Expedition Logistics and Planning

Having successfully accomplished our first summit, Spanky and I returned home with a freshly renewed confidence and the fortitude to go on with our seemingly unattainable goal. Our enthusiasm was also buoyed by the amazing response and feedback that we got from our initial blog post. With comments like, “You are insane! I wish I was you”, “You guys are absolutely nuts”, how could we not go on.

We quickly realized that we can’t just go rushing off like a couple of chickens with our heads cut off. There was a lot of planning and preparation to be done. Not to mention the logistical nightmare that faced us. A daunting task, you’d have to agree!
Just like Sir Edmund Hillary, Columbus, Lewis and Clark, Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton, and Bluto Blutarsky before us, we understood that only fastidious preparation is acceptable for an endeavor of this magnitude. It could easily make the difference between success and serious injury or even death.

Exactly where are the 50 summits? In what sequence do we tackle them? What shall be our route? How do we travel to these far away places? What about food and lodging? The list goes on.

Spanky and I broke out the ’07 Rand McNally road atlas, we scoured through Google Earth, we picked our way trough Microsoft Streets and Trips, we ran innumerable internet searches, and we consulted several cartographers that were referred to us. We compiled all our data into a custom developed Spanky and Rein data base. We ran an extremely complex linear programming model (borrowed from some friends at NASA) against the data and voila! The plan started to take shape.

Spanky Checks Computer Model Data

The answer was obvious, we would start with about a 3 – 4 week trip and hit Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. Actually there isn’t a hell of a lot of logic there other than that these states are close, their summits aren’t that high, and most importantly, we have friends to freeload off of along the way!

There really has been a bit of preparation that we had to do. My truck, a white 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4wd pickup, has 190,000 miles on it (all personally driven). A wee bit of maintenance (new tires, rear axle seal, new plugs, etc) was required to make it just a little more road worthy. We also decided, at least for now, to use my 1999 Predator Eagle (a local outfit) 6 x 12 cargo trailer as mobile expedition headquarters and for on the road lodging. Simple enough, I had a couple of windows and a skylight/roof vent installed and it was ready.

The Dodge and Our Modest Travel Trailer

Other than that, we did have to get our gear together. Spanky went to PetSmart, his preferred expedition outfitter to look for a doggy back pack, stock up on his favorite dog food (Purina ProPlan), dog treats, rawhides, and as always, to sniff around the other dogs that were busy shopping. We bought a new camp stove, got together other camping stuff like a cot, sleeping bag, camp cookware, blah, blah, blah. The list goes on.

My godson from Toronto Canada, Allan Marley, (my cousin Kati’s son), world renowned mountaineer, skier, and adventurer, is visiting me and Spanky for a few days. He will be providing us with some last minute pointers, spiritual guidance, and moral support. We are probably going to actually head out of here on or about February 26th. It may take a week or so (hopefully less) until we get a good internet connection and file an update. Please, don’t worry about us! I know you will all be waiting breathlessly to read our next update. We’ll keep ya posted as soon and as often as possible.

Thanks for tuning in!


Taimi said...

If you are looking to Allan for spiritual and moral guidance, I wish you all the luck in the world for your travels - YOU'RE GOING TO NEED IT!!! :P

taimi said...

and ps - if you happen to make a wrong turn (or no turn at all since it's directly north) and end up in South Carolina, I'll be there next week!!

sõber said...

-best wishes and success to Spanky and Rein in your adventures- in a couple of weeks at the "Esto Suusapäevad", sõbrad Kilm, Ers, Neuman, Skon. & Co. will be gazing from the 3640ft Madonna Peak, Vermont, at the 4393ft Mt Mansfield Summit (at most 5miles away)and calling out "SPANKY and REIN, ARE YOU THERE YET!"

Anonymous said...

Just courious. There must be some special dietary requirments for spanky. If he is to maintian such a grueling interary surely he must be eating well. What does he eat? where do you buy his food? Also in between trips What kind of fittness training is required to keep him in peak condition.

Amy said...

David and I are looking forward to seeing you and Spanky on your tour through Arkansas!!! Be safe and call us later this week to let us know when you are going to be here :)

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