Posts Tagged ‘trail’

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

I was on a mission today. It was too sunny not to train hard. I got a good sweat going.

It’s Spring Break! My hometown Seaside Oregon was full of life. The bumper cars, and mini golf course were finally open. The smell of freshly dipped corn dogs in the air. But I biked by, and checked out the action on the beach. I didn’t stay long. I was going for speed and distance today.

I did stop for a raw Synergy kombucha, and found a new green one with chunky chia seeds. It was dank. Slightly sweet. It’s full of healthy bacteria and blue-green algae. It’s an energizer. The convenience store also offered free reverse osmosis filtered water. I filled 2 big bottles, and packed them up to the gravel logging roads.

It was a great day, bursting with sun. I rocked out, and flew down the mountain. I had it to myself. I used the Nike+ GPS iPhone app to track my route and progress. I check Google maps a few times to make sure I didn’t take a dead end. A few of the hills were monstrous, and needed to be walked up, but I like mixing up riding with hiking.

With a few water breaks, and stops for a picture, I went 10.7 miles in 1 hour 50 minutes. I figured the loop would take 3 hours. It was a solid training session. I only laid the bike down once trying to muscle over a down tree. I slammed some protein when I rolled out of the woods and got home, just before darkness fell. I wish you were there, but you may have slowed me up. ;^].

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By Cameron McKirdy

I’m so sore. I hiked from Seaside to the Hiker’s Cabins on Tillamook Head. It’s just under four miles, but it took nearly two hours. Then the next morning I hiked back, and walked a few more for good measure.

My 55L backpack weighed at least 40 pounds. And I almost wore 5lb ankle weights too. My Dad tagged along. He had hiking poles, which I tried. They took some of the strain off my legs, and gave me a good arm workout. The trail was nasty. So muddy. Dad said it was the worst time of the year to climb there, which made it the best for me. I wanted a challenge.

We had to climb over a few downed trees, but besides mud, the trail was well kept. It was never ending though. My Dad kept asking if we were there yet, like me on our road trips growing up. He said, “if I was on a treadmill, we would be there already.” Yeah. Working out in a gym is nothing like real life.

There were a couple lookouts over the Pacific Ocean, but it was foggy, and rainy. The canopy from the trees sheltered us some, but I was still soaked. I didn’t take any pictures going there, I knew it was going to be sunny the following day. Once we got to the log cabins, I was on my own. I changed clothes, and got my bed ready.

I used a new sleeping system. I just bought a gortex camo bivy, so that was my outer layer. I also brought my Coleman mummy style sleeping bag rated down to 25 degrees. Then I had a mummy shaped inflatable insulated sleeping pad. It was 2.5 inches thick! Comfortable, but next time I want to use one that’s lower profile, so my face has more clearance. It was a tight fit. I’m a big dude, so sleeping in a bivy bag was a little claustrophobic at first.

I passed out super early. 6PM. I was tired, and just trying to stay warm in my bag. I woke up once, just to say hi to the mice in the bunk above me. They checked out my stuff, left their mark, and bounced. I was stoked in the morning when I popped my head out and saw daylight. I couldn’t wait to hike back to Seaside. The sun was shining, and I could see the end of the ocean.

On the trek back I snapped the pictures you see below. It’s a magical place, eager to be explored. I buried an emergency cache up there, full of food, water purification tablets, matches and more. Maybe someday I will have to flee the city, and retrieve it. On hikes like this you are forced to make decisions. Take the long route around the mud pit, or charge it. I went right through the mess usually. Foolishly I tried to take a shortcut down a slick, rocky hill once. I slipped, and tried to plant my heels in the bank, but couldn’t stop. I slid on my butt, until I snatched a root. No blood. I didn’t take a picture of the slide either, I kept charging.

