies that I made with my Mom while I was home. Oh well, as Lao Tzu is credited with saying: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”