Sunday, December 25, 2005

Made it to Moshi!!

After getting lost going to the Houston Airport, our Houston to Newark plane leaving late, the jetway driver at Newark missing, almost missing our connection from Newark to London (seriously, running to the gate without my shoes because I just cleared security...), our bags not making the flight, finally landing in Nairobi, a night in nairobi...and an 8 hour shuttle from Nairobi to Moshi...we have finally made it...ahhh.

Needless to say, already quite an adventure. Trying to track down our luggage as it's got the porter bag and some mountain gear. Looking slim right now, but we'll see...

that's all for now, internet is slow. :p

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mt Kilimanjaro



Giraffes!!!!! :D That is the mountain I'm going to hike up. Pretty crazy, huh?

Safari Itinerary


January 3, 2006


Moshi – Lake Manyara National Park


Twiga Campsite


After morning breakfast at the hotel, we will head to Lake Manyara National Park


Cradled in the glory of its surroundings below the sheer majesty of the Rift valley wall, Lake Manyara lies serene, spreading in a heat haze backed by a thin green band of forest and the sheer 600 metre red and brown cliffs of the escarpment.


A wedge of surprisingly varied vegetation sustains a wealth of wildlife, nourished by chattering strums bubbling out of the escarpment base and waterfalls spilling over the cliff. Acacia woodland shelters the park’s famous but elusive tree-climbing lions, along with squadrons of mongoose feasting on the trail of buffalo and elephant the most pachyderms per square kilometre in Tanzania.


Deep in the south of the park, hot springs bubble to the surface in the shadow of the escarpment. Hippo wallow near the lake’s borders of sedge. The park hosts 400 varieties of birds, including thousands of red-billed quelea flitting over the water like swarms of giant insects; pelicans, cormorants and pink streaks of thousands of flamingo on their perpetual migration.


Enter Manyara from the village of Mto wa Mbu, an eclectic market town where several tribes coverage to form a linguistic mix that is the richest in Africa.


Drive Time: 3 Hours


 


January 4


Serengeti National Park


Public Camp Site


From Lake Manyara National Park, we will travel to the legendary Serengeti National Park. This will be about a four to five hour drive, driving on the Rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.


More than 6 million hooves pound the legendary plains of the Serengeti. Every year, triggered by the rains, more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle gather to undertake the long trek to new grazing lands. Tanzania’s first and most famous park, the Serengeti is renowned for its wealth of leopard and lion. The vast reaches of the park help the black rhino to fight extinction and provide a protected breeding ground for the vulnerable cheetah. Witness predator versus pry and the fundamental independence of the Serengeti’s abundant species, from more than 500 varieties of bird to 100 types of dung beetle.


January 5


Serengeti National Park


Public Camp Site


We have a full day of game drives in the Serengeti from sunrise to sunset, exploring hippos pools, looking for lions, and discovering animals around every corner. This is the day we will try to head to the migration.


Depending upon the wildebeest migration vicinity, we will begin with a morning game drive, return to the hotel for lunch, and have an afternoon to sunset game drive. This will be the day that you will see most likely the most animals.


Drive Time: You are free to drive as far, or as little, as you please today


January 6


Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater


Ngorongoro Public Campsite on Rim of Crater


Simba Camp A


Begin with an early morning departure through the Serengeti and head to Ngorongoro Crater.


Leaving the Serengeti behind we drive past Olduvai Gorge, which was made famous by the Leakey’s in their quest for the origin of mankind. Fragments of a skull were unearthed in 1959 dated at 1.8 million years old and later in 1979 the Laetoli footprints were discovered dating back 3.5 million years.


The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which lies between the Serengeti and the Lake Manyara National Parks boasts the largest unbroken, inactive, and unflooded caldera in the world. Perhaps having once been about the same size as Mount Kilimanjaro, when the volcanic activity subsided, it collapsed inward resulting in a crater 18 kilometers (11 miles) across. Surrounded by very steep walls 610 meters (2000 feet) deep, this natural amphitheatre covers an area of about 260 square kilometers (100 square miles) and is home for up to 25,000 larger mammals. Nearly half of those being zebra and wildebeest while other species found are buffalo, gazelle, eland, hartebeest, warthog, and the elusive black rhino. Lion, hyena, cheetah, and leopard are among the predators within the crater.