Four miles later, I made it from the cabins to The Cove in Seaside, OR. I walked through the city, and got some strange looks with my backpack on. That and my backside was covered in mud. I made it home, showered, and passed out. I loved every second of the adventure. It was brutal, but I enjoy training hard. Hike Tillamook Head if you can, it’s part of the majestic Oregon Coast Trail. Now where’s the ice?
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By Cameron McKirdy

Season’s greetings!  On Christmas Eve my Dad and I hiked from Indian Beach in Ecola State Park to the Hiker’s Camp on Tillamook Head.  We checked out the abandoned World War 2 bunkers, and the viewpoints too.  Pops split, leaving me to spend the night by myself.  In this HD video I show you the trail, my gear, and my fire.  I also cooked up some Goulash thanks to my new flameless cookwear system by Trekmates.  Enjoy the video.  After a two hour nap, I decided to back to Seaside in the dark night.  It was crazy.  I used a glow stick, and my Coast HP14 flashlight to luminate the path.  A recent storm kicked tons of massive trees down.  I had to climb over many, with my 40 pound pack on.  I booked it from the cabins, and got back to Seaside in just over 2 hours, covering 4 gnarly miles of ground.  It was an intense op.  I lost the trail briefly once, slightly rolled an ankle, and nearly slipped down a steep bank.  It was one of the most rewarding, and challenging adventures of my life.  Next, I plan to raft the Nehalem river this weekend.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros.  I’d appreciate your comments, and likes.  %^).

Indian Beach photo P1000380

Red Survival Mountain Bike and Backpacking Gear Photo

A Survival Bros contributor took this picture of his bicycle, and gear on a day trip. He likes to blaze new trails, and use a machete to cut down vegetation in his way. He has everything to survive the outing; gloves, water, lights, knives, food, caffiene, etc. He is prepared. What do you think of his survival mountain bike? It’s a work in progress.

(Survival Bros)
We did it. My dad and I drove from Redmond OR into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, and backpacked to Pamelia Lake. Here’s what I know.

The hike in was unforgettable. The trail ran along a creek most of the way. We got there late afternoon, but the thick forest sheltered us from the Sun. The trail to the lake is perfect. A little rocky, but easy. There’s campsites all along Pamelia Lake. We scouted around and found flat ground near the water. There weren’t mosquitos earlier, but they are buzzing now. Where’s all the dragonflies to regulate?

I’d take a picture of our loaner two-person tent, but it doesn’t look right. It must be missing some rods. I have to get a one-person tent. How am I supposed to get a good nights rest with an old man snoring in my face?

There’s several water sources within earshot. I’m going to fill up the bottles, and my hydration pack later. My Dad’s been boiling his water, and using an Aquamira filter attached to his hydration pack, courtesy of Survival Bros. I don’t want to wait for my water to cool down, so I’m using Aquamira tablets, or drinking it straight from the source. I packed in aloe vera juice, coconut water, and yerba mate too.

Tomorrow we go hard, and pack light as we trek 16 miles in a big loop. We’ll take Hunt’s Creek Trail up to The Pacific Crest Trail. I’m wearing Nike ACG boots VS my Vibrams, because we will be plowing through some snow fields. That’s where a few people got lost just yesterday. It’s not well marked, and the hiker’s footprints melt. However, we have the map I’m holding, an internal compass, and a good gut feeling.

There’s all sorts of wildlife here. Ducks, snakes, beatles, bears, frogs, and birds. There’s millions of skinny trees reaching. They are so thick, it’s mind boggling. Pamelia Lake is a gem. You’re missing a ferocious sunset, as pictured below. This is one of the nicest lakes I’ve ever stayed at. It’s certainly the most private. Minus the bugs. My friends.

My advice, make sure to travel in front of people with gas! My dad has been blowing up the trail. Sorry, butt payback is gonna be brutal. Really, you can’t avoid my dad’s gas. The wind are always changing.

The forecast for tomorrow calls for more odor. We just split a freeze dried Mountain House Beef Stew. Dad described it as kinda chewy. True. Still, nothing satisfies like a warm meal. In the morning we carb load on granola and oatmeal.

There’s an ounce of daylight left. My bed is made. I like my new regular sized, Kelty self-inflating sleeping mat. It’s good when your in a small area for a short time. I can’t wait to take my boots off and lay down. We just found out were NOT in a designated camping site, but it’s too late to move tonight. Maybe we’ll relocate tomorrow.

