Sunday, August 17, 2014
Friday, August 15, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Friday, August 8, 2014
I made a promise that we would walk up Pikes Peak to my son (seated in the picture) 3 years ago this month. That year we visited Big Bend, Carlsbad Caverns, and Pikes Peak. At each National Park he wanted to hike explore and play. I was in denial of my obese condition but reality quickly hit and I could do nothing with him. I forfeited a lot of great memories and experiences. By the time we had driven to the summit of Pikes Peak I was completely beaten down with shame and sadness for disappointing Simon. The depressed look on his face to this day sickens me. It was on the way back to Texas I apologized and promised him in 3 years for his Senior trip we would return to Pikes Peak and we would walk up that mountain. I was 370 pounds with a 60 inch waist. Since then my weight has been a roller coaster but have netted a 130 pound loss and brought my waist down to 42 inches. I also replaced my right hip which I damaged in 1986 in a car wreck. Now we are driving to Colorado Springs to complete this promise. We hit the trail head of Barr Trail 8/9 will go half way and spend the night at Barr Camp and then summit 8/10 which also happens to be Simon's 19th birthday.
Tomorrow we hit the Barr Trail trail head, will spend the night on the mountain at Barr Camp and summit on Sunday. We arrived in Colorado 2 days ago and went straight to the trailhead of Barr Trail to practice both physically and mentally. We went about a1/4 mile up the trail just to get a taste. I have been telling other Texans that are going to hike up with us, "we have no idea what it is REALLY going to be like" I felt the truth in my own words while walking up that 1/4 mile. The trail is even more intimidating for me than I thought. Especially after stumbling to get around a precarious rock, while a hundred foot very step drop off was just to my right.
From a physical perspective I could definitely be in better shape. What I am proud of is that I had my right hip replaced March 20th and while not as strong as had hoped that leg would be it has held up very well. I don't know how affected I am by the oxygen at the 6500 foot level at the base of the mountain in Manitou Springs but I don't feel like it has affected me very much if any at all.
We have trained every day this week. Yesterday I went part way up the Manitou Incline, which is a mile of stairs straight up. I made it about a quarter mile of the way up and then descended back down; which was even MORE taxing on my quads than going up! This was do to the slow step down really feeling the burn as I lowered my body to the next step.
We are ready as we will ever be! Today is rest day our legs are sore! We will be driving to Leadville Colorado today, the highest town in the USA at 10, 152 feet. The group in the picture are those I am very blessed to have joining my son and me on this adventure. Seated in the picture is Simon, my incredible son to whom I made this promise. To the left are Mike and Lisa Martinez. Lisa is also blogging about this adventure at Catholic Tourist's web site. In the middle is a new wonderful friend Terri who had also turned her health around and made this trek 5 times already! At my side is my incredible, supportive wife, that has lost over 90 pounds in preparation for this adventure. Then there I am on the right.
Thank you ALL of you who have supported us; Family, Friends, and Facebook pals! Especially those of you on facebook that have encouraged me, educated me, and at times have tried to SET ME STRAIGHT!
So tomorrow we are off with a strong will, great support, and prayers for a safe hike and good weather. PIKES PEAK OR BUST!
Sunday, August 3, 2014
Unable to dedicate time to a fun count down do to other life priorities it is an exciting moment for my family. Could not get my weight below 240 for the past month but my waist size did go from 46 to 42!!
We rehabbed my hip replacement. Lost more weight and put on some muscle. We practiced hikes the longest one 7.5 miles. Packed repacked and then packed again. We have one last week to prep and will hit Colorado 3 days before we hit the trail head to acclimated to the elevation. Hydration will be happening and ibuprofen 2 days before and throughout.
3 years work to a completing a promise to my son; PIKES PEAK!
Saturday, July 19, 2014
No it is not the most pleasant of subjects but I like to think myself as a realist and as thorough. Here is a link that tells you how to deal with number 2!
Most importantly folks focus on the "why" to follow the instructions especially around water sources.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
This little 3.2 mile walk was a huge dose of reality! While I have lost 130 pounds to prepare for this adventure I need to shed as much more as I can (my goal 70 more) and best be bringing a Rocky like montage of training!