Drive Time: 3 hours


January 7


Ngorongoro Crater – Moshi/Arusha


After breakfast, we begin with a sunrise game drive, which is always rewarding to watch the animals eating early in the morning.


We have a half day of game drives in and around the Ngorongoro, exploring hippos pools, looking for lions, and discovering animals around every corner.


Today we begin a long journey back to Moshi, the town at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro. It will take most of the day to get back to Moshi. We will stop at some of the abundant craft markets as we return.


Tentative/optional evening visit to a Masai village, one that only a few tourists have ever seen.

Africa - itinerary, Kilimanjaro climb info

Just a general itinerary for my 3 week expedition:


Dec 23 - 24 - Fly: Houston - Newark - London - Arrive Nairobi around 9:30pm, overnight
Dec 25 - Shuttle from Nairobi, border crossing to Tanzania, on to Moshi, Tanzania ("base camp" for the Kilimanjaro trek)
Dec 26 - meeting with the Kili group, transferring the porter project duffel
Dec 27 to Jan 2 - hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, hoping to summit on New Years Day.
Jan 3 to Jan 8 - camping safari to the Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania)
Jan 8 - Jan 10? - beaching it on Zanzibar
Jan 11 - transit back to Nairobi
Jan 12 - 13 - flying back home: Nairobi - London - Newark - Houston


I'm doing the Kilimanjaro climb and Ngorongoro Crater safari through BootsnAll and MtKilimanjaro.org.  I'm on the boots boards all the time, with my some 2000 posts.  This trip idea came up sometime in the beginning of the year, and I was like..hmmmm..heck yeah, I'd do it!!!  I've been planning for this trip for about 6 months now, stocking up my paychecks to pay for the trip, hiking and rock climbing to keep in shape...and now it's right around the corner.  So hard to believe.


I'm still not ready mentally for the Kili hike.  It's just one of those things that...well, there's only so much preparation you can do while living at about 500 ft in altitude!!!


To give you an idea, here's the Kilimanjaro hike details for the Machame route:


Day 1: Machame Gate to Machame Hut (9,300’)



Hike time: 7.5 hrs, Elevation change: 1200 M 
Estimated distance: 10km, Final elevation: 3100 M


Early pick-up at hotel and a hour drive to Machame gate (5,400’) where trekking formalities take about 30 minutes. From the gate, we begin our trek following an easy track for the first hour through the dense forest. The path continues to follow the ridge, rising steadily with several steep sections. The gradient eases slightly as the forest merges into heather covered ground we will reach Machame Hut in 10 km (6.2 miles) after a 1,200-meter (3,936’) ascent and 5-7 hours of walking.


Day 2: Machame Hut to Shira Hut (12,300’)



Hike time: 7 hrs, Elevation change: 800 M  
Estimated distance: 6km, Final elevation: 3800 M


From the Machame Hut we cross the stream onto its west bank and follow the path up the steep rocky ridge crises-crossing a few times before reaching Shira Hut at the base of a semi-circular wall of rocks. We will have ascended 900 meters (3,000’) in 5-7 hours and about 6 km (3.72 miles) of walking.


Day 3: Shira Hut to Barranco Hut (12,800’)



Hike time: 5 hrs, Elevation change: 100 M  
Estimated distance: ?, Final elevation: 3900 M


From Shira Hut hike to Lava Tower (15,000’) and then proceed to Barranco via the Great Barranco Wall. This route offers panoramic views of Kibo through Karanga Valley as we hike high and sleep low, dropping back down to Barranco after lunch. Today’s hike will take most of the day Barranco campsite located on elevation of 3950m.


Day 4: Barranco Hut to Karanga Valley (14,800’)



Hike time: 3.5 hrs, Elevation change: 100 M  
Estimated distance: 4km, Maximum elevation: 4590 M 
Final elevation: 4000 M


From Barranco Hut we climb up through the edge of great Barranco 95percentage of that day walking will be on elevation of 4250m. We will break our day at Karanga valley campsite at elevation of 4,000m walking time is 4 to 5 hrs on this day.


Day 5: Karanga Valley to Barafu Hut (4,600m)



Hike time: 3.5 hrs, Elevation change: 600 M  
Estimated distance: 4km, Final elevation: 4600 M  
Today involves gaining a little more elevation, acclimatizing and resting for the summit attempt the next morning. This day will take us 4 to 6 hrs of walking.