(Day 2 on lake)
We just got back to camp on Pamelia Lake. We left around 8:30 am, and it’s now almost 6:30. What a day! Both my Dad and I set personal bests, going 16 plus miles on foot. I set the pace. When we took breaks I stretched, so I don’t think I will be very sore in the morning.

Approximately 300 people backpack the full Pacific Crest Trail each year. Most brave enough to attempt the feat give up. This hike is no joke. We did just a small part, but I got a great sense of what it would take to go all the way. We met three hikers set on going the distance. They were friendly, and took the time to answer my dads million questions, and compare maps. Props to anyone hard enough to do the full PCT, from Mexico to Canada. It takes months, not counting all the preparations.

To get from the lake to PCT we took Hunt’s Creek Trail. It was overgrown, and wet. The climb was intense, but we took breaks to grub, fill up our water containers, and explore. I ate mostly fruit bars, nuts, seeds, and turkey jerky. Thank God for Starbucks instant coffee.

I took lots of great photos today. We passed maybe a dozen lakes around Mount Jefferson. On the way I got caught in countless spider webs. I ended up with a fair amount of bites, maybe 25, but I didn’t have to resort to Deet thankfully. I’d defiantly hike the PCT again. I can’t wait to show the bros this spot. I want to party up where all the crystal clear lakes are. Nobody’s around! There is still patches of snow in some areas, but I used it to cool off. I kept rubbing the icy snow into my hair, and even laid on it once. Dad thought I was crazy. Duh.

I just jumped in Pamelia Lake for the first time! Refreshing. It’s so cold though. I would have skinny dipped, but we have a neighbor tonight. Now I’m laying down after making another Mountain House meal. This time I toured Italy, and scarfed lasagna with meat. It was way better than the beef stew.

Dad wants to build a fire tonight. Sounds like a lot of work, and it’s still warm outside, but it’s been a few months since I’ve built one. I’m game. We may hike more of the PCT tomorrow, but this is our last night on the lake. I’m also planning on mountain biking the nearby McKenzie River Trail. It’s one of Oregon’s finest. Another update from our road trip coming pronto! Peace peeps.

Cameron McKirdy

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It’s Cameron. I’m checking in from the road. I’ve lost track of how many days straight I’ve been camping. Right now I’m blogging this from the top bunk in a friend’s RV.

My Dad and I left the Oregon Coast two days ago. We threw all our gear in the truck, including two bikes, and golf clubs. We almost brought the cataraft, but we have a full plate. Did I mention my father loves buffets? You know we went to Izzy’s Pizza already.

On day one we hiked 4 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail near the popular attraction Three Fingered Jack. It’s in the Cascade Range in Oregon. The forest there was scorched in the 2003 wildfire. It’s a beautiful wasteland. Dusty, but boasting epic views of mountains all around.

I would have taken pictures on our first hike, but my iPhone 4S got wet and fried the day we left. It was in a case, but soaked up just enough dew from inside my tent to fail. I should have put down a tarp. My bad. $300 later, I finally got a new 32 GB Apple iPhone today at Verizon wireless. I had to have a camera on our trip.

Tomorrow we will leave Redmond and enter the forest surrounding Mount Jefferson to begin backpacking. We’re squeezing in a round of golf at Eagle Crest also. They have the best real grass, outdoor mini-golf course. I’m gonna get a hole-in-one.

I’ve been to Whole Foods, REI, Dick’s, and other outfitters, so my backpack is loaded. I have plenty of food for three days on the PCT, plus of course my sleeping bag, tent, and the rest of the camping essentials. This week I picked up a Kelty sleeping mat, and a Jetboil stove. Now it’s time to rest. Thanks for following the Survival Bros blog. More from my trip soon. It’s almost 1 AM where I’m at. Night.

Update: I tried to be lazy today. It was 95 plus degrees in Redmond and Bend today. My first priority was to stay hydrated. I chugged more than a liter of coconut water this morning, plus a Dutch Bros coffee my dad brought back.

We ended up golfing The Greens at Redmond today. It’s well maintained and challenging. We played 9 holes and walked. It was hot! I thought about following my ball into the water hazard. I only lost one.