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Up 3 pounds. I haven't been balanced with work, exercise, diet, life events. I haven't been handling stress well. I haven't been focused. I haven't been organized in my diet and exercise. Folks without foucus, organization and balance it is hard to be successful in all areas.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BUSTED THROUGH! I finally past the 250 mark and am now closer to 200 than I am 300. I will admit I have been nervous to step on the scale. I cranked up the calories a bit, splurged a little more often but also cranked up the activity. Not just exercise but just "moving". I received this advice from research and friends and it has paid off! Charging like a bull to get below 200.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Sunday, April 27, 2014
According to a write up Wild Backpacker on average there are over 50 deaths from lightning strikes annually in the United States and as many as 24,000 globally. In previous post I pointed to data the reported that the county Pike's Peak resides in, El Paso County, was the second highest in Colorado for cloud to ground lightning strikes. Immediately below is an excerpt from a previous post, "Barr Trail, This is Not a Walk in the Park" Followed by that are What to do, and what not do that I have read during my research for this post.
According to the NOAA there are on average 27.5 thousand cloud to ground lightning strikes per year in El Paso county Colorado. The numbers in the image below are in the thousands and represent an annual average. Notice El Paso county, home of Barr Trail is by far the second most county for cloud to ground lighting strikes.
Keep in mind too that when hiking up Pike's Peak, based on your altitude, you could end up INSIDE the cloud where lightning is occurring.
|Year||Month||Day||Time||Total Killed||Total Injured|
The Lightning Position:
If are in a situation where a lightning storm is upon you and you are not in a modern structure or a hard topped vehicle then a safe measure to take would be to get into the Lightning Position. The goal is to create as SMALL a front print as possible touching the ground and to be as low as possible.
Remove any protruding metal from you (i.e. back pack frames, trekking poles) and distance from it,
Put both feet closely together (if possible get on a foam pad or pack with no metal)
Squat down on the balls of your feet
Head down and hands over your ears
If you are with others then separate out at least 50' from one another. The point of this is that it will hopefully reduce the number of casualties if there is a strike and allow others to render aid to anyone who is struck.
To Do's and NOT To Do's:
Prevention is Best:
1. Time visits to high risk areas with local weather patterns.
2. Keep an eye on the weather and turn around to safety sooner rather than later
1. An enclosed modern structure is best, a hard topped vehicle is a runner up
2. If there is no structure or vehicle then head for safer terrain
a. If on a mountain; descend, most preferably on a side not covered by clouds, below the tree line is safer than above
b. If there is no more time to descend, meaning the lightning is upon you or soon will be
i. find a significant depression and go to it get into the Lightning Position
ii. find a grove of trees trying to surround your self with shorter trees which hopefully are further out surrounded by taller trees. Lightning tends to strike the tallest object. Get into the Lightning Position.
A GROVE OF TREES IS SAFER THAN OPEN TERRAIN; WHERE YOU MAY VERY WELL BE THE TALLEST OBJECT.
3. If 1 and 2 are not options and the storm is upon you get into the Lightning Position.
What to Avoid:
1. Being the tallest object if possible! (BUT DO NOT LAY DOWN; get in the Lightning Position)
2. Do not stand or seek shelter under the tallest object
3. Peaks and ridges
4. Overhangs (this includes your front porch by the way)
5. Wide open ground
What do if someone is struck:
If an individual is struck by lightning it is best to render aid as soon as safely possible.
IT IS A MYTH THAT YOU WILL BE SHOCKED BY THE PERSON THAT WAS JUST STRUCK
There is a high chance that the individual may be in cardiac arrest (their heart has stopped beating) and that they are not breathing. Training in CPR and First Aid are offered in multiple venues. Classes, training methods, and reference info; including phone apps, backed by the Red Cross and the American Heart Association can be found on line.
Click Here for the Red Cross
Click Here for the AHA
A Handy Lightning Risk Management Pamphlet for Hikers and Campers
The NOAA, the National Weather Service, and NOLS, have put together a PDF to be downloaded, printed, followed, and toted. It is very illustrated and informative. I especially like the large "at a glance" graphic that shows examples of areas the at greatest risk to least risk.
