I really really really really (want to) like you 

A la Carly Rae Jaspen. Yes you are welcome for getting that earworm stuck in your head. (If you don’t know it, you’ve been warned. I’m pretty sure you’re googling it now..)

Anywayy lets talk about liking something

Rock climbing is something that I want to like, but haven’t come  to terms with it quite yet. I’m talking mainly about outdoor climbing. I haven’t done it a lot (4ish times), but each time I start out, I don’t like it, then I do.. Then I consider loving it. But I guess that’s the name of the game of learning something new It has its ups and downs. 

And maybe rock climbing isn’t my cup of tea. But I ain’t gonna give up on it and I’ll “never say never” (never say never a la Justin Bieber.)

Going back and fourth

I know that I’ll be doing a thru hike come April 10th 2017. The problem I’m having is going back and fourth between the A.T and P.C.T. Hiking the P.C.T in a way would be easier to get to the start (i could drive to San Diego to visit my grandma’s) vs flying. On the other hand I have family (and other trail angels) on the east coast…

 Gah!  Both trails cost roughly the same amount of money to do…. And fortunately I have some time. May the odds ever be in my favor.

Photo on 2016-07-27 at 10.45

honeymoon stage

You kind of know what you want, start making a spread and going to the mystical google. It’s a exciting time in your life because you will have gear. And having gear means adventures.

Photo on 2016-07-27 at 10.45 #2

Shocked stage

You’ve got your to buy list and are about to put items in your cart and bam. The sticker shock hits you. Why on earth do people charge extra for long items?! Maybe my 6’3 frame can fit into a regular sleeping bag. Those measurements are only suggestions (right?..) … Panic and despair might set it. Pros and cons list come out. You are up until the wee hours of the night trying to see if you can find the same items for a different price. Your backtracking your steps. This might happen over the course of a couple of months. Or a day. Or  less then 24 hours.

Photo on 2016-07-27 at 10.45 #3

Stomach drop

The “oh sh**” moment. Somehow your fingers managed to hit the shopping cart without your brain giving them the ok. You put down x amount of  your hard earned dollars. It is too late to turn back.  You have a shipment coming to you whether you like it or not.  You go back and fourth thinking if it was the right choice. But then comes the fourth stage.

Photo on 2016-07-27 at 12.49

The moment of happiness

Your gear has arrived! You start to unwrap it. You waited, put in the research and waited patiently ( or tried to forget about it so it will seem like a shorter amount of time between the time you ordered it and it being in your hands). You can finally just do it. The excuse of not having a gear is invalid.

And at the end of the day remember that the gear you researched and bought are a investment and tools that you’ll have for the long haul. So congratulations on the new gear kid. May it live long and prosper.

 

The emotional stages of buying gear

Backpacking Gear

Here is the general list of backpacking gear that people use on a backpacking trip. I’ll expand on them in more detail soon.

Backpack
Tent or other shelter system
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Cooking Stove (don’t forget the fuel!)
Cooking pot (if needed)
Utensils for cooking and to eat yummy food
Flashlight/headlamp
Hydration system (water bottles, camelbacks etc)
Water purification system (tablets, pumps, etc)
First Aid Kit
Sunscreen
Clothes
FOOD!

Hello

Hello. It’s me. Hello from the world wide web. I’ve been gone a couple times, but I’m baackk to tell you I’m going to be hiking 2,000 miles.

So… hopefully when you first read (hello)this Adele’s “Hello” jumped into your head as you read along, but it if it didn’t ah well.

But the big news that I’m announcing is that I’m planning to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2017 as a big birthday present to myself.

You read it right. THE APPALACHIAN TRAIl (not shouting, just excited. I promise) all 2,200 miles of it with my friend.   So from now until after I complete the trail, this will be the training site and updates to my progress.

And..cue music

 

 

Acid Castle

Groovy man.. .

It was after going up some hills and a missed turn that  I made it to Acid Castles. I had been there once before, a couple of years ago and felt like it was due time to return.