Day 6: High Camp to the Summit and then Mweka Camp (10,500’)



SUMMIT DAY!  


Summit time: 7 hrs, Elevation change: 1300 M  
Estimated distance: 5km, Final elevation: 5895 M  
Descent time: 5 hrs, Elevation change: -2800M  
Estimated distance: 12km, Final elevation: 3100 M  
We will start trekking early before sunrise (1-2 am) as the walk today will take 10-14 hours. We will avoid the mist that sets in later in the day; the scree and snow will still be safely frozen. The 1,100-meter (3,600’) ascent in just over 3 km (1.86 miles) will take us about 6-8 hours. After a brief stay at the summit of the highest point in Africa, Uhuru Peak, at over 5,898 meters (19,340'), we descend via the Barafu Route roughly 2,500 meters (8,200’) in 12 km (7.44 miles) in about 4-7 hours to Mweka Camp.


Day 7: Mweka Hut to Mweka Gate (6,000’)



Descent time: 4 hrs, Elevation change: -1250M  
Estimated distance: 10km, Final elevation: 1828 M  
Today we descend about 1400 meters (4,592’) through the forest on a jungle path for about 10 km (6.2 miles) in 3-4 hours to reach Mweka Gate. We have a big party at the end, with food and drinks with the whole crew.


Now, you probably think I'm crazy.  Sometimes I think the same :p  If I *die* on this trip, it'll for sure be on Day 6 of the hike.  Hopefully that won't happen ;)'


I seriously can't believe it's just a few days ahead of me, an expedition of a lifetime.  At least in my lifetime, that is.  Oh gawd, I'm so not ready...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Africa gear list

3 more days till I leave...


Been so busy making stuff, that I haven't had time to go through my packing list until tonight.


Some things to take note of - lots of mountain gear, have to dress modestly as there are conservative Islamic areas, especially on Zanibar.


So as of today, here's my packing list for Africa...


===================================================


GEAR



- REI Aries women's 35L pack


- 30 inch duffel bag (for the mountain)


- Thermarest ProLite 4 sleeping pad


- Katadyn ExStream XR water bottle with filter


- extra water filter


- Marmot Teton 0 degree sleeping bag (avg)


- Komperdell titanium trail lite compact trekking poles


- gear straps


- binoculars


- pocket knife


- multipurpose tool


- nylon cord


- potable aqua tablets


- homemade day purse


- 2 knee braces


- Moutain Hardwear Ascent Ventigaiters


-1 PackTowl


- 1 lightweight waterproof outer shell


- duck tape


- insulated camelbak


- poncho


- a few gear/stuff sacks


CLOTHING



- The North Face Allure Jacket


- REI One jacket


- homemade polartec fleece hoodie


- 3 Patagonia capilene mesh sports bras


- 2 Patagonia capilene mesh tank tops with shelf bra


- 2 Mountain hardwear quick drying tank tops with mesh back


- 2 tee shirts


- 3 long sleeve compression shirts


- 2 quick wicking short sleeve shirts


- 2 button down short sleeve collared shirts (for conservative dress)


- 1 pair lounge/sleep shorts


- 2 lightweight, quickdry travel pants


- 1 pair snowboard/mountain pants w/gaiters


- 1 pair homemade polartec fleece pants


- 2 pairs midweight long underwear


- 1 pair polarmax heavyweight long underwear


-1 long skirt (for conservative dress)


- 4 pairs Wigwam hiking socks


- 4 pairs Fox River liner socks with X-Static


- 2 low profile athletic socks


- 2 pairs capilene boyshorts


- 15 pairs underwear (lucky me, they pack so little)


- 1 wool, fleece lined beanie with ear flaps


- 1 homemade polartec balaclava


- 1 homemade polartec snug beanie


- 2 bandanas


- 1 bucket hat for sun


- 1 earwarmers


- 1 pair homemade polartec mittens


- 1 pair REI kids windproof gloves


- 1 tankini top


- 2 bikini bottoms


- 1 sarong


- 1 short cover up skirt


TOILETRIES



- baby wipes


- face cleansing towlettes


- deodorant


- soap


- toilet paper


- toothpaste


- toothbrush


- tampons


- nail clippers


- dental floss


- small hairbrush


- hair ties


- compact mirror


- Q-tips


- face lotion


- body lotion


- hand sanitizer


- shampoo/conditioner (2 in 1)


