Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ways to Contact Me

I thought that before I left I would give everyone updated contact info. First, my address has changed. I will now be receiving mail at 968 Country Club pkwy, Castle Rock, CO 80108. I will be bringing my cell phone with me (720)-284-2317 as well as my satellite phone. I will also be checking my email at when possible. I am not going to send out the sat phone number to the entire blog community, but if you are interested in getting the number check out the website for the info.

Two days till I leave Cville!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Food packing and a snapping turtle

Well, here it is. A little over one week away from the start of the trip. Gear packing is nearly complete and I have started compiling a bunch of food for the start of the trip. Eagerly anticipating the challenges that await, I am spending time packing when not on my Child Psychiatry rotation. Half of the fun of trips like the one I am about to emabrk on is the preparation, and this trip is no exception. After having mother Forrester out for the gear packing, I decided to head to the grocery store.

After picking up a bunch of dry goods from a local food store, Kroger, I set about removing all of the extraneous packaging. It is amazing how many layers of "protection" a simple box of mac and cheese really has. I mean, honestly, do we really need packaging for the cheese powder, macaroni, and then a box to keep them all together? Seems a bit much to me. Nevertheless, I sat down and started tearing into it. Before long I had removed all of the boxe from the food and set aboout transferring the food into compressible plastic baggies for the trip. This will allow the food to be easily packed up in my dry bags.

With most of the food packing done I went out to paddle today on Rivanna reservoir. I had the afternoon "off" on my current rotation and decided to take advantage of the weather and go paddling. Dipping the boat into the res I realized just how ready I was for the trip. I had trained as hard if not harder for this trip than any of my previous climbing trips, and I had been working on my paddling skills just as hard. My training taper has left me feeling well rested and ready to take on the upcoming adventure.

While I was out paddling, I stumbled upon a pretty cool little creature; a small snapping turtle was sunning itself on a log. Now I have become accustomed to seeing tons of painted turtles and red eared sliders while on the water, but this was my first snapping turtle. I am not sure if it was just a young one unaccustomed to the dangers of life above the waters, or if it just wanted to enjoy the sun as I was doing, but it was cool regardless.

Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing my grandparents this weekend, they flew into VA today to celebrate my cousin Dawn's graduation from college. I am going do drive up early Sat. morning for a little breakfast.

Until next time..........

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Paddling For Parkinson's Shirts and Food news

Hello all,

I am excited to announce that there are now shirts available that you can purchase to show your support for the Paddling For Parkinson's trip. Here is a picture of the shirts. The light colored shirts have a brief message and the sponsors on the back while the dark shirt is well, just dark on the back.

I arranged this deal through You purchase the shirt through the secure server. Cafepress then sends you the shirt and deals with the shipping. On each of the shirts I have predesignated a portion of the proceeds that will go to the National Parkinson Foundation. That way, with each shirt you help support the NPF in the name of my Paddling For Parkinson's trip and I don't have to deal with the money transfers/shipping. Pretty cool eh?

Here is the link:

You can also purchase the shirts by going to the Sponsors section and clicking on the shirt picture, that link will take you to the same place.
In other news, I have begun organizing all of my food for the first 3-ish weeks of my trip and I am looking for variety. Having done a ton of back country travel in the past, I have my own list of "go to" foods but in light of the fact that I have a blog, I thought that I would ask you all what your favorite back country food recipes were. I am thinking that might help me spice up my own repertoire a bit.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

So close

This past weekend signaled the second to last weekend before the river, as well as a visit from my mom. She flew out from Denver to help me start packing up all of my belongings and she also wanted to say goodbye before my long river adventure.

After finishing up orthopedic surgery trauma clinic on Friday, the packing frenzy started. I had to pack up my entire room in preparation for moving back to CO for the year and at the same time organize and sort all of the gear for the upcoming trip. Needless to say there was outdoor gear everywhere in our small apartment. My mom was quite the trooper and really expedited the whole process as well as kept me organized and sane. In the end all the gear got sorted, and all I have left to do before I leave in a week and a half is get my food organized. That is going to be my goal this coming week.

Early this afternoon, as the packing festival was coming to a close, I took my mom out to Rivanna reservoir for a little spin in the boat. She is much more of a biker than a paddler but I think she enjoyed seeing what the "Mary Agnes" could do out on the water. There was a slight drizzle but it was nice to get outside and I couldn't help but smile as my mom realized just how small of a water craft I was going to be living in for the next several months. THANKS A BUNCH MOM FOR ALL YOUR HELP!

The end of this week also marked the culmination of my fitness training for the trip. I am now tapering down my workouts in preparation for the start of the trip. This is both sad and a relief. Sad because I really have enjoyed seeing how strong I have gotten over the past 4 months. The workouts have been great and I feel very well prepared physically for this trip. I really truly believe that all of the physical preparation will help prevent tendon and muscle injuries later on down the river. That being said, working the hours I have been in the hospital as well as training for a 4,000 mile trip has been taxing. I have made some sacrifices with my sleep and am looking forward to resting a bit, waiting for the start of the longest trip.

Until next weekend.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rivanna, America's First Scenic River

Sunday Morning, 5/10/2009. The alarm starts beeping at 6 which, for me, is actually sleeping in right now. I have been having some early mornings on my Orthopedic Trauma rotation. After brewing up some coffee and cooking some really sweet apple cinnamon pancakes, I started rousing the troops. I needed to convince my roommate Jim Heckman to drop me off at Darden Towe Park and my roommate Brett Beel to pick me up in Palmyra. My plan was to paddle the 24 miles from Cville to Palmyra while Beel was road biking.

When Jim dropped me off at Darden Towe Park, I quickly realized that the current was moving very quick. All the rain we had been receiving the past several days had really flooded the river. Awesome! That meant a faster descent, even if the river was a bit muddier. The air temps were around 74 degrees, and the skies were sunny. It was a beautiful paddle.

The geese and turles were out in full force, but the highlight was certainly a four foot black rat snake that crossed the river in front of me. It was pretty cool. I ended up paddling this historic stretch in 4:45min. I was happy with the time and am feeling really prepared for the trip. I can't believe that it is 2.5 weeks away. As I paddled down "Mr. Jefferson's River" I couldn't help but feel the pull of the wide open spaces out West, calling me toward adventure.

In other news, I am very happy to report that Hilleberg Tents has agreed to provide me a prodeal for the trip. I received my Nallo GT in the mail earlier this week. I am really looking forward to spending some time in that bad boy! I will have a review of the tent coming up as soon as I get a chance to camp a bit more once the trip starts.

For now, it is back to the OR, my last week of Orthopedic Trauma awaits!