After going along a nice dirt path, ( and to my right I finally met with THE ROCK. No, not the basketball, nor the ROCK; (Dwyane Johnson), but Ashlands very own backyard bouldering spot; Acid Castle

Standing large and in charge was the castle. 

 Channeling my inner mountain goat, I made my way to the start of it and was ready to capture the castle!  

That was until my feet decided to do a little slipping and sliding that I reconsidered claiming it.

Reason numero 1.  I was out there solo. Now normally I’m ok with hiking solo but trying to go up  a steep slab o rock  . Not so much….

Not really wanting to turn around and go back to my car, I took in the view of Ashland. And it was Bea-utiful!

0411161336a~2.jpg

After soaking in the scenery, I took a path that was above the one I took in, and eventually it lead me above the castle. Perfecto! If you were in a group where a couple of people wanted to go up the rocks and the other ones didn’t, this would be a excellent solution.

Next time I go I’ll make sure to bring someone, or be a fully charged mountain goat.

Want to capture the castle? Here’s how to get to it.

Head north past downtown, turn on Church street, head uphill. Take a left on Scenic Drive, until you reach Nutley Street. Turn right and then a quick left to Anult Street. Turn right onto Strawberry Lane.

Optional; you can either continue and take a left turn on Hitt road and you’ll follow it to a gate and park at the pull out. Or do what I did; park on Strawberry and give yourself more time in the fresh air 🙂

 

 

Advice from a Karlie (part 1)

8941fdc32016d1eb1839f486f7922aad

Advice from a

Karlie

“Rivers like to stay current, but some may not like to be captured. Some may encourage to capture, others might see this as a sign of disaster..” -Karlie Wilhelmi

I’ll admit my advice isn’t as flowey (haha) as Iian Shamix’s  “Advice from a River”, but I have learned a very valuable lesson; it’s not very smart to take a phone on the river with you. A while back I was on a kayaking trip (my second one mind you) and wanted to take some photos of the river. I ignored the voice of reason telling me I probably shouldn’t take my phone out.

Reason 1 (the most important reason and really the only reason) was that there wasn’t any protection. All it had was a thick box to protect itself from drops and scratched. The only water protection it had was inside a zip lock bag.

12695281_10201255863356241_475495410_o

The heavy duty phone case and its rain jacket.

For a while things where going smoothly; I snapped some pictures, took selfies, and managed not to get out of my boat. However, on the last rapid of the day, I took a swim in the river. I had put my phone in a natural place, where it would be accessible for photos. To me, that was in the pocket of my PFD. Looking back, this wasn’t a very smart plan; if I went for a swim, so did my phone. And swam it did.  After numerous attempts to revive it with rice, my phone was no longer was with me. I had made my first sacrifice to the river gods.

Perhaps you are reading this on your smart phone and cringing at the thought of your device being submerged in water. Or maybe you’re thinking, “silly Karlie, everyone knows not to combine phones and ziplock baggies with water”.  Believe me, both of those thoughts raced in my head (and others), but looking back it taught me a couple lessons:

1) Leave your phone in the car, and have others take photos for you. Or use these guys – dry bags, waterproof case or a 2 for one combo.

 

 2) The most important lesson: Yes it is very inconvenient, annoying and frustrating to not have a phone, but there are far worst things that can happen on a river then to have a phone take a swim.
Have you had something like this happen to you? What did you do? How did it happen?Feel free to comment and share 🙂

Trick or Treat…

Twas the night before halloween, and all though the land, creatures and ghouls were about to haunt the lands. They flocked stores for last minute tricks and possibly treats but I was as possibly white as a sheet. For before I could go out with the ghouls in the land, there was one task that was at hand…. and that task was to jump and float into a raging river without a boat.