- SPF 45 sunblock


- Off with deet


- SPF lip protectant


FIRST AID KIT/HEALTH



- multivitamins


- iron pills


- levaquin (for severe diarrhea)


- immodium


- doxycyclen (anti-malarial)


- acetazolamide (generic diamox - for altitude sickness)


- benadryl


- sudafed


- tylenol


- tums


- glucose tablets


- hydrocortizone cream


- triple antibiotic gel


- assortment of bandaids


- gauze pads


- athletic tape


- alcohol/iodine prep swabs


- blister treatment bandaids


- moleskin


- athletic bandage


- visine


- first aid guide


- needle


-tweezers


FOOTWEAR



- Lowa Renegate Goretex hiking boots


- The North Face Esker Ridge trail shoes


- an old pair of Tevas


MISC



- sewing kit


- earplugs


- alarm clock


- watch


- batteries


- camera


- journal


- pens


- energy bars


- powdered energy drinks


- lots of plastic bags


===================================================


Yeah, looks like a lot of stuff, huh?  It is.  Tomorrow will be the true test as to how much I'll really bring.  I tend to have a large list to start out with, then whittle away some things...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

nerves

T-5 days to leaving for Africa.  Holy shit, I'm starting to get nerves.  I hate the week before a trip because I feel like I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. 


I bought travel insurance last week, and stupid me, didn't change my birth *year* so that it looks like I'm only 9 months old.  Well, finally on the way to getting that sorted.  Hopefully they'll be able to sort it out and email me the insurance package by Thursday.


Just emailed the lady from the porter assistance project to arrange the transfer of the duffel bag (I'm volunteering as a courier to help bring clothing and gear to the Mt. Kilimanjaro porters -- read about it here).  Need to print out the customs for for that as well...


We've got a hotel booked in Nairobi, shuttle service to Moshi, and the first night in Moshi.


Have to do passport photos (for visas for Kenya and for Tanzania)


Play with the new digi cam so that we know how to use it on the mountain..doh..get more lithium batteries..wanted to make a cozy for the digi cam and batteries (since it'll be below freezing)...


Still a few more things to make (bathing suit, compression sacks, day bag/purse)...argh!!!


Of course, a shitload of packing and organizing to do.


Have to pick up my meds - Doxycyclen for antimalarials and Acetazolamide (generic Diamox) for altitude sickness


Not to mention I just came down with a cold as of yesterday...double argh!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

marisa the fashion journalist???

Wow.  Sometimes, strange things happen to me.  I'm presented with opportunities and I get giddy about them.


Earlier this year, I was approached by Lisa Maxwell of The Workshop because one of her friends out in California worked for a production company working on a show called Stylicious, to show on the DIY network I believe next year.  They were looking for indie artisans, so I sent her a few pictures of few things (clothing, accesories) I made -- mostly from recycled vintage linens or fabrics.  An example is in my profile picture -- the skirt I'm wearing was a vintage table napkin (the flowery part).  I added a muslin border to make a mini skirt. 


Anyways, Lisa sent it over to her friend at the production company.  I received an email from her friend, with a note to call her for a first interview.  All done over the phone since they're in Los Angeles and I'm in Texas.  Well, the first interview went fantastic!  She said that she would pass on my name, and that I would go through a second phone interview.  That also went well.  Next step was to get a call from one of the production guys..well, needless to say, that never happened.  So my 15 minutes (or 5) of fame didn't happen, that time. 


It was one of those things, like Crafters Coast to Coast, where the host and production crew travels to your home/shop and films you making your project.  They told me it would be a half day of production (about 4 hours).  I think my key point was that, well, my projects usually take longer than that (doh).  Oh well...


Sometime after that, I was randomly contacted by Valerie Mikita, the Associate Producer for the Tyra Banks Show, who saw one of the DIY posts on my blog about a Pillowcase skirt I made that cost all of about $2 (that's with the zipper) to make.  She said that Tyra Banks wanted to crown me the "Queen of Cheap".  I thought that was pretty funny.  I'll take it as a complement because I do get thrills out of being thrifty ;)  So she had her number attached to the email she sent, and I was like..is this for real or is this one of those weird spams?  But everything seemed to check out.  I debated on this one..hmmmm..should I call her?  Maybe I'll get a free plane ticket..hmmm...well, it was too close to my Argentina trip, so I let this one go to the wayside.


