Three weeks to go.

Departure time is drawing near. I think that I have most of my thing in order now. The list is realistic, albeit, a bit long. Which can be interpreted to mean: I have more than I was hoping to take. The big space taker is, of course, my bed. But I feel safe, and that is good. The little mattress is insulated, and full length which is an improvement over the 3/4 version from my last trip. My new Nemo sleeping bag is “so far, so good”. It is made for side sleepers, and I am trusting it will be more comfortable for me than the semi-mummy, which freaked me out! Claustrophobia. Not good.

I will be putting the suitcase in the belly of the plane, which is always a risk. But, I just couldn’t fit my bed AND spare boots in my carry on. Winter make a difference, even though I will be wearing my snow boots and carrying my coat. Not having everything with me means packing my little back pack differently. I need to rearrange a few things to accommodate a possible delay in the arrival of my big bag. Hmm. Long undies and an extra shirt, all medications, and of course, hat gloves and cameras.

Speaking of which, I think I will bring the two little guys: the lumix wide angle and the Fuji stereo cameras. If I have room, I’ll add the Canon with the 200. It is so hard to travel light!

I bought some Chlorella/Spirulina, which should help out with the possible lack of greens, and I have some turkey jerky for nibbles. I suspect it may be difficult for me to eat out on my own. My dietary restrictions will undoubtedly create a challenge or two, not to mention the language barrier. (I could make myself nervous and cancel the trip if I think much about this!!!)

The things that I am missing are the gifts. Kid stuff I have, but the important presents for the adults I don’t.  What to bring?

the iPad

So, I think I am finally near the end of the shopping spree.  Just the sleeping bag stuff left to get.  I’ll make a list before I go, and then it will be fun to see what I actually needed as compared to what I thought I needed.

At this moment very moment, I am futzing with the final toy — an iPad. This is a big deal. A lot of consideration went into the decision to get this thing, with serious thoughts about going over to the enemy.  There is a PC pad that is really a computer…and the benefit is that I could download my photos to it, play a dvd etc.  Still, I am a Mac person, and the workings are familiar.  So the iPad it is.

I will need to figure out a few things, like redo and undo. (Where is my command z?) And how do I move the cursor using the keyboard?  But this is trivial. That I can maintain my writing while on the trip is key. I will be alone a lot, and in a place where no one speaks English; it is important for me to have a “job”. Writing it will be.

Hmm. I think I will put a few of the DVDs I did for the western folklife center on the iPad.  Then I can show my friends OUR traditional herding culture! Fun




SHOPPING like a fool!!!

Shopping is not something I do well, nor do I particularly like it.  But I am so scared of the cold, that I am turning into a researcher and online shopper. Altho’, I am still waiting to see if the rain/snow pants I ordered have been lost in cyberspace!

Importantly, I finally found some boots that won’t be too heavy but I think will do the job! I have had good luck with Vasque, so hopefully they’ll fit!  Most of the contenders were three plus pounds.  Weigh too heavy!  These are one and a half.

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Oh. I also got myself a BUFF, the Spanish Merino wool tube that all the cool backpacker types use to wear in a number of a hat, as a scarf, as a balaclava….  I tried it last night as a sleeping cap (the temperatures dropped way below freezing,) and it stayed on and did the job!  Very cool…mine is red.

This is my Buff!!!!!

This is my Buff!!!!!

would that I looked like the model in it.  Instead I look a bit like a Russian grandma..

Would that I looked like the model in it. Instead I look a bit like a Russian grandma…which, I guess I am, partially!!!












And I have some Merino wool long undies…a zip top and a pair of leggings by Bergen of Norway…They are a beautiful deep lavender, and have interesting construction. BTW, I did NOT get them, nor my buff, online.  Nope, I went to The Ledge, right here in Klamath Falls.  Felt good.




Well, I have had some wonderful advice from my friend Bob Williams:

1. Start eating food similar to what I will be eating in China at least a few weeks before hand, so my gut isn’t having to deal with a whole new experience.  Hmm.  Boiled mutton????

