I fell in to a burnin' ring of fire

Been a night, and a day of firsts. And let's not forget cadence.

Yesterday, set up the tent outside and sealed all the seams with a blend of clear silicone and mineral spirits, per Tarptent's suggestion. Later in the afternoon put in sleeping pad, down sleeping bag, and thermal liner in the hopes of doing an overnight sleeping test.

Note trekking poles as tent poles. 

Note tent stakes spray painted bright orange, to (hopefully) make them easier to save on the trail.

Being still like a kindergardener, headed out at 9 PM to go to sleep, and placed my water bottle in the bag. That was a mistake. Yes, putting it in was right so the water doesn't freeze, but it wiggled down below my feet and when I went to grab it to make it more accessible, the top came off and all the water gushed into the bag. Got up, went back inside while trying to avoid the land mines the dog has randomly left in the yard, and dried the interior of the bag. Water is the enemy of down, but luckily the bag has enough repellent to help pool the water making cleanup easy.

Back outside, all zipped up, while pondering how to get warm. Had a wool cap and eventually figured out that it was best to zip the bag up and wear the top of the bag over my head. Wore a cotton shirt versus my base, which I think was a mistake. Best to wear a base and possibly a fleece. Used my fleece in a sack for a pillow, which worked out "okay". May just use my arms for a pillow as I did back in the old pup tent days.

Never realized how much noise the nearly U.S. 495 made at night, and it took a long time to fall asleep. The strangeness of being in a tent, going to bed too early, the chill in the air, and the buzzing of trucks downshifting was just a bit too much "new" going on.

Got up at 5:30 AM and headed inside. Will try again tonight since I got a good workout today that will hopefully make sleeping easier.

Did a pack-free walk of 9.2 miles, the longest yet during this prep. Took just shy of 2:40. Beautiful weather and took the advice of thru-hiker "Animal" and walked cool. My last few hikes I've come off sweating pretty heavily, and worked today to walk cool by taking off and on my hat and gloves, and opening and closing my fleece, which made the walk more comfortable.

My younger son's suggestion is that I adopt a cadence to walk to, something that he learned during USCG basic this past fall, and I've used during my year's of running long distance. Today it was Johnny Cash:
I fell into the burnin' ring of fire,
I went down down down, and the flames went higher,
And it burns burns burns, the ring of fire, the ring of fire.  
Hut, hut, hut.


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