Adventures of Life


We made it!!!

No Shame and I had a wonderful sponsorship while on the trail.  Sustenance to be sure we made it from point A to point B.  They asked us to put together a little something for their page.  Here it is!!!  (click the link)

Thank you The Honest Kitchen

(Don’t panic!  The picture with me and No Shame was taken at Trail Days, not at the summit of Katahdin, no rules were broken in Baxter State Park for the capture of this image!!!)

I also apologize for my lack of blogging.  There are many things cranking through my head post trail.  It is just a matter of putting them out there for others.  The “real” world has sucked me in…  it has also chewed me up and spat me out.  All of that will be addressed in upcoming blogs.

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Dehydrated food pretrail

In five weeks my meals will consist of food eaten out of pouches and Ziploc baggies where all you do is add water and voila! you have a meal.  I have been blessed with the support of a small time local company, Good to Go.  As they are less than a year old and working hard to meet the demands of their clientele I am extremely grateful for the discount they have offered me (every little bit helps!).  Before I went off spending hard earned money on a bunch of food I had never tasted, and which I would be committing to eating for the next 6 months, I went out and purchased each of their flavors.  All of their meals are GLUTEN FREE  and VEGETARIAN.  I started with the safest bet first, Classic Marinara with Penne, how can you go wrong?  It was delicious, the simple marinara they used had great flavor and tasted fresh.  Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like sitting in my Italian grandmother’s kitchen  or anything but it is by far the closest I’ll get while in the middle of the woods (my grandmothers’ are Russian and English, so I doubt you’ll find me at my Italian grandmothers kitchen any how).  Make sure you allow the food to sit for 20-25min and I recommend giving it a stir half way through to make sure the water gets to all the pieces.

Not bad for "just add water"

Not bad for “just add water”

Second on my list was the Herbed Mushroom Risotto.  This one was good but it wasn’t great.  I struggled with rehydrating it, I believe it was operator error.  I don’t know if I didn’t have my water at a full boil before I put it in or what but the rice just didn’t absorb the way it should have.  I finished cooking this pouch meal on the stove.  Once I had it all together things were better.

Third was the Smoked Three Bean Chili, this one also falls under the good but not great category.  I don’t know, there was something missing and I again had operator error with the rehydration process.  Problem with rehydrating food when you are hungry is you get impatient and don’t let it sit for the full rehydration period.  I spent the next half hour picking half rehydrated beans out of my molars.  Bonus this meal will last longer than any of the others!

Last but far from least was the Thai Curry.  I was so nervous about this one I kept putting it off and putting it off but the time had come.  I was in the midst of dehydrating some of my own spaghetti when I realized I didn’t have food planned out for my dinner.  Thai Curry it was!  I carefully opened the pouch and removed the oxygen absorber.  I then took the pouch of powdered coconut milk and added it into the main meal.  Poured the boiling water in, stirred it up and set it aside.  I forgot about it as I spread portion sized quantities of sauce and spaghetti across my dehydrator trays.  When I suddenly realized I hadn’t eaten I was trilled to see the package sitting there looking at me.  As I opened it up the aroma of Thai spices filled the air, the sweet smell of coconut milk inviting me in.   I looked into the pouch to see green veggies scattered across the top.  The first bite was heaven!  The flavors indescribable.  I was excited to be sitting in my living room eating this meal out of a pouch! I was disappointed that I couldn’t scrape every piece out of the nooks and crannies of the pouch.

Can't get enough!!!

Can’t get enough!!!

I have been slowly preparing meals to take on the trail with me but only in the past weeks have I come to truly understand the best way to put these meals together.  I started with the concept of cooking up items individually and then mixing them in a bag to create a meal.  The downfall to this is the individual parts of the meal don’t get cooked in the richness of the spices.
I enjoyed sautéing up veggies and mixing them into the store bought pasta sauce, adding egg to increase the protein and cooking the Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) right into it so it would fill with the flavor of the sauce.

This was only the first batch...

This was only the first batch…

When it was all said and done each tray held one portion, for the trail.  The calorie count isn’t bad either.  The sauce held about 140 calories, the pasta 420 calories and the TVP an additional 70 calories.  With my second batch I sprinkled ground parmesan across the top adding an additional 20 calories.   Each meal will provide me with @650 calories.  This meal will be a “freezer bag meal” where all I need to do is open the freezer bag it is stored in pour hot (not boiling) water over it, tuck it into my freezer bag cozy and wait!  Presto!  meal should be done and ready to eat in 20 minutes.

My supplies are slowly making there way into my home.  I am so excited to put together all of these awesome meals and start preparing my package drops.  I just got my Goji berries and Figs so I can make my own protein bars!  This is truly an experience of a life time!

Got milk?

Got milk?

And don’t worry in the midst of all of this food sampling and dehydrating I found time to take Star out to the woods where she could run about with a 4 pound pack on.

If you would like to support our adventure please consider looking at our Amazon Wish List (click here) or consider supporting us financially through PayPal (click here) and send to

Every little bit matters!!!  Star knew this when she was only 5 months old!

Every little bit matters!!! Star knew this when she was only 5 months old!


Time to settle in for the long haul

Welcome to a NEW YEAR!  There are so many great things to look back on from this past year and so many wonderful things to look forward to in the coming year!