After golf I went out on the town in Redmond. I sifted at the Goodwill thrift store and found a Zen Garden, a great bicycle fender, and a book on juicing vegetables and fruit!

Then I found a huge antique mall! I could look at collectables all day. I checked out silver and copper coins, old toys, and priced other oddities. I found a Buddy Lee doll, and a hand painted sign offering pony stud service by Champ. I took a quick photo.

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The weather is wild in the Bend area. You can see snow on the mountain peaks, but it’s sweltering. It’s dusk now. My buddy’s dog and I have been looking out the window at the flashes of lightening. The thunder is tremendous. Growling like my belly after a workout. And the lights are flickering. There was another bolt! It’s the Wild West out here.

I still have to pack my backpack for our 3 day hike starting tomorrow. Right now my gear is scattered around the RV. I will get to it after I stretch more. I feel ready to charge The Mount Jefferson wilderness, but there will be more challenges ahead. Really our trip is just about to start. More soon.

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Spyridon LS

Kicking back and watching boats come in on the Mckenzie River

I bought those silly five-fingered shoes. Yup. I paid $120 for the new model. And I go out in public wearing my Vibram FiveFingers too. It’s OK, because I love the trash talk. The following is my take on these trail running shoes. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I was stoked when I got these kicks. The salesman told me the Spyridon LS is designed specifically for trail running. Perfect! I climb mountains. So I put them to the test. First I went a short distance, just two miles on Tillamook Head from Seaside. They felt great. Snug like a natural extension of my feet. However, one downside to the Vibrams is that your toes can get wet quickly. Once I stopped running my toes were cold and going numb. I got out of them right away and put them through the wash. They were caked in clay and mud.

The second hike I took wearing Vibrams was around Cape Falcon, and Short Sands, in Oswald West State Park along the Oregon Coast. I jogged parts of my 7.35 mile hike, and made a few stops to checkout the surfers and ocean views. I finished in 3:05 hours. My feet started to ache around the six-mile mark, but I just wasn’t use to the shoes yet. That will take a long time, maybe years. You’ve got to hike this state park. There’s nothing like it. Bring your camera.

Oswald West State Park in Oregon

I’ve had my Vibrams for a few months now, and they’ve performed great. But here’s the ugly. I snagged my pinky toe on something and one small part of the sole ripped away from the upper. An easy fix soon with shoe glue, but annoying now. Also, the rubber is pretty thin, so walking on gravel sucks, and going far on pavement isn’t fun. Plus, they are low top and don’t have much support on the sides. My advice to Vibram owners is to go slower than normal. Another annoying thing about these shoes is even though they are the right size, my little toe has a tendency to pop out of its home. Then I have to readjust by hand. It’s best to pull them really tight to avoid toe slippage.

In addition, like it or not, these shoes will attract attention. Be prepared to answer a million questions about them. Strangers approach me all the time to ask questions. And be ready to be made fun of. Lots of people think that Vibrams are ugly. I think they are beautifully designed, so there! But you won’t see me wearing this around town much. They were absolutely created for the outdoors.

Barefoot like trail running shoes

My new Spyridon LS Vibrams!

Having said all that, I strongly recommend you look into the barefoot running, and walking movement. It’s taking off, and for good reason. Shoes may be the worst invention ever! If you wear Vibrams or some other minimalist shoe you will strengthen your ankles and legs, in my opinion. They will take some time to get use to. You may want to buy a transition shoe first that has more of a sole. Try on all the different brands and styles, and figure out what’s right for you. Survival Bros says ditch the kicks and feel with your feet. Peace.

– Cam

SB Prez

Cameron gives you a channel update and shows you Fort Stevens in Oregon

Do you know where The Mill Ponds in Seaside Oregon are? Many locals have no idea. Take advantage of the trails, and waterfront views. From Seaside on Highway 101 (aka South Roosevelt Drive), take Ave. S to Alder Mill Road. It’s near the Seaside recycling center.

The Mill Ponds are a great walk for the whole family. Chill on a bench and bird watch. It’s one of my favorite spots in town. Please be respectful, and take your trash with you. This is a day use only park. Enjoy the panoramas and photos I took.

– Cameron McKirdy

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