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Survival School: Day 17
Jul 31, 2007, 11:49p - Life

Terrible weather - cold, overcast, no sun :( Woke up early because too cold. Been awake for 2 hours, everyone else still asleep.

Morning sky, moon in sight - damn it was cold

Self-portrait on day 17 - like I said, I was cold

Where we camped - slept on a grid of sticks so the ground wouldn't suck the warmth right out of us

Steve is leading us today. Hungry, but waiting until tonight to eat rations. Almost there.

Found a ton of gooseberry plants - must have eaten about 100 of them. Turns out David is leading us, w/ Steve in sweep. Hiked along a gravel road for a long time (rt 165) - up & down, not nearly the "easy" day Steve had described. Stayed on the 165 for several miles, then turned right on the 166. A BOSS truck, filled w/ crates of our stuff, barreled by. Super-tired today - calves are aching, heal blisters still developing even though I put the spiro pads on my heals. Overall, exhausted today - just one foot in front of the other. Stayed in the front. Several breaks - took a power nap @ each of them, 5-10 min. So tired. Down a valley & back up the other side. Someone left a full Nalgene by a cairn on the road. Stopped @ a lush oasis - lots of grass & trees, also flies & ants. Turned off main road to follow river - overall, must have hiked @ least 6 miles today. Saw lots of cows, some deer. Crossed over river, & stopped - Solo starts tonight! 5 nights, 6 days, by yourself on a plot by the river. Ben is upstream, Abe is down. Unfortunately Ben decided to setup camp way too close to me.

Beginning of Solo...

I went 2 days just eating berries, no jerky or pinole (barley & corn, ground). Scouted out my area, found a plant w/ bright red berries, almost like mini-cherries. Need to make sure they're not poisonous - glad I brought the Tom Brown [Wilderness Survival] book. Camping under a large pine tree, lots of cover, made bed of duff. Tried to make fire for dinner - got a coal! But then couldn't light my tinder, it was too small and burned me a lot :( Tried ~6 more times, but arm was too tired to move bow @ the required speed :( Gave up for the night, will try again tomorrow. Ate cold oatmeal w/ condensed milk, water, & sugar - wow, so tasty. Also ate a couple pieces of jerky & squash. Read more of Tom Brown - read about shelter & water. Stopped reading when not enough light, settled into burrito - remembered I needed to topple cairn [downstream, so neighbor knew I was OK], so did that. Back to bed - Lightning & thunder that made me shake, loudest I've ever heard. Prayed I wouldn't get hit by lightning - so close. After rain stopped, slept pretty well.

Crazy dreams - @ b-ball game, pop star Aaliyah in stands. Met daughters & cousins, went home w/ them. On way home, got pulled over, & daughters pulled out guns & started shooting, replete w/ bandannas over their faces! Got arrested, but no gun, so not jailed. Asked to recount what happened. Strange, primitive beings appeared & morphed into humans - basic embodiments of intention. Scientists everywhere, very weird. Go back to Aaliyah's home, husband there, looking in fridge. Angry someone betrayed him - I run, he chases me down the block, has a neighbor kill me. Replay - I run down the block, but these shape-shifters show me how I'm going to die & they kill the neighbor for me. I'm safe, but these shape-shifters are murderous, & kill the husband after he kills one of his step-kids. Man in gurney, tubes coming out protect him. Husband tries to kill me in SUV, but shape-shifters murder him. Safe. Seamless transition to next dream - cheerleaders in bikinis dancing - I dry hump one, cum. Next dream - something about movie rentals & SF. I'm a lead in a movie we're making. I'm captured, dragged in back of car, escape, take over car, the end. Very odd. Asian women (4) put on white make-up to hide the yellow - there's a director there.

Lots of ants in bed, big ones, but harmless.

[Written on days 17 & 18]

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