Sunday, May 18, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

Total Training Miles Today (Sunday 5/18): 15.5 miles

If you do something over and over, you'll get better at it - practice makes perfect.

Patti surprised us this morning with the announcement that she had brought along some treats, and that we would be stopping along the way to have a warm beverage. The plan was for each of us to get out our stoves and boil a cup of water. She brought along hot chocolate and tea for our water. How fun!

In retrospect, today had to have been one of the funnest days of walking in a long time. The weather was just right. A few clouds, but breaks in the clouds with a bit of blue sky peeking out here and there. The temperature was just right too; not too cold so as to need a coat, but not so warm that it was uncomfortable while hiking. Birds were singing. Yes, lots of birds. I even commented at one point that the birds were really loud, if that is even possible!

Patti and Debbie both looked great. Patti sported a new hat, and Debbie looked great having just been to the hair stylist. Here they are, just before we set out on our walk.

Patti and Debbie
 We walked a few different trails at the start, but crossed Ravensdale Creek on the ladder bridge. The dogs always like this spot since they get to swim across. Bridget made a diving splash as she dove in to fetch a stick.
At the ladder bridge. Bud is in the water. He gets a drink by biting at the water!

Bridget hits the water chasing after a stick.
We followed Ravensdale Creek towards Lake Sawyer. Bud was moving more slowly today; I don't think he is feeling very well. However, Patti urged him on and he managed to stay with the pack.
Bud on the trail near Ravensdale Creek.
At Lake Sawyer, we all stopped to boil some water. I pulled out my Caldera Cone and pop-can stove and set my one cup of water on the stove to boil. Patti gave me a package of hot chocolate mix, and after a few minutes the water was ready. It was really good as I sat on a rock by the lake. Thank you, Patti!

This was the first time for Patti and Debbie to try out their new JetBoil stoves.

Unfortunately, Debbie remembered that she had NOT bought a gas canister, because when she bought the stove at REI, her husband said that she should get the gas canister cheaper at Walmart. Well, that would have been a good plan had they stopped and bought one there.

Patti had never assembled her stove. But, with a little help, she got everything put together, and the stove roared to life. It quickly boiled two cups of water, to which she added a package of hot chocolate. Yes, one package of hot chocolate to two cups of water. It made for very weak hot chocolate.
Patti using her camping stove for the very first time.

Debbie sorted through her pack and found a perfect cup for her hot chocolate. Bridget wasn't sure what we were doing, and took the opportunity to sniff about hoping for a dogie treat.
Debbie with her pack, searching for a cup.
Bridget in her "begging" pose, hoping we were fixing something for her.
After enjoying, or in their case, NOT enjoying their beverage, we packed everything back up. On the way back, we heard these "clinking" and "clanking" noises. It was coming from Patti's pack, probably the result of packing the stove loosely allowing the components to jangle as she walked along.

Today was a great learning experience. And, it was FUN!
We learn by doing. 
Practice will make it perfect. 

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