Sunday, September 4, 2011

Big Sycamore with Ella

Yesterday I took a nice hike with my daughter Ella. She is only 10 months at this point so I brought her backpack carrier and used it to carry her with. It mimicked the weight of a pack. I have the Kid Comfort II by Deuter, it is a very nice pack for hiking around with the baby. It fits really well and has lots of extra storage space for food and baby gear. I have not hiked Sycamore Canyon in years and either forgot it was paved or they paved it over the years. I was disappointed about the asphalt, but tried to stay right off the path when I could, where there was dirt and rocks. I was using my Black Diamond Trail Shock Trekking Poles, but not on the asphalt due to the fact that they did not come with rubber tips. I'll need those for granite surfaces on JMT.

When we got most of the way to the bottom of the canyon I realized my right boot was a bit loose and the ball of that foot felt "blistery." I tightened up my boot and the problem never got any worse, but never got better throughout the hike. I am not sure what the cause is, so more trial and error is required. The boots have not given me issues yet, they are still relatively new, but not brand new. They are a pair of Vasque Bitterroots that I have loved from the moment I put them on. I sat at REI for an hour and tried on different boots. I love the way these feel! They may be heavier than some people may like, but personally I need support and grip, and these deliver. My guess is that the problem is either the boot being slightly loose, or the asphalt I ended hp "hiking" on.

The scenery is very nice, a little exposed on the way down but nice cover on the canyon floor. We stopped at a picnic bench and I fed Ella her pouch of food and gave her some water. After a little rest and a diaper change I set out to go a bit farther down the trail where I could link up with a dirt trail named "trail sin nombre" which is a paradox. Once I got to the dirt, Ella decided she'd had it with hiking and the backpack and let me know by crying and kicking the whole way back. (Who can really blame her, it had been a couple of hours at this point and it was getting hot)

So the way back was slow, I stopped quite a few times to let Ella out of the pack so she'd calm down a bit. I ended up carrying her the final mile which was tiring, yet fun. I think I'm going to take Ella on shorter shadier hikes for a while.

I also was trying out my new SPOT Personal Tracker, this is a handy device to have. I had it send 3 OK messages, but only the first one was done right. I did not realize that the SPOT could not send OK messages in track mode so 2 of the OK's were not sent at all. The tracking mode works fine, I forgot to turn it on right away so it didn't pick me up until I had been on the trail for almost an hour. I was able to see my trip online when I got back home and it was amazing how accurate it was. Here is a link to the SPOT Adventures page. This will be fun to use with a camera and have my trips logged by GPS on computer. It's extra weight, but it's worth it in my opinion. (I will get into my ultra light vs traditional backpacking in another blog post.)

All in all this was a good hike. I'm going to pamper my feet today and get on another hike tomorrow evening.

Have a good day on the trails!


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