I had a few hiking partners today, which was a nice change. My usual style is to hike by myself and try to camp where people may be. This morning I stopped by Red’s Meadow, a camp store and grill not far off the trail and got an excellent strawberry milkshake. As I was getting ready to go I ran into Rest Stop, Troll, and Oblivious just arriving from Mammoth Lakes. So, I hung around a little longer while they got hamburgers and we all hiked out together. These three had been hiking together for quite a bit and we actually had met a week before and had dinner together just west of Kearsarge Pass.
Rest Stop is a friendly fellow from Houston who can often be seen relaxing with hand-rolled cigarettes. Troll and Oblivious are father and son. Oblivious is 12 and when he finishes the PCT he’ll be the youngest person to have hiked both the AT and PCT. Oblivious hiked the AT at age 10 with his dad and mom. They got along pretty well and it’s funny to watch them scrap over food and camp chores until Troll goes into Dad-mode and lays down the law. They both hike in sport kilts, which look comfortable (but chilly?) Oblivious carries lunch and some snacks, as well as his gear. This totals about 1/5 his body weight and he just cruises along with everyone else. What a wealth of experience he’ll have compared to other kids his age!
Sadly, I’ll be moving ahead tomorrow, but will likely see these three again as I’m taking two days off in Yosemite Valley to explore this weekend, plus another three days in Lake Tahoe to meet Mom and Dad, who are flying out from Maine for a visit. I’ll get to pig-out and gamble for a few days. Excellent. I’ve recently acquired and obsession for what I consider “perfect” trail food.
Such a food has a calorie-to-weight ratio over 100 with a total calorie-to-fat ratio somewhere between 2 to 1 and 5 to 1. So, walking around the Von’s yesterday with my cell phone calculator, I made the following discoveries:
-Quaker Granola Cereal with Almonds is one of the most calorie-dense cereals in existence at 210 calories per 1/2 cup.
-A simple Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar has more calories per ounce than a Snickers.
-Cream cheese is now sold in a packable, portable EZ-Cheese-style can. Thanks Kraft! I bought some of course.
-Chunky peanut butter is 90% fat calories.
This has spawned my new trail breakfast creation, which I call the Achilles-America Good Times Power Breakfast. Recipe: 1 1/2 cups water, powdered milk, 1 packet Carnation Instant Breakfast, instant coffee crystals to taste, 1 1/2 – 2 cups Quaker Granola Cereal with Almonds. You’re guaranteed not to feel hungry till lunch!