2659B518FA

I had signed up for the SwiftWater Technician class through my school (put on by rescue 3 International) taught by Erik Sol, and co taught by Brett Turnbull (owner of Alliance Training LLC)  and the day before (October 30), nervousness and panic had started to set in.  It felt like I had a million thought racing; was I ready? Yes I am. Nope I’m not  Did I have x gear?  I have it, no I don’t. I’ll need to make a trip to the store… Did I get all my work done? yes..?  But most importantly, can I do it?

The next day I got to find out. Bright and early on Halloween day, a crew of students caravanned to Nugget rapid, a section on the Rouge River near Gold Hill Oregon.

rrWe unloaded the personal gear that we need (dry suits, helmets, pfd), suited up and got the show on the road. The first part was kind of a blur; we went over throwing a throw bag (had practice rounds) cow tail release practice. I felt a little bit nervous but felt confident enough on dry land. After that, we headed down to the river to set up the swimming drill and had been explained the flow to the drill. There would be a rotation; swimming and then to help people out of the water and repeat it all again. After the demonstration it was our turn to jump into the churning water. I was in the line to jump in and watched others acrobatic dives. The line seemed to move up pretty fast and sure enough it was my time. I got the go ahead, and I tried not to fall flat on my face on the slippery rock (it’s one of the more dangerous parts to getting in the water). I was so nervous but there was no turning back and I had to face the music (well the water in this case). Before I knew it I had jumped in; My arms and body were straight and my chest was out (so that my pfd would get the impact) and I was in the water. Somehow I remembered to turn on my back with my butt and legs up (defensive swimming) and got a delicious face full of water up my nose.

Almost immediately after jumping in (and turning over) there was a hole in the river/dip where it drags you down a little bit, but shoots you out. That was surprising and scary because I had never been in a hole like that before. After that it was time to flip over to my belly and aggressively  swim to the shore and attempt to gracefully get out of the water. The group did that for a couple of rotations and then it was on to..

LIVE BAIT! (A.K.A jumping in to rescue a person) This was probably one of the challenging things for me (the entire class was, but if I had to pick one thing this would be it). It involves a belay team,  a swimmer and a rescuer.

tethered2

The rescuer is tied to a rope that’s attached to the back of a PFD, that is controlled/monitored by a belay team.  That person has to time her jump so that the swimmer/victim  is barely in from of the rescuer. The reason for that is so that the swimmer doesn’t grab the front of the pfd of the rescuers , also it would impact swimming ability.

Tethered

Not going to lie. I avoided being the first tethered rescuer to go because I lacked confidence in my timing abilities and also didn’t want to land on the swimmer.. So I opted to be in the rotation for swimmer.

It was a bit odd being a person who needed rescuing since we had just practiced swimming to the shore. My instincts told me to swim but orders where to stay put and let the rescuers rescue you.

After swimming I got in the end of the belay line and rotated till I got to the top of the belay (the lead belayer).  The lead belayer controlled the rope (with the help of the other belayers) with commands of “slack” “ tension” and “feather.” to help guide the rescuer safely back to shore.  It took me a couple of times to get the hang of it, but I sort of did it and pretty soon I got to rescue someone. And did it over and over again.

The next day November 1st was split up between dry land training and river time. On land we spent time on learning about knots, anchor systems and how to unwrap and rescue a boat.  I had some prior knowledge of building anchors (thanks to my rope rescue technician course) but it was great to review and learn how it applies to water based scenarios.knots

 

The other portion of the day was going over shallow water crossing and going down a rapid! I was nervous because I didn’t want to fall in and or lose my paddle. Fortunately I had a pretty solid person who was guiding the raft that I was in.  Once we got down we practiced getting out of the raft and back in. I was very sore after that.

All in all it was a great two days filled with great people, great instructors and lots of learning opportunities.

Like any skill I’m going to have to use it (and practice it) or lose it because it’s something that can be lost very easily.

download

Most of these photos are from Bouldering Badger Outdoors. “Like” their facebook page to stay connected and be apart of Bouldering  Badger Community at  Bouldering Badger Community