The Climb is Official!

In my email today:

“Thank you for scheduling with Exum Mountain Guides.”
The following is confirmation of your upcoming activities. Also attached is an equipment list and additional important information regarding your visit. (If you have difficulty downloading the attachments you can also download them from our website or click on the following links):
• Terms and Conditions/Cancellation policy:
• Equipment Lists:

Please review all information carefully and print this message and the attachments for reference as you prepare for your trip.
Exum Mountain Guides
Lupine Meadows – Jenny Lake
Grand Teton National Park
Box 56, Moose, WY 83012
Ph: (307) 733-2297
Fax: (307) 733-9613
Visit us on the web at
Named by Outside Magazine as “The Best for Mountaineering”
Exum – “Explore the Vertical”


Guess it's time to get the chalk out of the BAG and onto my HANDS. Wow, it's been great procrastinating the upcoming process.That day is over. Tell me to get off my A**!!


James Brown’s “Sex Machine” has a word in it that happens to be my husband’s favorite “lyric” of all time – “TASTE”. Seven weeks of dieting and 9 pounds lighter, I’m noticing a few things about TASTE – as in the sensitivity of my taste buds has come alive. A sweet potato is sweet – sans the butter and the brown sugar, a carrot tastes like a carrot and it’s delicious. I purchased cottage cheese this week for some variety and was surprised at its saltiness. Actually I’m surprised by the saltiness of most everything that has any processing. I realize this new awareness of what things taste like is not merely the result of attempting to limit my intake to 1500 calories a day. Technically, I can eat anything I want as long as I account for it. However I discovered quickly if I want to go to bed without hunger pains, those 1500 calories need to be well selected – meaning food that’s bulkier, healthier, with less prepackaged, little to no fast food, or fried food, etc. So not only has my intake decreased but the kinds of food I’m eating have changed. I’m enjoying the taste of food more than I have in a very long time.

From The Philosopher’s Diet , “You will know that you are making progress when you find that a raw carrot tastes very sweet. Peas have a lot of natural sugar in them, have you noticed yet? After a while you will tend towards salads (plain vinegar and oil, please) simply because you need to stuff your gut, and salads have a lot of bulk.  Vegetables. Whole grains. You are counting calories so carefully that you begin to think twice before you blow a lot of them on a small piece of meat.”  Well I’m still eating meat, yes even red meat, but not as much as before.  Don’t tell my rancher Dad.

Feeding Cattle

Something was funny. I can assure you, it wasn’t the weight on our backs.

Wind River Range, Wyoming

The St. Lawrance Basin Trail-head

The Philosopher’s Diet

Four weeks of counting every morsel of food or beverage with calories, limiting that to 1500 calories per day, and I’ve dropped 6 pounds.  Oh happy day!  I even had a hamburger last week (I’ve temporarily discontinued the enjoyment of cheese) .  My friend at My Kugelhopf has not been much help with sticking to this restriction.   If you haven’t seen her website, check it out. You’ll be sorry if your weight is currently an issue.  Or glad in a torturous, perverted way. Back to the hamburger.  It counted for a whopping 550 calories, but was worth every one. I didn’t have any fries.

All my life I’ve had to watch what I eat.  Having a tremendous sweet tooth exacerbates the effort. As a kid I was fat. At 15 I experienced, successfully, my first weight loss effort and stayed fairly thin until about age 24. At 29 I lost 40 pounds, and it’s stayed off. But not without a fight. Since marrying 5 years ago a few pounds have crept back.  To summit Grand Teton I need to be as thin as I’ve ever been.  My knees are going to need all the help the rest of my body can give them.

So now you know I’m versed in the Herculean task of weight control. And it is Herculean.  To me it ranks right up there with paying your bills on time, getting and staying out of debt and living within your means — some of the basics of life, but astoundingly difficult.  Lulled by the simplicity of the task, many of us do not factor in the day-to-day strain of it.  The word consistency should have “unattainable” as a synonym.

Carrying around excess pounds and excess debt are means to the selling short of our futures. They both diminish the ability to be free.  While I believe living within your means to be honorable and admirable, keeping your weight at a healthy level may be only admirable, bordering on honorable.

Long before I discovered the book above I realized weight maintenance and philosophy had a great deal in common.  The book fell from a shelf onto my head during a late night crawl through a book store. It wasn’t so much the title “The Philosopher’s Diet” as the subtitle that caught my attention “How to Lose Weight and Change the World”. The author Richard Watson, is a professional philosopher.  From the back jacket: “If Descartes had sat down to write a treatise on losing weight as a metaphor for maintaining discipline amidst life’s vicissitudes, it would have read much like this.”  From the first paragraph of the book: “Fat. I presume you want to get rid of it. Then quit eating so much. No normal, healthy person on the good green earth ever got thinner without cutting down on caloric intake. Do a few exercises, don’t eat so much, and you will lose weight.”