And today, I received an email from Mesh Design Collective about a photo I had posted on flickr from the Stitch fashion show.  For my volunteer efforts, I had snagged a schwag bag with a package from Mesh Design Collective and had photographed its contents.  They asked permission to use the photos for their business.  I told them, of course they could, because maybe I'll be looking for them to help me out once I get off my ass and do my indie business in a few years.  I got an email back asking if I had fashion journalism experience and if I would be interested in being a contributor to their to their news and trends site that they're developing.  Wow!  Another one of those giddy opportunities!!  Well, I emailed them back, saying that I didn't have any fashion journalism experience (being bluntly honest here), but I am interested, have nice digital photography equipment, and am into the indie fashion scene in Austin.  I guess I'll have to wait for a reply back to see what they say.  But I think that's pretty cool.  :)

Monday, December 12, 2005

How many hair colours can I go through in a year?

That is the question...


I started off by bleaching my hair one time and doing orange in the front and purple the rest of my hair (Dec 04)..



orange and purple hair Posted by Picasa

Once the color wore out, I bleached it again..not a pretty process.  And I've learned that I don't look good blonde/orange-ish (later Dec 04)...



So I tried being a firey redhead (Feb 05)...



My hair was totally fried and growing out, so I decided to chop it all off (Mar 05)...



The color was fading and my roots were quickly growing out...pink and black..well, that was popular in the 80's and those colors are (were) back (May 05)...



To have some semblage of normalcy before I go to Africa, I've decided to dye my hair black (today)...



What on earth have I done to my hair?  I can't wait for it to all grow out again and be healthy.  It was fun, though.  Too bad my hair won't take on blue...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New coffee table

Yesterday, Sean and I were heading down to the rock gym down south and passed by one of our favorite furniture stores, Four Hands...not that we've ever bought anything from there before.  It's a fun place to browse and look around, but not exactly in our budget.  Well they had tents up and looked like they were having a warehouse sale, so we decided to check it out.


The prices were incredibly cheap on the sale stuff.  Relative to how much they usually charge, that is.  We ended up getting a coffee table to go with our Asian office theme.  It's really cool, and was a bargain at $200.  I love the pulls on the cabinet doors.  It's not perfect, there are some marks on it and whatnot, but hell, it'll have stuff on it eventually. 



New coffee table Posted by Picasa

We still have a lot to do with the office, but we're thinking of using a bench seat for the coffee table.  One thing at a time, though.


It was pretty interesting getting the thing in Sean's car.  The guys at Four Hands rigged it up so that the coffee table was in the back seat, both back doors opened ajar, and tied together with a rope and windows down.  We drove 30 miles home that way...



Sean's car with doors roped together Posted by Picasa

But needless to say, the new table is gorgeous and looks so fitting in our office :)

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

Friday night, I met up with the lovely ladies of the Glitterati group for an evening of good times.  Kristin, Lisa, and I met up at Natalie's house then carpooled over to Azul in east Austin for a bite to eat.  There, we met up with Jennifer and later Sarah, Shae, Donna, Melissa, and Olivia.


After dinner, we split up and head to Blue Genie Art Industries for the Art Bazaar that features local independent artisans with their wares for sale. 



I think this is the 3rd or 4th Blue Genie Art Bazaar I've been to.  I can't even remember, but it seems like I've been a few times already.  It's always changing and definitely getting more popular from the first time I went.  I'm a big fan of Rory Skagen's work.  It's so colorful and fun.  I mean, how could you not like this...


???


I did my fair share of spending at the bazaar.  I bought my sister a Unitard checkbook cover similar to the one in the link from Sweet Tooth Bags.  I think she'd really appreciate the humour in that one.  Funny, they placed that one in a black plastic baggie when I went to pay for it.  I bought myself (I couldn't resist) a shirt from Victrola Studio.  I got Sean this shirt from Ollie Reid.  Now he can say I got him two turntables and a microphone!  I really wanted to get him this shirt from Will Heron, but he didn't have any available.  I was so set on that shirt too -- it's so dorky...hehe.  I talked to Will and instead, put in a special order with him by email.  Not sure if I'll get it in time for xmas, since I'm leaving on the 23rd, but we'll see...


