With a couple of months to go till our wee walk down in the (non) Snowy Mountains, it's time to get all our gear back up to standard.
Back in January we followed through on some of our resolutions after our Bibbulmun walk and modified our 4W FUSE into a 10W powerhouse (hopefully). This was in preparation for the Great North Walk, which we unfortunately had to cancel, and all things bushwalking had to fall into abeyance for a time…
I'm happy to say that we've managed to keep up the regular walks over the past week:
- Dante's Glen loop on Monday evening
- Down the Furbar Steps and up the Giant Staircase after work on Wednesday (in which we got totally saturated in the rain)
- And today we did the Valley of the Waters from Wentworth Falls up to the Conservation Hut along the National Pass and back along the Shortcut track
...and the first tentative step back onto the track.
After our intensive fitting of our new Aarn Packs up at Camp, Hike & Climb (seemed like many hours), all that was left to do was to actually fill them with stuff and head out walking. Greg at CHC offers an amazing service: this is definitely the place to investigate Aarn Packs, or anything else outdoorsy (check their tweets).
OK... time to get moving
So after 7 months, which included healing and investigation of technical equipment changes, we've selected the next walk: The Main Range Circuit down in the Australian Alps, with a couple day walks thrown in to make it interesting.
One of the recommendations from the medical experts was to minimise exertion as much as possible, so we've investigated and purchased:
- Aarn Packs that are meant to minimise the walking effort.
- Pacer Poles that are meant to maximise walking efficiency.
I'm still finalising the itinerary, but there are some big days with lots of ups and downs to look forward to, which means that we'll need to do some specific training so that we'll enjoy the walk.
Oh... the other thing that is really neat is that we'll be able to link up with our Wedding Anniversary and spend it at Yarrangobilly Cave's House after we finish the walk
I've been using SpiderOak to backup my documents for a long time now (nearly 4 years), and have blogged about my experiences a couple of times... but I've always thought the SpiderOak concept was awesome (Zero Knowledge for example), and the software just keeps working... but I've recently discovered that SpiderOak (the company) has amazing customer service as well.
It's not easy selling stuff and maintaining what you sell over a wide geographic area and customer base and keep customers happy. If it was easy Buffer (another favourite of mine) would not have to blog about it so often (for example). Buffer has built up their own almost cult following for happiness in their own ranks, using simple but effective methods. Buffer has its simple 10 Values, which I'm not sure if SpiderOak know or implement, but they seem to be doing them none-the-less.
The reason I'm being so positive is that I had an extremely positive encounter: I had reason to contact their Help Desk because of some issues with my account, and have been blown away with their timely (read: quick) and over-the-top (read: generous) response: clear and direct to my need.
It is encounters like this that forge a strong relationship (4 years with the same software is indicative of a good relationship I think ). Not everything is smooth sailing with SpiderOak (is it ever with any software?), but exemplary customer service is what smooths over the rough spots and makes me feel like a valued customer... and that's on top of great software!
If you don't know SpiderOak...
SpiderOak offers off-site, secure backups, with sync and private sharing. The SpiderOak application runs in the background, quietly sending your encrypted backups to your off-site storage.
This is what I love about SpiderOak... it just keeps working in the background and gives me a heap of assurance: plus I don't need to worry (too much) about privacy issues as even SpiderOak don't know what their storing for me!
We originally found Yacon over on Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery. Came with some great creds, so we thought we'd give it a go.
We bought three plants, that came in a pot and were planted out in our front garden in a not too fertalised position.
The plant is a relative of the Sunflower, at least its Daisy heritage is easy to spot:
Come harvest time, it was a simple matter of letting the tops die off and digging up the tubers:
Three buckets full, which weighed in at 19 kg from the three plants.
We saved the 'seed' tubers for planting next year (well, in a couple of months now).
We've been experimenting with different cooking, or not as the case may be (they're great raw as well). But they cook nicely, retain their crispness and mix with lots of different flavours: Strawberry was the most recent hit But they're great in mixed vegetables as well (like stir-fries).
The other thing that's impressive is the harvest time: winter fits nicely when our garden is often a little bare, so it fills a good gap.
They say they get sweeter as they age, so we're anxiously waiting to see if that happens. Currently the flavour is pretty subtle (if you didn't like it you'd probably say bland).
Young eyes look into my soul
through a lens, off the paper
from a previous century, just yesterday
Fifty years and nothing's changed
except you're here, I'm there still
our own lifetime, filling yet
I know that look from long ago
the soul that's here, growing still
from there to here and here, so near, to where?
A soul to walk with on life's paths
A soul to fly with, flutter-by the breeze
search our goal, chase our home
ride the wind, a turbulent grace
stretching out and finding us
falling in and finding Him
Sharing pain up tortuous hills
tormenting summits, promises fulfilled
joy landslides, in sublime surprises
my most dangerous storm
my safest harbour
my greatest adventure
and deepest peace
when I open my heart
when I open my arms
when I open my eyes
I know that look...
A soul to walk with...
A soul to fly with...
I've started working on a new piece, which has the working title of I Know Sandi. It's felt very good to get my teeth into something with a little bit of traction: since the recent medical hiccups life has felt a little discombobulated...
Not much to say yet, I'm still collecting bits and pieces... but it will be multimedia; somewhat like the wedding mosaics I did for Keren & Danni and Nat & Mon... though with a stronger animation component.
ps: It's a secret — don't tell Sandi
Oh, that reminds me... if you have some photos of Sandi that you wouldn't mind me using you could email them to me.