Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday in the Park

Went for a hike at Chatfield Reservoir State Park. Windy and warm, and we could watch small storms hit the mountains. Geez...that's a big dam. The Army Corps of Engineers says the lake there is about 27,000 acre-feet, but the capacity is 355,000 acre-feet. That would be some flood.

The Corps (or maybe the State) sure designed some mod park fixtures:






It seemed fitting to be out on the windy plains sitting under a stylized concrete wing for a sun-shade.

The entire park is littered with circular concrete toilet facilities:



If the Corps was designing/building these funny upswept pillboxes for pit toilets, the 60's were truly as wild as they say.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Heavy Hiking

I got interested in doing a few sections of the Continental Divide Trail this summer, and wrote Johnathan Ley for his great maps. He wrote back that he saw me hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 1999 with a camp chair and thought it seeed "excessive" (but comfortable). Back then, I could bang out long days with my little chair (it really only weighed a few ounces), free-standing tent, a few books, etc. This made some sense as I really enjoyed doing long stretches on the trail (Muir Trail with no break, for example). I really pared down for shorter trips, like the Long Trail, but still use pretty much the same stuff. A lot of the lightweight guys looked really sleep-deprived. But if I'm not going out for long, why not go a bit lighter? Sounds fun. This blog won't really be about hiking, but other random stuff as well.

Going lightweight reminds me of ultrarunning, and ultrarunning reminds me of my favorite running pack, the Angeles Pack Co. Race Pack. Although I couldn't always even tolerate that thing and would just carry two of those strappy handheld water bottles (good arm workout).

By the way, those maps are amazing!