The night wrapped up by me, Natalie, Kristen, Lisa, Olivia, and Donna heading over to a bar to hang out and have a drink.  We tried to go to Lala's on Justin, but it was crowded and smokey.  So we headed up north a bit to Houstons and sat in the bar.  Of course, a booth full of 6 gorgeous girls, the waiter was flirty.  It was just so good to get out and hang out with the girls.  Lisa introduced me to Salty Dogs.  I'm such  lightweight nowadays, that I couldn't even suck one full drink down (it was a pretty damn big one, though) without getting buzzed.  I kept in mind that I had that damn 30 mile drive home as well, so I just took it easy.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Ice Ice baby!

It's cold, damn cold.


Outside/inside temp Posted by Picasa

Yesterday, a cold front pushed through midday with some light rain, which made for a hellacious 2 hour commute home...argh! My driveway was starting to freeze last night, which meant that chances of going to work today, at least in the morning, were slim. So..I'm home :D Yay!


Deceivingly slick Posted by Picasa


icicles on the trash can Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Good Water Trail

Last Saturday, Sean and I hit up the Good Water Trail at Lake Georgetown. It's the longest hiking trail in central Texas, at a whopping 16.6 miles. No, we didn't do the whole thing. Sheesh. We worked backards and parked at Russell Park, hiking about 4 miles in and turning around at the low water crossing. In total, we did about 8 miles. This wasn't a tough hike, but was a good one nevertheless. The first part was through the forest on an less travelled trail covered by leaves that had fallen off the trees. We went down to near lake level, and hiked along a jeep trail for the rest of the way. It's a nice hike as it's a relatively quiet trail (as opposed to the Barton Creek greenbelt in Austin). We saw a total of 3 other people on the trail, all of whom were cyclists.


Me balancing on a post by the trailhead Posted by Picasa


The low water crossing -- it's been a dry year, so the water is pretty non-existant Posted by Picasa


Somewhere between mileposts 14 and 16.6 - trail along old jeep trails Posted by Picasa


Funky tree in the middle of swampish land Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Making gear -- Balaclava

Using the #403 Tunturi Hat with balaclava add on pattern from Shelby -- a Finnish outdooor gear pattern company, I made a balaclava (not to be confused with baklava!). I used the fleece that I got from Malden Mills. From the description and the way the fabric looks and acts, I'm guessing that it's a remnant of Polartec Thermal Pro with the velour surface.

Shelby's pattern printed out, taped together Posted by Picasa

I took pictures of the process, but since the material I used is black, the pictures turned out pretty crappy.

Shelby's pattern was very easy to follow. On a pattern rating of very easy to difficult, I would rate it "very easy". I made it a little on the large side because I thought I was going to put lining in it. In the end, the fleece is so warm that there was no need for a liner. I think making it slightly larger gives me a bit of a conehead, but it's not that bad.

I modified the pattern because I'm going to be damn cold and want to cover my nose, too. I was inspired by this balaclava called Seirus Hoodz, which has a nose cover with a drawstring to cinch it down. Figuring out how to do this took some experimentation. I cut out a rectangular piece large enough to cover the face opening of the balaclava and long enough to be sewn into the balaclava itself. I folded the top of the rectangular piece over (about 1 inch) and sewed it to create a tube so that I could slip in a drawstring.

After a lot of trying the balaclava on and adjusting where I wanted the nose guard insert to fit, I drew lines with a blue piece of chalk. On the right side of the balaclava, I cut out a button hole were I would run the drawstring. I attached the nose cover simply by using straight stitches that ran on the sides and bottom of the rectangle, gathering it at the bottom.

I also double stitched all of the seams on the balaclava for durability.

Here's how it turned out...


balaclava with nose guard down Posted by Picasa


Balaclava with nose guard up -- can double for a ninja mask, too! Posted by Picasa

Materials:
- remnant Polartec Thermal Pro? -- about half a yard -- about $1.30
- drawstring from a leftover rope -- cost was probably a few cents
- drawstring pull -- about $0.50

Total cost of project: less than $2
Time: approximately 2-3 hours (off and on, I made this in two nights)

Inks Lake

Last weekend, we went to Inks Lake for a hike. I took a few pictures. Just a few, so here they are...


Sean and the dear we saw nearby Posted by Picasa


Campsite 3: no fires, no martinis allowed Posted by Picasa


Inks Lake Posted by Picasa