Nutrition…Muir Trail Ranch…and running out of food…
Having received a Dehydrator for Christmas this past year…Tiger Lily and I had it humming and drying all of our favorite fruits, vegetables, dinners and more…it was worth every bit of the time and effort we put into preparing our own home cooked meals for the trail! Yum!
Throughout the week at home I choose to eat a Dairy Free…Gluten Free…Grass Fed & Raw Organic diet…and for most of the time I eat Vegetarian. This hike was no exception to change any of my eating habits but with the daily consumption of additional proteins…Meat! For those who know me well enough, you know I may eat red meat (beef) at least once or twice a year. Pork/Bacon are a definite “No” in my diet but I do enjoy chicken, salmon and fish occasionally. Proteins are necessary to build and repair tissue. They are an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. Proteins were eaten all day long to help us sustain the journey.
JMT ~ Proteins ~ Diet
Salmon ~ Grass Fed Beef Jerky ~ Turkey Jerky ~ Nuts ~ Almond/Peanut Butter ~ Dehydrated White Chicken (added to dinners) ~ Beans ~ Quinoa ~ Oats ~ Wild Rice ~ Hummus ~ Dark Leafy Greens…all of this plus Protein Powders and Amino Acids in capsule form.
Our appetites waned those first several days but we always kept on track by eating a healthy robust dinner in large portions. If salmon or tuna were not eaten at lunch these meats were added to our dinner meals. We both noticed that anything sweet (chocolates, fruit bars, etc.) were less desired than the saltier foods…crackers, salted cashews, hummus, dried jerky. Our bodies were beginning to crave for more salts! Sodium is responsible for controlling the total amount of water in the body. It is also for regulating blood volume and for maintaining muscle and nerve function. Too little sodium is called hyponatremia and is the most common electrolyte disorder. Caused by severe diarrhea or vomiting the symptoms include headache, confusion, fatigue and muscle spasms. Tiger Lily sipped on additional electrolytes (Nuun Active Hydration Tablets) throughout the day mixed in her water while I chose to chug (Orgain Organic Hydration in Coconut or Berry) mine at lunch. Of course all of the electrolytes are important…Chloride, Potassium, Magnesium, etc. but Sodium was our main concern.
JMT ~ Sodium/Electrolytes ~ Diet
Electrolyte Powder or Tablet Form ~ Dried Jerky ~ Hummus ~ Pretzels ~ Crackers ~ Lightly Salted Nuts
On Monday, July 11th we hiked a 13.9 mile day. From Rose Marie Meadow to Selden Pass and beyond the lakes were beautiful and the landscape displayed an array of different types of rock! Our packs were light, the day was sunny, clear and very pretty and it was time to pick up our next resupply at the Muir Trail Ranch.
The Muir Trail Ranch is a 0.9 mile hike off of the JMT. Straight down which means a straight back up with an overly full load! We had mailed to ourselves a large 5 gallon bucket of toiletries and food items to get us through the remainder of the now 112 mile duration of the hike. We both had packed plenty of food for ourselves for the 9 days along with new batteries, toothpaste, toilet tissue, amino acid tablets, bandaids and more. We had 9 dinners, 9 days worth of snacks and lunch and 9 breakfast. We also shipped a special treat to consume upon opening…mine was a Chocolate Protein Shake along with a Chicken & Rice Soup and Crackers…Tiger Lily had near the same. BUT…the 2.9 pound 500 Bear Vault that each of us carried was in no way going to hold all of this new food! Every hiker ships too much food to themselves to pick up at the MTR (Muir Trail Ranch) and either ships it back home or places it in buckets set aside for other hikers to pick through and take. We opted to ship a box home…and in my hurried up gotta get this repacked before they close at 5:00pm…I shipped home a dinner…2 breakfast…several protein bars…crackers, cookies, camera, ball cap, used maps and guidebook pages, toiletries and much more. It just was not going to fit in my pack! I crammed everything back into my pack and hung my JetBoil stove outside the pack to carry. Ready…we left the Ranch at 5:20pm…they closed the gate and fastened it behind us. Two other hikers were approaching as we left and were turned away till tomorrow! Glad we made it!
We had met a woman from Cincinnati while making our way to Mather Pass…she had decided not to hike to Whitney and was going to get off the trail two days early…which means she had too much food. She offered Tiger Lily and myself each a packet of Salmon, jerky with nuts and a Snickers chocolate bar…we knew that eventually we would both need this extra food provision and accepted graciously. God’s timing and her thoughtfulness were perfect! We parted never to see her again.
Mt Whitney was within days…food is getting low and I am portioning it out per day wisely. I prayed for more food to help provide the necessary nutrients needed. Within that morning a man approached us and ask our plans for summiting Whitney. He suggested that we tent at Guitar Lake and summit the next day. We explained our food situation…he offered to catch some fish for us and cook it up! By the time we reached Guitar Lake he was set up and excited to offer me some mashed potato flakes…I accepted. Just at the same time another couple (whom we had seen off and on for several days now) were passing us and got in on the conversation. They offered me two Granola bars and a huge bag of chili with noodles. Tiger Lily and I now knew how to plan the remainder of our hike…extra food had been provided…and it was “Just Enough”!
God promises to provide us with our daily needs…thank you Father