POWr Countdown Timer

Sunday, March 29, 2015

North Carolina Today

Well friends sorry about no Pictures.  I am sitting in Hiawasee Georgia after hiking about 60 miles from Springer mountain.  I have been hiking with a crew of friends since the first or second day.  Doug Eastman and his dog Jennie made friends with Utah and I on the first day.  We have hiked together quite a bit.  On the second day We met Rainbow and Molly Rose.  This is my core group so far.  We hike at about the same speed and travel similar miles.  So far 10 to 12 every day.  What we have learned about the trail is injuries happen in the first 70 miles.  I turned my ankle hard enough to knock me off the trail for a few days.  Today I am eager to return.  I will be sleeping in North Carolina tonight. My next resupply is Franklin NC. I will be there in 4 days so around Thursday of this week.  I promise there will be pictures on my next post.  It has been beautiful.  My favoite day so far was when we camaped in a stone shelter on top of Blood Mountain.  We hiked up in the pouring rain but when we woke in the morning the clouds were clearing from the peaks and valleys with us in the shining sunlight.  Unforgettable!

I will try to post again in a week or so.

Happy Trails
Mama Moab

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Today I leave for Springer

you tube video link.

Ok the countdown at the top of the page is about to run out.
My next post will be from on the trail.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Break

Jay grinds in a snow storm at Canaan Valley in West Virginia.  We skied at Canaan Valley and Timberline.  

Then we traveled down to Cumberland Island National Seashore, GA for some gear trials.

This is the remains of an African American community from the 1800s.  The white house was the church.

The island has many armadillos.  These guys don't even run from Utah.

Kevin and Jay were packing their new Advanced Elements Inflatable Kayaks.  At 4 Lbs they are very packable.  The paddles are a little harder to manage.

I am sporting lots of new gear.  Here Utah is curious about what is in my UrSack

Here Kevin and Jay are trying out the new kayaks.  Luckily it was a very warm day.

I tried out my sleeping system for the AT.  A gossamer Gear Spinn Shelter made of Spinnaker cloth.  Inside I have an Equinox Mantis bug screen and an Equinox Sprawler Bivy.
With tent stakes and ground cloth the whole thing weighs 1.5 lbs

Plum Orchard Mansion was built in 1898 for George Carnegie.

Here I am sporting my newly repaired 2010 Gossamer Gear Mariposa.  My niece Lara Eventide is a gifted seamstress and patched it up with some super tough dyneema.

Jay and Kevin enjoying the beach near Stafford Camp

Here we are waiting for our ferry ride back to our car.  

It was a fantastic trip.  

On the drive back home I realized I leave for the AT in 10 days!
On Wednesday March 18 I board the Go Bus in Athens at 5:05 PM for Atlanta then Hiker Hostel picks me up and gets me to the trail on Friday March 20th.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

CHeck out my new blog at Appalachian Trials

If you have been following this blog I wanted to let you know that I will be blogging on a differnet site this year.
Please follow the link below to my most recent post.


If you want to contact me while I am on the trail Here are the post offices I will be checking:

To my friends and family,

One more thru hike! This year I will spend 6 months hiking the Appalachian Trail.  As in the past, I will be picking up mail and packages at a few places.  If you would like to drop me a line or a box of goodies while I am hiking you may follow this schedule.  To send mail to me address it to Vicky Mattson c/o General Delivery  <Town Name> <Town Zip>.  Please also write AT hiker and my appx arrival date on the package.

MamaMoab’s AT Post Offices

Ship by
Franklin NC
Fontana Village, NC (ship resupply box as well)
Gatlinburg,  TN
Damascus, VA
Pearlsburg VA
Harpers Ferry WV
Vernon,  NJ
Falls Village, CT
Rutland, VT
Gorham, NH
Stratton,  ME
Monson,  ME (send Bounce home) Last mail drop

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Chihuahuan, Sonoran desert Christmas

When I was little, I sang that song "all I want for Christmas are my two front teeth."  Well this Christmas all I wanted was Ultralight hiking gear.  What a haul.  I got a two person Big Agnes Scout Tent, weighing in at 1 lb 9 ozs. (Big Agnes Scout), a GSI 2 person cookset, a 5 oz Montbell vest, and a new floppy hat that replaced my PCT hat that had been finally shredded.

