A life of courage, joy and independence.
Here’s the hike video from my visit to Siberia two weeks back. With this outing, I was experimenting with how long I could remain exposed and moving out in the open desert, on a day when temps would top out at around 110 degrees F. (43 C.). I learned that I don’t want to be more than an hour away from shade after approximately 8:00 AM. I could probably extend that range by wearing more–and better quality–clothing, as it seems it’s really the exposure to direct sunlight which drives my body temperature up fast, rather than the simple fact of being outdoors. The sunlight hitting my exposed skin seems to transfer an astonishing amount of heat energy which might otherwise be blocked or deflected by a sensible layer of clothing. I’m planning to research the desert clothing solutions in use by desert-dwelling peoples in places like Africa and the Middle East for some tips and tricks to help keep me safe. Another idea is to carry some form of easy-to-assemble shelter which I can quickly erect as a hiding place from the sun. I’m thinking perhaps of using a large reflective space blanket secured to the ground with pegs and elevated with a short pole. For this journey, I was using the very nice shady areas beneath flash flood bridges along both the railroad and Route 66. I’m certain I could easily spend an entire day under one of these bridges during even the hottest desert days. However, a smaller shelter (like my proposed space-blanket tent) would likely offer far less cooling opportunity, and I’ll need to experiment carefully with such options. An extra concern is the fact that since I’m on a motorcycle there’s no chance to escape the heat in a pinch by ducking into a car to enjoy the air conditioning. This means that I must always plan to get back to my bike with enough exposure reserves (new term?) to get the big GSA fired up, safely down the dirt road from Siberia, and out onto Route 66 where I can enjoy the moderately cooling effect of a 60 MPH wind. Altogether, I’m very satisfied with this experiment, though as you’ll discover if you watch this video, I think the heat may have made me a bit delirious at times.