Wednesday, April 20, 2016

what i'm packing for the galapagos islands

You read here what I'm packing for the first leg of our trip (Machu Picchu hike on the ancient Inca Trail), now going to the equator....still packing light. So what did I pack for spending a few days at sea?

Camelbak Ante Hydration Pack the same one going with me to Machu Picchu. Its big enough to carry my stuff in and I'll never find myself without water. No dehydration is going to slow me down!

Image result for atika women's sandals orbit

Atika Hiking sandals -  These will be good for wet and dry landings. They can go from hiking to snorkeling just like that. I don't want to be wearing any socks on this part of the trip so these should come in handy!


Olympus Tough 860 - waterproof to 50 feet, shock proof to 7 feet and came in a bundle with a 32 GB memory card, case and float strap. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of memory space and batteries. Since my camera and phone are both rechargable, I decided to go with an underwater digital to try to capture the best of the Galapagos Islands. 

rash guard shirt, workout t-shirts (Under Armour), board shorts, UA zip off pants, sundress, light sweatshirt, rain jacket (Mountain Hardwear Plasmic), Farm to Feet socks, lady garments, sandals, hat, hiking shoes (Merrell), polarized sunglasses

headlamp, book, camera (2 handhelds and my cell phone), Ipod shuffle, collapsible water bottle, snorkel, binoculars

medical supplies (altitude sickness, travelers diarrhea, Advil, Imodium, mini first aid kit, 2nd skin), sunscreen, bug repellent (50% deet, Dramamine), cleansing wipes, deodorant, chap-stick, moisturizer, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, shampoo/conditioner, detangler, mascara, comb

Clif bars, Honey Stinger energy chews, protein bars, homemade trail mix

ziploc bags, passport, copies of all travel documents, small bills for tips 

Monday, April 18, 2016

what i'm packing for machu picchu

I'm always looking for a good excuse to buy some new outdoor equipment so of course for the biggest trip of my entire life I purchased a few new items. My rationale? I would have to be packing light for a trip that includes hiking for 4 days, topping out at nearly 14,000 feet (yes, I'm going to be coming close to this bucket list checkmark again) and includes cruising, snorkeling and hiking at the equator. The ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands. 30 degrees to 70 degrees. Layers is the name of the game!

Porters can be hired to carry some of a person's stuff....sign me up for that. They will carry anything you don't need during the day ie sleeping bag, some extra changes of clothes etc. The weight that you are allowed to have a Porter carry for you is about 11 lbs.

Prior to leaving the US of A, I made an appointment at the Travel Clinic with the University of Utah. The staff there was very knowledgeable and helpful in helping me determine which vaccinations I most needed and gave lots of travel pointers.

Getting Ready
Hepatitis A & B vaccination, Yellow Fever vaccination exemption form, Tetanus, Malaria vaccination, Ciprofloxacin (traveler's diarrhea prescription), Acetazolamide (altitude sickness prescription), lots of advice ranging from don't eat at street food stands, use lotion type insect repellent with at least 25 - 50% Deet, apply sunscreen before insect repellent, prewash clothes with Permethrin (dengue fever, zika virus)

The good stuff

Merrell Azura Waterproof Hiking Shoes - Women's - 2015 Closeout
Merrell Azura Waterproof hiking shoes
Merrell Azura Waterproof hiking shoes I got these babies with a 25% off coupon AND from REI outlet on closeout, saving over $25. I bought them in July 2015 for our May 2016 trip to make sure they were nice and comfy to hike the trail in.

Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Rain Jacket
Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Rain Jacket Another purchase from REI outlet on closeout with a 25% of coupon. Machu Pacchu has a rainy season and rain is not uncommon during anytime of the year. Being from southwestern Wyoming, I wasn't really sure what a rain jacket was....but I think I like this one and its packs down into its own pocket, perfect for carrying it on my own back! Plus white is supposed to be an ideal color if Search & Rescue happens to be looking for you. Do they have Search & Rescue in Peru?

Camelbak Ante Hydration Pack I have a Camelbak Mule Hydration Pack, but I was a little worried that I'd be able to carry enough of my own stuff in it. I bought the Mule for mountain biking, but have taken it on several excursions, including to 14,000 feet to the top of Pikes Peak. Assistant Pack Leader has the Camelbak Ante and she loaned it to me for my trip, since I'll be on the trail for 4 days and hers fits more survival food...aka snacks.