I’m back in NH and the reality of my next journey is hanging over my head.  With the change of the year I will no longer be able to say “I am going next year,” a simple way of keeping this adventure at arms length.  Don’t get me wrong I am VERY, VERY excited for this journey but I’m also terrified.  I will be walking onto a trail in Georgia with a pack on my back and a dog by my side, with every intention of getting off the trail 2,189 miles later when we reach the summit of Mt. Katadin in Maine.  But as every hiker who has attempted or completed the AT will tell you it is all about “Hike your own hike!”   This journey is yours and your alone.  No one can tell you what to expect from it or what your greatest challenge will be, we are all individuals and the trail will test us as such.

Star met her match during her first hike of the season - took a power nap to make it through

Star met her match during her first hike of the season – took a power nap to make it through


We each have our own challenges — Hike your own hike and take naps when needed!!!


Now for anyone who knows me they will agree that I can be a wee bit difficult with a side of annoyance thrown in.  I like to know what to expect.  When I don’t know, I can be stubborn, cranky and down right miserable to be around.  So how am I going to survive on a trail where I have no control over the weather, my health or the people surrounding me?  I guess I’ll have to adapt, and quickly at that!  Truthfully, there is something about being in nature which removes all the pressure.  There are things I cannot change and therefore there is no reason to allow them to control my reactions – and yes I know this translates into day to day situations as well but somehow society makes it all muddled in my mind.  BUT there are things I can have a sense of control over, maybe more of an influence,  my meals are high up on my list.  I want to eat good food, I don’t mean five star restaurant quality, although that would be nice, I want variation.   When you talk to people who have hiked the AT they list items they’d be happy to never see again: peanut butter, Nutella, oatmeal, tortillas, Ramon, and tuna.  It is hard to find GOOD easy to prepare food, something you can rehydrate in a single pan.  So I am doing the only sensible thing – I’m dehydrating my own meals.

Purple Radishes

Purple Radishes

Dehydrating food is a learning curve, time consuming and when you are finished you have less than what you started with…

I have discovered that if you precook your food the time it takes to rehydrate it is greatly reduced.  For example the black beans I cooked and dehydrated only took 3 minutes in boiling water, with 10 minutes to rest after to rehydrate.  If I can have meals packaged up so all I need to do is put water on to boil, toss a food pack in and be good to go, life would be awesome!!!   I have managed to dehydrate a large number of items, now I need to take them and create a meal or two and try them out.
I have dehydrated:
~ Beans
~ Garlic (made the entire apartment reek)
~ Carrots
~ Kale (powder it for nutritional qualities)
~ Portabella Mushrooms
~ Zucchini
~ Sweet potatoes
~ Tomatoes
~ Cabbage
~ Rice
~ Quinoa (cooked in veggie broth)
~ Beets
~ Radishes
~ Blueberries
~ Banana
~ Apples
~ Honeydew Melon
~ Beef Jerky

a half gallon of garlic being prepared

a half gallon of garlic being prepared

chopped and ready to dry

chopped and ready to dry

Reduced to a Quart of chopped garlic -- the air is so heavy with the garlic it's all I can taste

Reduced to a Quart of chopped garlic — the air is so heavy with the garlic it’s all I can taste

There are some things which are not worth dehydrating yourself. I would never opt to dehydrate blueberries again!!! It is suggested to poke each berry a couple times so the skin will shrink with the rest of the berry and it allows the moisture to escape.  I sat with a toothpick and poked EVERY berry 2-3 times. They came out looking beautiful!!! And I’ll be happy to go buy them at the store all shrunken.  Pineapple and Mango are also worth buying already dried.  The cost of buying them fresh and dehydrating them will most likely be more than what you pay for them already dried.

So here the journey begins, the preparation and hard work before our feet ever hit the trail!!!

feet on the trail

**As I put together recipes I will be sure to post them for any other person who wants to take on the adventure of making their own dehydrated meals.**



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Proper way to open a package

It is a mix of excitement and fear which keeps me going! I don’t really know what I am getting myself into, all I know is that no matter what happens I will be different for it.

First thing I bought that made it real!

First thing I bought which made the idea real!

As anyone who has received a much sought after package or letter knows it is important how you open it. I was thrilled when I got to the mail box and saw the large padded envelope filling the space within. I pulled everything out, sorting the junk quickly into the recycling box, as though having it touch my precious package would taint it. I then rushed inside to the safety of my apartment and carefully read the label, twice. My name was printed clearly but in my excitement I didn’t process it. Once I was certain this was the one I took myself upstairs to my room where I could enjoy this moment in the comfort of my own room. I settled onto my bed, cozying up with my pillow and calling the pup up along side me, this was going to be her adventure as well. I didn’t bother with carefully opening the package. I tore into it! And as padded envelopes do, it resisted. But there was no way I was going to be denied viewing the book within.

As I slid the narrow book from the confines of the envelope I was disappointed by it’s small size, for the wealth of info it promised I was concerned it wouldn’t be held between those covers. I started reading immediately. I have not made it further than the first couple of pages but already I am satisfied with my purchase. I will be provided with dehydrated meal recipes, first hand knowledge of package drops, and how best to assist the people sending them.

Look out AT I am getting ready for you and it’s gonna be one hell of an adventure!

This is a very serious endeavor!!!

This is a very serious endeavor!!!