I put together the jerky today - it is drying now, some 25 minutes after I turning the thing on. It should be done sometime tomorrow around noonish, maybe later. I have about 4.5 lbs in the Excalibur now, a birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas present that was rolled all into one machine that keeps on giving. When it is all said and done, I'll post the weight reduction ratio and use that number for future trips. Like everything else, I keep a large spreadsheet of backpacking food that records calories per serving, serving size and calories per ounce (the key number). Before I go to bed I am going to pack gorp and organize the food boxes.
Tomorrow the first round of food leaves my apartment and heads to Grand Marais. This will occur when the jerky gets done and I find a box fit to pack it in. There will be approximately 6 days of food with me sent to GM, plus some other miscellaneous goodies (batteries, maps, matches, etc.). This act is a first real, immediate, commitment to the trip. Gear and food can be bought and used on another trip, but postage is something that only works for this trip, right here, right now.
As part of method of keeping loved ones informed, I am sending text updates to Twitter. If you know me on Facebook, you can read the updates there. You can follow my trip at www.twitter.com/crazyrunnerguy.
My personal locater beacon arrived today from PLBrentals, LLC. I expected it to arrive Wednesday or even as late as Thursday, but I realized after I poked through the instructions that the earlier arrival was in case a test failed and a replacement needed to be sent overnight. I rented an ACR Microfix. With the lanyard and without the case, the $600 piece of gear ($750 at some places) weighs in at 10.65 ounces and is worth its weight in gold.
On a sad note, I will not be taking a GPS unit with me. I had arranged to use the GPS I used on my 2005 expedition to Hudson Bay, but alas it cannot be found.
I will leave you today with a quote from a man I owe much to - he taught me how to dig into a passion and work my fingers numb. The words are full of focus and dedication, and they fit the trip perfectly.
"keep your eyes open and don't ever separate yourself from the experience."