Farm to Feet socks Wool socks! I'll be putting lots of miles in until I get to the Galapagos (where I'd better not be wearing any socks)! One of my ranchers used to sell his wool to this company and introduced me to the great properties of wool. They are about the only socks I wear anymore....winter or summer! They keep your feet warm and dry, wicking away sweat helps prevent blisters too.


REI RevelCloud Jacket I love this little puffy piece of heaven. Its light weight, super warm and packs into its own pocket for easy carrying!


Patagonia Snap T-Fleece Vest - cute and functional. Remember layers is the name of the game. That is all.

Foldable Travel Luggage Duffle Bag Lightweight for Sports, Gym, Vacation and Travel Duffel Bags(60l, Orange)

Foldable, Water Resistant Ripstop Nylon Duffle - I read many peoples packing list and since we are going at the end of the rainy season I got scared of all my stuff getting wet in a torrential downpour, leaving me with nothing but wet clothes to wear. I picked up this duffle to corral my things that will be carried by the Porter for about $14 bucks on Amazon. I'm not taking any chances on wet stuff!

Now for the less exciting stuff, yet still needed (I think) that I packed

thermal top (Patagonia capiline 3), thermal bottoms (Minus 33 wool), t-shirts (Wooly), UA zip off pants, leggings, Pokes hat, beanie, fleece gloves, lady garments, fleece pj pants, running shoes, polarized sunglasses, rain poncho

headlamp, sleeping bag, book, camera (2 handhelds and my cell phone), Ipod shuffle, collapsible water bottle, water purification tablets

medical supplies (altitude sickness, travelers diarrhea, Advil, Imodium, mini first aid kit, 2nd skin), sunscreen, bug repellent (50% deet), cleansing wipes, deodorant, chap-stick, moisturizer, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer

Clif bars, Honey Stinger energy chews, protein bars, homemade trail mix

passport, copies of all travel documents, small bills for tips 

Porter Bag Weight: 10.5 lbs
Camelbak Weight without water: 7.5 lbs

Don't worry, after I get back I'll update my list to what I nailed, what I could have done without and what I wish I would have packed for my trip.

Monday, April 4, 2016

in 2016 i will: first quarter update

I'm glad you are here checking in on me! Making sure I'm holding up my end of the bargain here on this goal list of 2016. I'm so glad that I took this generic list and made it mine. I'm excited about what I've done and so looking forward to the creativity and freedom to make these goals all mine and making 2016 a year for the books!


