The Midwesterner’s Guide to Dealing with High Altitudes

This tour has taken us all over the map, and has had us hanging out in a lot of higher altitudes than we are used to. Here are a few tips and tricks from us to you for  surviving the ups and downs of these very large hills people here call mountains.

  1. Don’t open up a jar of kimchi while you are driving. The altitude will make the pressure in the jar go even crazier than normal and your whole van will smell like a delicious Korean restaurant for longer than you’d probably like. This also goes for kombucha, and anything with a lid..
  2. Put your Dr. Bronners and any other liquid soaps you have in bags. They too will explode.
  3. Keep a positive attitude as you feel like your lungs are going to give out on you from the altitude changes and your sinuses get all messed up. Don’t let the pressure headaches ruin your very down to earth, practical and just friendly enough midwestern disposition. Take some ibuprofen, and say something nice and passive aggressive, like, “Wow, I can tell I’m not in Ohio because I can’t breathe at all in these gorgeous mountains! hahaha!!” “you all sure do have some great winding roads up here!! who needs cell phone reception and oxygen when you are surrounded by all these pine trees and large rocks!!”
  4. If you drink, your tolerance levels will be all out of whack. 1 beer might have you playing your cello in less than ideal ways. Just don’t do it. 
  5. If you decide to camp on a mesa or part of a mountain, you will go to bed with the most amazing view of the starry sky and wake up at 6 AM absolutely melting in your tent under the heat beating down on that very large hill you decided to sleep on. Good morning, world. 
  6. Drink lots of water. For real. 
  7. Nosebleeds are a thing. The blood gushing out of your nose is something completely normal that people deal with on the regular.  

According to Daisy, if you can normally jump two feet in the air, you can now cross a distance of about 3-4 feet because gravity is different in higher altitudes, because there is a thing known as “Mountain Gravity”. Also, anything that costs a dollar will cost you 98 cents because of a thing called “mountain tax discount”, or “M.T.D.” as is colloquially titled. According to Rachelle, a little known fact is that right angles are actually 89.8 degrees rather than the commonly understood 90 degrees because of the curvature of the earth in relation to the curvature of a mountain, so if you would like anything to be straight, you must measure out to 89.8 degrees. This is also why it is impossible to walk in a straight line at a high altitude. 

So there you have it. A bunch of tips and little known facts about living the “high”-life. Ha. ha. ha.

today we are headed to MONTANA!

 Beautiful picture of Washington mountains taken by Rachelle Caplan :D 

Beautiful picture of Washington mountains taken by Rachelle Caplan :D 

 Spokane, photo cred Rachelle

Spokane, photo cred Rachelle

 hey look at that great guard railing on this treacherous drive!! (this is another example of passive aggressive midwestern comment that you can make while showing your West Coast friends pictures from your time)

hey look at that great guard railing on this treacherous drive!! (this is another example of passive aggressive midwestern comment that you can make while showing your West Coast friends pictures from your time)