A New Year and Baxter

New year and new challenges! Last November Ry drove up to Baxter State Park in Maine super early in the morning to wait outside the office before they opened. He was the 8th party in a line of folks who had been camping for days. This was the second step towards making his dream of a winter ski excursion in the Park come true. The first had been to assemble a crew of keen expeditioners to join him. He had confirmed 3 possible weekends in March with the group and totally lucked out by getting the first of those dates.

View of Katahdin from our campsite at the Abol Bridge Campground last summer. We camped on the edge of the park because of the dogs. The dogs and kids will not be venturing up that way with us this winter! Coincidentally, I think this is where we park our cars and strap on our skis.

I have finally determined a focus for this blog, which should tie all the loose ideas together, but it has to apply to all the fun things we do that I want to tell the world about. I’m hoping this thread to weave through all my stories will help me focus my thoughts and make it easier to post more often. I’m not entirely sure the best way to describe it, but Personal Finance sorta sums it up. So for the Baxter Expedition, I will be sharing about trip preparations and how much they cost and the cost of the actual trip itself.

Ry has been busy organizing and thinks about the trip details all day long, every day. He spends a lot of time driving and has time to think. For me, it’s go time multitasking from when the kids get up to when they crash at night – nobody is napping properly!!!! So that leaves me with very mental space to think about something so far in the future. My brain is more like: oh my, they are playing quietly, I’ll go do dishes, no that laundry is a toxic – I will deal with that, oh wait that bill is almost overdue, no – I really need to create a space in the house that isn’t so chaotic – I’ll start with the bedroom, never mind, I need to change both those bums… and they finished that box of cheddar bunnies and that entire bag of frozen blueberries 10 minutes ago, they must be starving by now!

So my days fly by, but what I do know is now that it’s January, and the trip is in March – I at least need to get myself ready!

I’ve started a 30-day Healthy Living Program to kick start loosing the weight that I gained from both of my pregnancies – I do not need to be hauling that during the epic ski in to the hut along along with all my gear. I am also determined to kick some bad habits that have wiggled in to my daily life and cemented themselves in while I have been so busy and sleep deprived. That might sound really terrible, but I just mean things like snacks and coffee and comfort food.

I feel strong from all the lifting, carrying and other assorted ways to assist the movement of the small children in my life – mine are off the charts for their ages, so my entire day is a workout – but I need to build up my endurance. The trip involves a 16 mile cross country ski to Chimney Pond Cabin where we will be staying. We have to carry all of our food, cooking stuff, clothing, gear etc. PLUS I want to be able to enjoy my time in the park. After the journey to the Cabin we have 2 or 3 days (I’m so out of the loop on this trip, I don’t even know how long it is), so I want to be able to get out and explore. Some of the crew will be backcountry skiing and others will be hiking/snowshoeing during those days.

I will be posting soon about all the ways I have been trying to eek out working out during my days with the kids in another post. Before Christmas I actually fit into old pants! But that didn’t last long… the major improvement in my cardio routine has come from getting on my fancy new-to-me $10 ski machine. Ry picked it up for me and described it as the prototype that someone made for Nordictrack back in the day. My dad tells me that I paid too much – he got his fancier version at the transfer station for free – oh well, for me it was money well spent. It’s not the same As clocking Kilometers on actual snow, but it’s getting the right muscles going, and I can build up my endurance when it’s pitch black and negative 10 degrees outside!

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