Tag Archives: jetboil

Celebration after Struggle

IMG_2027Our first night in a tent was in Florida in Fort De Soto campground in Pinellas County near St Petersburg FL. We had decided to take on back country backpacking one component at a time and see how she liked it. This would just be the overnight component in a 1.5 person backpacking tent. Breakfast would be back country style too but that was incidental. There was a real bathroom, electricity, and the car was parked right there. It was to be followed and proceeded by restaurant food and an indoor bed. This way we only tried on the tent for style and a little outdoor cooking.

That night we sat on the shore and watched dolphins and fish jump out of the water. When we were ready for bed the wind was blowing about 10 miles an hour in the tops of the palm trees. This was a melody to me but sounded scary to her. You never know what emotions sound will trigger.

ALPS 1.5 man tent-about 4 lbs
ALPS 1.5 man tent-about 4 lbs

My tenacious tweety reported sleeping good when she slept because she really like the top of the line Big Agnus sleeping mat I had for her and her Northface sleeping bag rated for zero was certainly adequate for the 52 degrees.

The times she didn’t sleep was from the night mares of alligators coming to “chomp her”. So saying she was a little sleepy in the morning is an understatement. Be prepared that your girl may not be used to outdoors sounds at first. My Honey concluded as we talked the next morning  that her thoughts were irrational. I shared that time and experience would make her accustomed to outdoor noises and it would then be much better. I got really transparent and told her that I had been scared by some sounds during my first few nights sleeping outdoors. She recovered so much that she was even looking forward to the next adventure in the tent because the sleeping surface was so comfortable.

We settled in at the picnic table with the Jetboil, coffee and tea. Got our devotional books and Bible out of the car and tried to enjoy some quiet time with God. It was difficult because of the sleepless night and some other lessons we learned on that overnighter that I’ll share later.

To provide a reward for this effort…to apply salve to an abrasion…to cheer a cloud covered heart—we struck out in the car for a day in Tarpon Springs. It is a completely Greek town and they were having a town wide street party and we needed it. We sampled fun new food, ate flaming cheese and bought goat soap. We took pictures by the sponge boats, in the tourist cut out of a diver and with the big plastic turtle. It was a fun day that matched in intensity the level of the bad night.IMG_2054

We overcame some tough moments and rewarded ourselves with some very special moments. She now enjoys the tent experience so much more but sure needed a special day back then. She needed a romantic day exploring a very european-Greek looking town…to walk arm in arm all day relaxed and happy to be together.IMG_2058

From this experience we decided to always pair something awesome we know for sure we both like with a new experience that might be challenging.

Warm and Cozy by the Fire

Inside the beach cabana—our "cave" by the fire
Inside the beach cabana—our “cave” by the fire

Yesterday, I had fun telling you about hiking after getting to Mossy Ridge Trail in Percy Warner Park. Today I want to pick up where we left off as we got back to Indian Springs Shelter #4.

My Honey under one of the rustically beautiful designs.
My Honey under one of the rustically beautiful designs.

We celebrated our relaxing day hike in the woods—about 5 miles at a leisurely pace where we could talk—as we took more pictures at the shelter with it’s carefully fashioned cedar logs. Then before I went to work on the fire, cozy spot and food, we plopped down at the picnic table and munched on a few almonds to give our “dogs” a break.

A great cold weather use for a beach cabana.
A great cold weather use for a beach cabana.
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Our magic carpet

My honey took lots more pictures while I built a fire and set up the Cabana. With a couple of old blankets on the bottom, the floor of the Cabana and three more blankets inside, it was our magic carpet.

Within 30 minutes, the fire was crackling, the rain was making gentle music on the roof and the Jetboil was hissing a happy sound as the water began to boil.

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Ready to hydrate

 

Our Mountain House Chili Mac took two cups of water to hydrate and provided a yummy 300 calories with 15 grams of protein each when we split the package. Our hot beverage was Spiced Chai with honey and stevia.

Boots kicked off and ready to relax!
Ready to eat! Looking so sweet:-)
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Yum! Yum!
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One must be civilized…

My Hiker-Honey was very impressed that I knew how to fold a napkin as I made an attempt to be civilized.

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I’m so hungry, I could eat my fork!

We were so hungry that I will bring more food for us the next time.

We also decided that we would succumb to the “need” for s’mores on our next hike.

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My Honey in her hiker’s habitat

My Strider-Writer learned that she can handle more cold than she thought and still have fun. She says to tell you that in order to get the feel for it and do it comfortably, you just have to get started and learn as you go. Wardrobe adjustments are one of her happy things.

Right about the time we finished our meal and got snuggled up under our blankets by the fire, the rain became ernest in its decent. What a dreamy experience to hold my Honey by the fire with the rain pouring down and hear her happy sighs as the stress of a busy week just melted away.

 

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Boots kicked off and ready to relax!

Here is the trail talk from yesterday

Here is her wardrobe wisdom

Here is the recipe for a romantic day hike