Isaac: ‘Dad.  Find some termites eating wood, and then eat them.  You can tell me what wood tastes like.”

[Context:  Isaac loves the tale of my eating termites straight from a mound in the jungle.  Just lick your finger and they will stick to it.  Mine tasted like mint, because they were eating grass.]

Mr. Music

Richard: “What was the best part of school today?”

Isaac:  “Music class, definitely. We sang a fun song.”
Richard: “What is your music teacher’s name?”
Isaac: “Mr. Music.”
Richard: “Do you know his real name?”
Isaac: “Mr. Mozart.” [slowly smiles ear-to-ear].

Expedition Food

In a few days I leave for the long-awaited 100 Miles of Wild-ND Badlands Transect.  I’ll be in the field for 13 days, and one of the challenges is to pack enough non-perishable food in a compact form.  I’ve developed my system over the years, and I prefer items I can buy more-or-less ready-to-go that require no prep beyond boiled water.  It’s not a fun system, but food prep and cleanup takes away from limited documentation and note taking time (or if things are going rough, sleep and rest time).


A 13 day junk food binge would end poorly, however, so I’ve tried to pick the most reasonable options—real food ingredients, minimal chemicals, not jammed full of palm oil and killer fats.

For this trip I’ve got 2700 calories per day.  That will have me running a calorie deficit (especially as it will be cold), but a deficit that will do me some good. 

The daily menu is pretty much the same:

Boosted Oatmeal—this is rolled oats, mulberries, gooseberries, dates, flaxseed, walnuts, powdered milk with a dash of whey protein and brown sugar.  No need to make this—just buy some Stoked Oats.  I put 1 cup in a heavy plastic zip closure bag.  Add 1.5 cups boiling water, shake it up, and eat.  300 calories.  

Odwalla Super Protein Bars x 2.  420 calories

Larabar x 2. 400 calories

Almonds and Dried Cherries, 2/3 cup. 400 calories

Stinger Bar x 2.  380 calories.

Honey Stinger x 2.  320 calories.

Mountain Trail Pro Pak (2 servings): 480 calories

There are, of course, other ways to do this.  Tuna fish pouches, soynuts, peanut butter.  This is what works for me. 

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Arctic Ice vs. Ice Cream

Isaac [quite upset and sad upon learning that Arctic ice is melting and may disappear]: “That can’t happen!  We still have too much to learn about it.”

Richard: “Well, maybe you should become an Arctic ice scientist.  You might do important work.”

Isaac: “No.  I like Ice Cream.  I’m going to sell Ice Cream.”

Note:  We were watching Frozen Planet.  Get the BBC version from Netflix.