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Survival School: Day 4
Jul 18, 2007, 10:43p - Life

Drank 1.5 qts before hiking out. Today was the hardest day - we hiked up 2000 ft, and my stomach was feeling nauseas for several hours. The sun was seriously beating down. This was our third day without any food, though I did eat 6 pine needles & a Juniper berry yesterday. My stomach was very upset by this.

Pure, clear brook (much better than Earl Grey). Flowed into a small pond that we saw a jackrabbit run away from. Turns out that one good way to find water is to go in the direction an animal ran from.

Self-portrait (w/ flash) sitting in front of the brook, on day 4

Self-portrait (w/o flash) on day 4, w/ Pinky in background

We did some seriously steep hiking, and took our mid-day break under a tree by a small lake. We took a swim in the lake, which was really cold, and felt revitalized.

Picturesque lake, w/ Jeff sitting on a rock. The surrounding area was muddy and marshy, so we had to wade through mud up to our waists to get to the clear water. Luckily, no leeches.

We learned about the "3's" [i.e. things that are important to take care of in a specific amount of time in a survival situation] - [in the first] 3 sec [of a survival situation you should take care of your] = attitude, 3 min = life-threatening situations, 3 hr = core body temp, 3 days = water, 3 weeks = food, 3 mo = heart. Also learned about mint, but I was too exhausted to draw it. Put it in my water - mint tea today. Kept trudging up - never stops - most exhausted I've been for the whole trip. Pack feeling heavy, even though it's only ~5 lbs or so. Precarious balancing through a fallen Aspen forest - would have been fun, but I was too tired & just focused on not falling. Fell once, but it was OK.

Beautiful landscape, including the Aspen forest, at the top of the mountain

The Aspen forest we went through, w/ pointy mountain in background. Half of the trees were fallen over (hard to tell from the picture). Man, it was a pain jumping from log to log, a real-life Frogger.

Cloud shadows in the valley

Me and the mountaintop. The mountain in the back right is in Arizona (I think).

Learned how to tie a knot that can slide. Also saw a jackrabbit hopping away from a river, which we stopped @ before the Aspen forest.

Remembered something I didn't note. While Crit talked about the 3's, he got to the last one, heart/companionship. Talked about Winston in Castaway, & how important he was to Hanks even though he was just a painted face on a ball. For some reason, I almost started crying - I thought of Becca, Mom, Pops, & Tin as I walked up the mountain after the lesson. The tears welled up, but I held them back. I'm not sure why I started getting teary - I think it's because I started thinking about what would happen if I never saw them again. I've thought about that before while in civilization, & it didn't really phase me. But I think because I've been out of contact for 4 days, absolutely no contact the thought hits a soft spot in me. It felt good to feel that way, even though it was some combo of sadness, happiness, & loneliness. I felt alive.

David was leading today - steepest hike so far. After learning the knot [of the day], we walked a ways down a fire road. Steve went up ahead. He called us ahead to the camp, & gave us a "bonus" plant lesson. He told us to dig up the roots, as they were yellow & juicy. Hannes & Rob started digging, &, lo & behold, they found 16 bananas! Impact was over!!! We each got a banana & honey tea, & chatted about the experience. I thought it [no food] was going to last at least a day longer. I also started feeling nauseas today. Impact is over!

Mmm, the most delicious bananas & honey tea I've ever had. In the heart circle: Hannes, Crit (guide), Steve (guide), & Pinky.

Hannes, Ben, & I slept under a tree on top of our ponchos, as we also got our blanket packs today, so no more sleeping w/o a blanket! Poncho on the bottom, blanket on top.

Place where Hannes, Ben, & I slept that night, w/ nice big spruce for wind protection

Also found a yellow frisbee & did a few tosses w/ Ben. Generally, spirits are up :) Worked on my firekit a bit (making hole in the top rock). Went to bed. Slept better, had a super crazy dream. Dreamt that Becca & I were trying to stop someone's death (a woman), but everything we did tended to course-correct itself & she still died. We were in a city & she lived on the first floor, & had a baby(?). I think she ends up getting hit by a car. I think I tried to stop the car, & failed. Finally, I got her attention & somehow the course of events changed & she wasn't killed. I was in the street when the driver that would have killed her turned into a giant (5-6 stories tall), was angry at me, & chased me around town. That's all I remember.

[Written on days 5 & 7]

Read comments (2) - Comment

george - Jun 10, 2008, 3:05p
love the journal,

thanks so much for sharing.

one thing different, when I went through, impact was three days no water. was something I have never forgotten. don't be sad ya missed that experience.

Nicky - Mar 30, 2009, 12:05p
This is amazing Nikhil! Thanks for sharing it!!!

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