The best thing about my new stuff is we left the very next day to try it out.  I am super-impressed with my new tent.  We came out west to New Mexico and had a delightful day sledding on the white sand in White Sands National Monument. We set up camp in our designated site and enjoyed the weird feeling of being in a snow field made of sand.  In the middle of the night a gigantic wind kicked up.  Kevin and I were in the Scout.  The wind was hitting us square on the side, and Jay was in the Big Agnes UL3 Flycreek. At around midnight we heard that dreaded call: "Mommmmmm, Daaaaaaaaaad, HELP!."  The Flycreek had flattened with bent tent poles.  Kevin helped extract Jay and Utah from the Flycreek, and I found out the two person scout fit all three of us for the night.

We were surprised to find that you are allowed to sled on the sand.  They even sell little plastic sleds in the visitor center.  Don't we look like we are on an arctic trek?

Jay had a blast sledding off steeper and steeper dunes.

The park has a backpacking camp a mile from the parking lot.  You are only allowed to spend one night and there are ten sites. 

From White Sands, we headed to a brand new National Monument: The Organ Mountains National Monument in New Mexico.  Here we camped in a very nice campground over Christmas.  Jay slept in the Highlander while Kevin and I camped in my Scout.  

 From the campground there are a few hikes.  This one can be done as a one way.  You hike from Dripping Springs Campground over the ridge and drop down the other side to a road that you can return on.  Its six miles one way.

Once again, the Scout stood the challenge.  We woke up the morning after Christmas and wondered what was on the tent.  I touched the side to hear a distinctive swoosh of snow sliding to the ground. Testimony to a good ten is waking up in the morning without even knowing it snowed.  

Our campground sat high above a valley that holds Fort Bliss.  I seem to be following my Dad's training in WWII without meaning to.  He trained here in the 1940s to join the US Army's 1st cavalry.  He was then sent to Leadville, Colorado to train ski troops.  You can see that post in my CDT Colorado Posts.

We seemed to be on a National Monument sweep this winter. The first stop in Arizona was Tucson and its REI that politely replaced our Flycreek and replaced our pocket Rocket that stopped mating to the propane cans. Next we headed to Saguaro National Park  where we did a two night backpacking trip.  We hiked in to a camp that was six miles in but straight up about 2000 feet.  Kevin did a big day hike the middle day of 12 miles with snowpack and serious elevation gains and losses.  I only hiked up to the pass with him then hiked back to camp.  Jay spent most of the day sleeping in the tent.

At the start of the hike there are thousands of these Western icons.  

but there are many other cacti as well.

You never quite get free of Tucson

We hiked right up to that rock.

As we got into the higher reaches I got to see this old friend.  My favorite Mojave plant on the PCT was this amazing shrub with its deep red bark and olive leaves.  It's called Manzanita.

I just bought these shoes from Cody Lee on Bearfoot Hikers Gear Flea Market:https://www.facebook.com/groups/BearfootsHikingGearFleaMarket/

Jay trying out some moves at sunset

Kevin got back from his hike right at our sunset dinner.

We hiked out the next day and made it out for lunch. Next we were headed to Organ Pipe National Monument.

Jay was complaining we weren't doing anything for him so we went to this awesome Air museun:http://www.pimaair.org/

We camped in Organ Pipe Campground for New Years.
The campground is nicely divided between RVs and tent campers.  

We did a long drive around the mountain part of the Monument.  I was doing some fun birding, while at Organ Pipe, because the Rangers let me borrow some binoculars.  Some of the prettier ones are the jays; out west they run to Blues.  I saw a Mexican Jay, a Western Scrub Jay and a grey Jay.  Two unique birds to the Mexican border are the Phainopepala, a black bird with a crest that we saw lots of at Organ Pipe, and the Pyrrhuloxia,
a bird similar to our Cardinal.
 I also saw a Crissal Thrasher, Spotted Towhee, Bohemian Waxwing, Gila Woodpecker.  One bird eluded me, and that was the Cactus Wren.  As we were driving back to the campground from the scenic drive, we saw two birds in the road.  It turned out that one of the Cactus Wrens had been hit by a car or something.  Its mate was trying to get it up.  We stopped and found the bird was still alive, so we carried it back to the visitor center where a biologist would save him (or so we hope).

This is ice art: the opening to my water bladder one fine crisp morning.

 Finally, we did a 4X4 trip to the Cabeza Prieta. We didn't have the ability to get all the way into it, but we managed to camp one night in the refuge.

After the desert we headed to Durango for the skiing part of our vacation. We got home finally last night January 10, 2015
Jay has been doing Junior Ranger since he was three years old.  We find the workbooks help to enhance our understanding of each Park's natural world. Now some of the parks have "Not so Junior Ranger" programs.  We completed a few of these.  Most of the time the program is free.  

Well that is our whole Winter break.  I hope you liked the pix.

The Crazy Mattsons