(Ha Ha!  A couple of nights ago, I dug into our freezer and found two small bottom round roasts from Prather Ranch…extra lean, to be certain.  So I got out my recipes and found one that I had scrawled across the top RAVE REVIEWS.  It is a slow cooker recipe, and I do know that here at altitude, I often have to ad an hour or more.  So I piled in the ingredients, and let the cooker work it’s magic.  After 6 hours on “low”, I checked the meat, which should be done “when the meat crumbles into strings with the prodding of a fork.”  Well, not yet; it was still hard.  So, I let it go for a few more hours.  Same story.  Hard, like a brick.  So I turned the cooker off, and went to bed.  In the morning I turned it on again, this time to “high”.  Five hours later, it was still hard!  OMG  It is like the mutton I had last time I was in China!!!  Providence, I am certain. My chance to eat like I probably will in Tibet!  And I have a recipe!!!

Gotta say, it was so hard, one could build a house out of it!  Even Tupper couldn’t eat it. But I salvaged the damn things by slicing (sorta) them into dog sized bites…and guess who thinks all that work was just for them?)

2. If possible, start adjusting sleep habits to China time.

3. Do NOT drink alcohol or caffeine on the plane.  It dehydrates the body, and the recycled air is already doing that.  DRINK DRINK DRINK water.

4. Boost the immune system.


I am totally preoccupied at the moment with the physical nature (read “cold”) of this trip.  My mind is on clothing and bedding. But Bob brings up some very good points.  Preparation really must be taken seriously, and it must include me getting in the best physical shape I can be in so as to ward off the adverse conditions of airplane travel, altitude, change of diet etc.

After I deal with the clothing list, it will be time to consider things like medications.  I have learned, from my world traveler friend, Merrill, there are some high altitude pills, and some emergency respiratory ailment pills…and of course tummy trouble pills.  I think it is time to make an appointment with my doctor.  While pills are just about my least favorite thing to consume, I have yet to go to China and NOT get respiratory problems…once very serious.  I’d rather have them and not need them, that is for certain.

Stay tuned.


Clothing and more

Well, I am still working on getting the correct clothing, and keeping my luggage manageable. Gotta say shopping online is tedious, and so touch and go.  Have had to send so much back because I got the wrong size FOR THAT PARTICULAR SHOP.  It is definitely not standardized.

Now I am looking at woolen trousers.  Seems like the right thing, with a rain/windproof pant to wear as needed.  Pendelton may be the place to look!

So, what I have are my fabulous coat, silk long johns, cashmere sweater, fleece, turtle necks, mittens, woolen hat, undies, silk sock liners.

Plan to get woolen long johns, boots, those little hunters’ heater dealies, sleeping bag.  I have been advised by my pal, Mr. Williams, that it might be better to use regular boots sized to accommodate thick woolen socks over silk liners.  Better for walking than the sorrel type boot with the felt.

I probably should think about goggle style sun glasses, too.  What else? what else?


I seriously do not like being cold. So I wonder if perhaps this is not a stupid endeavor.

Weighing it all out, I trust that if I do diligence and prepare adequately, I will be able to enjoy this adventure. After all it does get cold here in the Klamath Basin.  Last winter was sub zero for quite a while, and I fared OK.  I have actually been colder in 40º weather in Point Reyes, where there is significant moisture in the air.  I imagine the Tibetan plateau to be quite dry at 12,000 feet.  Fingers crossed…in my mittens!

I have been online for weeks trying to ascertain the best clothing for the trip.  I have finally settled on an LL Bean -55 coat.  This is for starters.  I ordered a large, but then realized I will need room for layers, so soon I will be the proud owner of this fabulous and, hopefully, toasty, XL coat. Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 4.53.55 PMI plan on living in silk long johns, some kind of turtleneck, my camelhair sweater and this!

I also purchased some down mittens, but have learned that wool might be better, with waterproof covers.  Especially boiled wool. That said,  I will test my down mittens and hopefully the exterior material is waterproof enough to be effective.

The BEST thing I have gotten is my STORMY ROMER rancher’s cap.  This is a wool baseball-style hat from the Upper Peninsula (Michigan)with padding and ear flaps.  I love it. It might be too bulky to travel with…but, it is so perfect that I could be a sales person!


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Next will be an exploration of the best trousers.