August 1st, 2004

buzzed, B&W

I'm so out of shape

Wow, so I just got back from hiking up Mount Helena. I took the 1906 Trail which is about 1.6 miles, with an elevation change around 1100 feet I think. This is the easiest ascent to the summit, but it still kicked my butt. I've noticed since being in Helena, that the air is thinner. Helena is at around 4000 feet, while Cinci is around 400. Looking at this table, one can see that the air density change from 1000 to 4000 feet results in about a 9% density change, while there's another 3% drop from 4000 to 5000 ft. Anyway, I really felt the difference today, hiking up the mountain, getting a headache, and sucking wind as my body acclimated. Probably about 2/3 of the way up, after I took a break, I was doing much better, even with the thinner air. I wasn't sucking wind, though I did still have that headache. Anyway, the view at the top was beautiful. Falcons soaring, the conifers swaying lightly in the breeze, and the rolling mountains. Looks like I should get a digital camera.

Anyway, on Friday I did some shopping at Bob Wards as they had this great sale going on. Got a Precision Mountainwear ski jacket for $100 (MSRP is $310, looks like it's about $150 online), a nice little daypack for $20 (sold for $44 on the website), an Adidas ClimaProof wind breaker for $20, and a pair of Nike running shoes for $10. I also got two Nalgene bottles for the daypack for three bucks each. Granted, they're a generation behind in that they're the original Nalgene, not the clear Lexan, but good enough for my needs. The whole store was rather daunting, as that now the city kid in me is in the outdoors, I keep wondering what I should invest in. I think I should get a pair of trail shoes, and probably a decent pair of Tevas or Chacos, but they didn't have any that I liked at Bob Wards. I think I'm going to start scouring eBay for snowboards . . .