I recieved an E-mail from an old friend of mine and my family, Jerry Driesens. He wrote to tell me about reading through my Colorado Trail adventures and to make a minor correction on a discrepancy of mine. Evidently he's been fighting cancer on and off for only six years, not his adult life as I had previously mentioned. But it hasn't slowed him down. He, my father, and some other friends just finished a 20 day rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.
Jerry said he enjoyed reading about my time on the Colorado Trail. He agreed with my assessment that better strength training and conditioning for my ankle would be prudent before making another attempt. He also seemed shocked I was going so light. On some backcountry excursions, He said he's carried as much as 9 pounds of fishing gear alone! On my second attempt that'll be half the weight of my pack!
He did recommend I get a full weather tent instead of skimping on shelter to save weight. I have to concede this wouldn't be a bad idea. There were times on the Colorado Trail when I wished the Megamid had a floor on it. I'm looking at a couple of different shelters I saw people with on the trail, so we'll see. I'm not sure what I'll put together for round two, as I'm finding all sorts of really cool lightweight gear here in Korea, esp some good clothes.
He also told me about his own challenges on his latest raft trip through the Grand Canyon. He unfortunately missed out on a hike he aspired to due to a case of pneumonia on the trip. He was fine as he had brought antibiotics, but missed out. It was nice to have the encouragement after my own disappointments on the trail. His letter is helping keep it all in perspective.
Cheers again to Jerry Driesens. I would ask all my readers to keep him in your thoughts and prayers.