Buy it. You’ll never be tempted again to try the latest weight loss fad.  Your pocketbook will thank you; your goal to live within your means will be rewarded.

Arrest Pending

Glacier, Wind River Range, Wyoming

If there was a blog posting police, I would have surely been arrested for a grievous lack of posts. While Solo Road Trip is a combination website/blog site, the Grand Climb site documenting my attempt to summit Grand Teton this year, is purely a blog. I’ve been unforgivably lazy in executing what I know is expected of a blogger and for that extend to you my apologies. I pledge there will not be future significant absences as I find apologies to be draining. And I need all my energy.

If you’re feeling you’ve missed out on strategic preparations for this climb, let me offer a teeny bit of comfort. Nothing has happened.

Today does however mark the 2 week point of my diet. 4 pounds have been dropped in those two weeks!

Over the years I’ve tried lots of techniques for shedding excess pounds. The one that works for me is the simplest – limiting my daily intake to 1500 calories per day, tracked by writing everything down on a small notepad kept in my kitchen. Renee Zellweger, when asked her plans to lose the weight she gained during the making of Bridget Jones’ Diary, said it was simply a numbers game. Technically. But when you don’t have the luxury of someone writing it all down for you, counting the calories you had for lunch, monitoring where you are for the day, snatching that cookie out of your mouth, cooking meals that are light, delicious, and filling, it becomes much more than a simple numbers game.

To help make the process as easy and accurate as possible, I bought a food scale. I’ve yet to cut anything out completely – just eating less of everything. I discovered quickly to stay full means eating things that are low in sugar and/or fat. In other words, a cheeseburger can be had for lunch, but I’ll go to bed hungry because of it, unless of course it’s the last 550 calories of the day. Preferring to eat my 1500 calories per day has also meant drinking nothing but water and an occasional diet coke. So far the plan is working and I don’t feel deprived (much).

“I’ve been on a diet for two weeks and all I’ve lost is fourteen days.” — Totie Fields

Alpine Lake, Wind River Range, Wyoming

This alpine lake is what we discovered at the top of the glacier pictured above. No technical climbing -- just a bunch of scratching and clawing.

The Grand Climb ’09

The Best to All of You in 2009!

Happy New Year!

While I don’t make resolutions per se, I do conjure up some adventurous fantasy or two for the New Year (isn’t that really what resolutions are?). I’ve decided the whole New Year’s resolution thing is not the result so much of the fresh start presented by a new year as much as what a high of 20 degrees does to my imagination. It seems to soar when there’s little hope of making it a reality – when I’m busy merely thinking of things to do as opposed to actually doing them.

Grand Teton

Grand Teton and the sight of my 2009 Adventure Fantasy

I wonder what would happen to my resolution imagination if January 1st fell in the middle of summer instead of the dead of winter? Consider what that would do to the resolution business in general. I realize that January 1st does occur in the summer if you live in the Southern Hemisphere, but play along for just a moment and pretend it’s summer all the world over on January 1st. What would happen if we didn’t have the time to sit around nursing Lethargy while Immobilization under a fluffy down blanket holds court with Paralysis in front of a crackling fire? Would the entire resolution industry crater? Would the Feds come in to rescue all those feeding on the resolution frenzy? Nah. We need a new beginning every year whether it be in January or October, summer or winter. And most of us need that defined because if left to our own devices, we’d just put it off until tomorrow.

So my adventure fantasy for 2009 has been a true fantasy for several years and I’ve finally decided to transition it to a reality. I plan to climb Grand Teton this year and to follow along with that progress, just click on The Grand Climb button on this page. It even has a nice, rhyming ring to it: The Grand Climb 09. Frightening.

Me & Grand Teton #4

The famous Snake River Overlook

I need someone to share my pain, sympathize with the difficulty of having 15 lbs. to lose, soothe me when I hiss at the thought of one more squat, curse at aching muscles and celebrate when it all ends in victory (or not – either way, I’ll be celebrating). The more of you someones, the better. I’m going to need all the help I can get….


The Grand Climb


Tammie DooleyAbout SRT... I’m a traveler, writer and photographer for whom the open road frequently summons. Adventurous solo road trips are a staple for me, and a curiosity. So I created this website to share them and inspire you to step out and give them a try. Welcome!

A soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone – Wolfgang Von Goethe

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