Day 1

I am writing this from a campsite in the middle of the Allegheny National Forest with no Wifi or even cell phone signal so I won’t be able to post this until sometime tomorrow.  I did send a quick OK message to Jane and others via my inReach satellite tracker so at least they know I am OK.

A great day of riding.  Weather was clear the whole way and traffic was light.  Can’t ask for more than that.  Was a little chilly and foggy over the mountains in Vermont but by the time I hit Troy NH it was mid 80’s and a little humid.  Fine when moving but not too comfortable when wearing full gear when you get stopped at a stoplight.  I figure it is a good “warm up” for when I get farther west where it is supposed to get into the mid 90s.

I found a campground at around 6:30 so I am having plenty of time to set up camp and cook dinner before dark.  I decided I wanted to try more cooking on this trip.  That can be a bit of a challenge when packing light …. wait…. was that a raindrop.

…. a couple hours later …..

I should have been paying more attention to the weather.  Felt a few sprinkles on my head as I was typing and was not yet prepared!  The test was up (I may be a rookie but I DO always make sure the test is set up first thing) so I threw the laptop and a couple other key “don’t let it get wet” items in the tent and ran around organizing other things.  I brought my rain tarp and a couple of poles with me exactly for this sort of situation but had not bothered to set it up yet.  Good to know when the rain hits I can get that set up quickly!  Got that set up and made sure all critical items were dry and went back to eating dinner.

Now, before we were interrupted by the sudden rain shower I was starting to talk about camp cooking and how it can be a challenge when packing light.  For short weekend camping trips I carry a small soft sided cooler so I can have some fresh food to cook.  For a longer trip I don’t have the space for the cooler nor the patience to stop to refill it with ice each day.  So I did some digging on the internet and found some backpacking cooking recipes to try.  I found a couple of rice dishes where you mix up all the dry ingredients into a mylar bag then when you are ready to cook it you just boil water then pour it in the bag, stir it up, and let it sit.  So, I mixed up a few of these before I left.

I had planned on trying some of the recipes out at home before I left but never found the time.  So tonight was the first attempt at it.  I boiled the water, poured it in the bag and stirred, then even wrapped up the bag in a jacket to keep it hot.  While it sat I opened up a can of chicken and warmed that over the camp stove to add it in.

Ten or 15 minutes later I stirred it up and took a bite…. nope, the rice wasn’t even close to being cooked.  I had suspected this might be a problem, even with instant rice.  So I dumped the bag into the pot and finished cooking it.  Would have been nice to only have to throw out the dirty bag instead of cleaning the pot but either way it was actually quite tasty.

I think I will sleep well tonight, the heavy rain is past and just the nice sound of a light sprinkle on the tent.

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Doug Chapman