Click Here to access the Pamphlet.
NOLS also has a nice write up on backcounty lightning risk management that explains the "why" to some of the safety precautions advised to be taken, Such as seek a grove of small trees next to larger trees. Click Here to view their document.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Yesterday marked 4 weeks since my hip replacement. The day before that I was told by the therapist at my doctor's office that I was to slow it WAY down. I was disappointed to hear this. I have heard that I need to slow it down a bit but this new therapist gave me the physiologic facts and possible repercussions. I have requested a phone call with my doctor to run what she said by him. She reminded me that he is a true extreme athlete (biathlons / triathlons) and said he is probably going to say, "heck yeah, go for it!"
I will do as always, gather advice, facts, opinions, of others and then make my own decision. I will not purposefully do something that will cause this replacement to be ineffective and place me right back in the same pain I have been in over the past 25+ years. To that end, I have already come to the decision there is MUCH I can do cardio wise and resistance wise to train, and I can train every other muscle, joint, bone in my body to its max potential while still babying my right hip and femur and performing only recommend exercises upon it.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
There a few sites out there the have write ups on comparisons but by far the best I found was from Outdoor Gear Lab from the which the below information is taken. But first a little on the importance of water especially as it pertains to physical exertion and altitude.
According to the United States Geological Survey web page up to:
60% of the human body is water
73% of the brain and heart are water
83% of the lungs
64% of the skin
79% of muscles and muscles and kidneys and
31% of our bones are water!
Here it is a graphic from the USGS site. Notice that little blurb in the lower right hand concerning the aid in delivering OXYGEN to the entire body. I am thinking that will become even more critical the greater the ascent into higher altitudes.
By the way; water weighs 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) per liter. This is something important to keep in mind as you pack the amount of gear you will be carrying.
Concerning altitude sickness I have come across contradicting information but most of it ways towards the fact that drinking additional water helps reduce the risk of altitude sickness. What seems more plausible is that dehydration is mistaken for altitude sickness. Dehydration will be more prevalent during the hike due to a couple of factors, the most obvious being the additional exertion of hiking up the side of mountain. Another factor is increased water vapor lost from the lungs, according to WikiHow.
Water Purification System Options
Items to consider when selecting a system:
- Cost - How much will the system set you back your pocket book?
- Reliability and Effectiveness - When out in the middle of nowhere will you be able to count on the system? Will the system rid the water of both bacteria and virus?
- Amount of water treated - How many hikers will be needing the water? Will you be expecting to cook with the water?
- Time to treat - Will treatment be fairly instant or will have to treat for several hours.
- Weight - How much weight will the system be adding to your gear
- Ease of use - Will you need an engineer degree to put the system together or will be as simple as dropping a tablet into a bottle of water?
Types of Systems: Those that CLEANS / Those that PURIFY
- Pump filters - cleanse water by pumping it through a filter
- Gravity-fed filters - cleanse water by using gravity to push it through a filter
- Drops and tablets - purify water by treating it with a chemical
- UV Light - purify water by treating it with ultraviolet light
For our trip up Barr Trail my understanding is that risk of virus is extremely is typically more a concern when hiking outside the US and Canada. We will hopefully only be minutes or a few hours away from receiving assistance if so needed. I would like to be able drink the water almost immediately and not have to carry around additional water while it treats. Hopefully we will be staying at Barr Camp where they will be cooking our meals, so that shouldn't be a concern!
Bottom line I may not really need a purification system but as I mentioned before I do believe in being prepared AND the geek in me wants so new toys to play with! I initially chose the Sawyer Squeeze System. This was due to the fact it met my requirements; low cost, light weight, eliminated pathogens and very small particulate and was rated a best buy by Outdoor Gear Lab.
The Squeeze System does not eliminate viruses and after performing some additional research for this post I decided to cover some additional bases (and yes get another toy) and decided to purchase the Steri-Pen as well to eliminate any viral agents that may be in the water source.
So to wrap up I realize my "newbness" is showing by adding extra weight to our gear and spending a little more than I need to but the bottom line is a will be able to squash bacteria, virus, and sizable particulate from our water. I hope others find this information useful and as always I welcome feedback and most importantly advice.