1. GET A HOBBY - Let's be honest, I can't really afford many more hobbies. The upside of having alot of hobbies, there is always room to devote more time and attention to said hobbies (especially since I have several "new" hobbies, less than 3 years old. In 2016 I will:
  • take 3 mountain bike trips
  • take 2 golf trips
2. DO SOMETHING THAT SCARES YOU - I'm a hermit and I don't like change, yet I love to travel. Leaving the US of A and my understanding of the English language isn't an easy thing for me to do. In 2016 I will:
  • hike the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru
  • stand in both the southern and northern hemispheres at the same time in Equador
3. NURTURE YOUR BODY - This is something that has become so very important to me over the last 2 years. Our bodies are temples and allow us to explore all that God has made for us. In 2016 I will:
  • get 12 massages to maintain physical and mental health
    • 4/12 - ahead of schedule....well that sure doesn't happen very often for me!
  • complete the Hammer & Chisel program
    •  I'm a month into this program and I love it so far. Its challenging and rewarding. Its taking me about twice as long as its supposed to because I don't devote 6 days a week to the program because I spin 2x a week and usually ski 2x a week plus I need a rest day every now and again.
  • get to my new goal weight 
    • I did it! I weigh the same as when I graduated high school and then I decided it needed to be a nice round 50 that too, now looking forward to having to get that new drivers license.
4. STEAL MOMENTS OF SOLITUDE - I live alone, so a better goal is probably for me to leave my solitude and get out there, but I didn't make the list so I'll stick to it! What was that about comfort zones? In 2016 I will:
  • take time for myself and complete 4 books with my girlfriends in the Bucketlist Book Club
    • For the Love Jen Hatmaker
5. PLAN A GETAWAY - Please refer to 1 and 2....I've got this one in the bag, but just in case you don't think I can honestly cross a goal off of a list with another goal from the same list....In 2016 I will:
  • plan at least one weekend getaway....key word being plan, I tend to go and plan along the way.
    •  Assistant Pack Leader and I have a weekend of skiing planned for Loveland coming right up. Pray for a spring powder day!
6. CREATE SOMETHING - I've got thousands of Pinterest pins awaiting me to create. In 2016 I will: 
  • complete at least 2 Pinterest pins
    • Windmill on the wall
7. FIND A SONG + MAKE IT YOUR SONG - I've had the same favorite song for a long time now. Its going to be a change, but in 2016 I will:
  • find a new "Jen" song
8. SAVE MONEY - ah, the ever elusive save money goal. I have this goal every year, sometimes I nail it, sometimes I don't. In an effort to hold myself more accountable I'm going to make mini goals in order to meet the overall goal. In 2016 I will:
  • meet a quarterly savings goal for 4 quarters
    • An extra paycheck and a tax return are tucked away, under lock and key.
9. SPREAD YOURSELF THICK - to me this means to slow down, to do what makes me happy and make an effort to say NO so that I can enjoy the things I do put on my plate. Picking one thing to concentrate on this year for this goal is tough, but to be thick I'd better have some focus. In 2016 I will:
  • focus on being a strong supervisor and providing the training and guidance to developing new employees while maintaining to improving the service that we provide to participating customers.
10. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE - I'm the strangest person I know. I feel like outgoing hermit accurately describes me. Make sense? Yeah, don't worry it confuses me too. I'd prefer to stay home as to going out. I prefer a small group to a "club". Speaking of which I saw a new bar sign in Rock Springs that said "Night Club" um.....yeah, no. Not in Rock such thing. In 2016 I will:
  • join Sweetwater Mountain Biking Association
    • I went to my first meeting in January and now I'm getting involved....eeeekkkkk. I've also gotten involved with the Annual Trails Day and Trek bike raffle.
  • join Co-ed volleyball team
    • I played co-ed volleyball this season. While we weren't that good, we got better and we did have fun!
11. MAKE DATES WITH OTHER PEOPLE - This will likely be in the form of some type of trip. In 2016 I will
  • make a conscious effort to schedule dates with other people at least once a month
    • January: Ski Weekend at Grand Targhee with Cooper
    • February: Ski Weekend at Steamboat with Sisters & Friends
    • March: Lucky 7 bull sale with Jeremiah Johnson
    • March 2: Zac Brown Band concert in Jackson with my Star Valley friends 
12. DATE YOURSELF - If I can't date me, then why would anyone else? Solitary time is good for the soul. In 2016 I will:
  • take some me time and take myself somewhere at least once a month. Don't worry, I won't tell you what I talk about with myself.
    • January: Mummies of the World
    • February: Frostbite 5K & How to Be Single movie
    • March: Instead of a "date" this time, I Tylie bought me a Ewe-nique Wool Wreath that I've been wanting for a couple of years   
13. IMPROVE THE LIFE OF OTHERS - I like doing things for others. I like making/doing/gifting things that I know people will love. I like making others lives just a bit easier. And this year I am super excited about what I'm going to do to fullfill this goal. Stay tuned for more info! In 2016 I will: 
  • donate to a special cause and special people to help fullfill their dream 
    • Running Dogs Brewery
  • adopt a kid from the Tree of Sharing
  • adopt a senior from the Tree of Sharing
14. BE GRATEFUL - I have so much to be grateful for yet I still find myself thinking about all the things I don't have frequently. In 2016 I will:
  • write a blog each month about something in my life that I am grateful for.
    • January: (posted in February) health
    • February: employment
    • March: friends 
15. CHOOSE A CHARITY - My go to charity is the Salvation Army. Each year I choose to donate to the Western State College Foundation, Dr. Clem Ward Scholarship Fund (Oklahoma State University), the Dave Grimes Memorial Fund and the Salvation Army. This year I'm going to do something a little different under this goal. Stay tuned for more information about that! In 2016 I will:
  • donate to Salvation Army, Western State College Foundation, Dr. Ward's scholarship and Dave Grimes Memorial Fund.
16. STOP FEELING GUILTY - All things considered, I'm a pretty good person. I try to do things for others, I try to please others and its usually at my own expense. In 2016 I will:
  • do what's best for me
  • say NO when I need to or when I do not want to do something 

As always, I reserve the right to add, delete, change any or all of these goals as I deem necessary.

Friday, April 1, 2016

the barn by bryan [april 2016]

I got a call, ere, a text on the all request line for some classic rock. I am not one to deny this kind of request so, for you listening enjoyment here is your April playlist.

Dream On, Aerosmith
Wanted, Dead or Alive, Bon Jovi
Baba O’Riley, The Who
Up Around the Bend, Credence Clearwater Revival
Sweet Child of Mine, Guns N Roses