Monday, January 25, 2010

Dilated eyes

I had my eyes dilated today as I wanted to know if I was eligible for Lasik. Dilated eyes on a person looks funny and unnerving at the same time. I have been to TLC for an eye exam and they said I was a good candidate, but then I moved. I am now near the Moran Eye Center, which is apparently well known for great results. So I decided to give them a try. I didn't realize that when they said it would take 4 hours, they meant it. I was there for quite some time getting poked at and looking at bright lights. I knew going in that my left eye has a bad astigmatism and my right has bad long distance sight. Today I came out having learned that my right eye has some astigmatism too. They recommend going for custom Lasik but I have to figure out if I would like to go the PRK route or the Lasik route. This is something I feel I will have done. I hate wearing my glasses and I want the freedom to get away from them.

I have to go back to get a few more test rerun to confirm and get a better picture. Thankfully they will not be dilating my eyes again. I tentatively have the surgery scheduled and hopefully all will be well. Too bad I can't have it done before my kayaking trip. It would be nice to have good vision for that so I can wear nicer sunglasses. But at least it should be done and mostly healed before I leave for out big hiking trip. Hopefully even before the wedding, now that would be really nice.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Outdoor Retailer Show

This week was the Outdoor Retailer Show. This is a show that allows companies to showcase their new gear for the upcoming winter season. So much of the stuff show at this event will be for the Fall/Winter 2010 season. Some companies were also showcasing things available soon or already available. This is my second time going to this show and while I can't say I am psyched up to go, I'm not yet bored with the show either. I don't really care for going to some appointments but others are quite fun. I love seeing the new Smartwool products as well as Ibex products. I do like getting the swag that companies give out as well as trying new things. At this show, we were also looking for replacement gear for our upcoming backpacking trip. I am trying to lighten up my load for this trip as I would rather carry more food then gear weight. We have bags lined up as well as some outwear. I am going to be wearing mostly wool on this trip but I do need to find replacement hiking pants, as well as a lighter cookset.

This show was rather productive as we managed to get eVEnt rain jackets for cheap. Some companies sell off items or have special sells of items, we got lucky that a rain jacket we were interested in was being sold off for a great price. So rain jacket is out of the way, but I need rain pants. We managed to dial in outer gloves (actually mitts), and found some food that is good that we will look into for the trip. I also got a replacement spork and a long handled spoon. I also bought some ultralight stuff sacks and a headlamp. I think we are pretty close, just a few things left to dial in. I need to figure out if I need to upgrade my pack or not once all the gear is laid out. I want to but if I need a pack the same size there is no point. If I can go down to a smaller pack and save more weight, then I might just do it. More later on the gear list and the planning of our first long distance hike together.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

More winning stuff

Last year I was at the Outdoor Retailer show and I won a drawing to kayak for 6 days with the Whales in Baja. I was more then a little surprise and totally thrilled. The only reason I was even entered was because I had an appointment with the company to sign them up to test gear with us. I feel the only reason I won was because about three of the names they called hadn't bothered to show up and so I was the last name called. I liked that the person doing the drawing started off with the first looser. The first item given away was for a wet/dry pack. The next 6 where for posters of prints from a Canadian wildlife artist who is doing the Wild Image Project. Several of the names called hadn't shown up so that left me the final winner. It was amazing how quickly the crowd dispersed after that. I got my photo taken and traded cards with people before my boyfriend showed up. I had to call him over to inform him that we were the lucky recipients of a kayaking trip. There is a picture of the two of us somewhere out there hugging and laughing.

So this winter show, I was again entered into a bunch of drawings. I didn't get most of the stuff I entered to win (too bad), but I did win the Woolrich drawing for a custom printed Thule car-top carrier. It was rather amusing as I hadn't tossed my card in, someone else did and it was after they already drew out a name for something else. Boy were they upset that I won and they didn't, they tossed their card in at the same time. So I am now the proud owner of a Woolrich imprinted car-top carrier. With that on my car I am guaranteed to never lose it in a parking lot again. It has the Woolrich plaid logo imprinted all over the top. I think it is pretty cool and amusing. I can't wait to actually use it. We tossed it into the back of the truck to get it home (it didn't fit it was that long) and it is sitting in the living room waiting for its first use. Although sadly we managed to scratch it up already.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lots of planning

We have been running around a lot lately trying to get things organized for our upcoming kayaking trip. I won a kayaking trip to Baja (yeah lucky me) to kayak with the whales for 6 days. We will be going with Alaskan Mountain Guides. We decided to upgrade to the 10 day trip to get the most out of our trip. But basically we have had to pull out all the packed gear and unpack it. Considering that we just moved and the gear was nicely packed up, this wasn't too much trouble. I then had to sort through most of it to determine what we needed to bring, what we didn't need and what we might like if there was room. We have the major items we need so far including the spray jackets and pants (I have dry pants), footwear, paddling gloves and the little things like eyeglass retainers and sun hat retainers. So far there is still stuff missing from the pile as we are also planning a big backpacking trip. So there are two piles of gear, kayaking stuff for the kayaking trip, and backpacking stuff for the backpacking trip. But in the end, some of the stuff in the backpacking pile will have to migrate to the kayaking pile as the kayaking trip is coming up first. We need to migrate over our sleeping bags, some of the clothes, and some food items plus eating utensils. I also have to follow up with them about a tent. They didn't say to bring one, but said to bring a ground sheet. So I can't tell if they are providing tents, or if we are camping out under a tarp. I don't mind the tarp if there is full coverage but if it rains, sand will get everywhere. So since we have a small tent, I think a tent will be making its way into our bag. I would love to bring my PFD so I can bring my kayaking hydration bladder. I might if there is room, but I get the feeling there will not be enough room. I am afraid I will forget my hydration bladder on the PFD they lend me. I'd love to bring my paddle too but I somehow doubt that would survive the flight (or if TSA will even allow me to carry it on). Hoping to get some great pictures on the trip and have a great time.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Welcome to 2010 everyone. Hopefully the new year will be great. We have big plans this year. Not only do we have a trip to Baja planned (which I won), but we have a wedding to plan (so much for eloping), and money to set aside for a backpacking trip. Big goals but I have faith that we can do these. Where there's a will there's a way.

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