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Survival School: Day 10
Jul 24, 2007, 11:50p - Life

Our poncho tent, which I was pretty proud of. Hannes, Leland, & I shared it.

Self-portrait on day 10

Woke up - Ben found 4 eggs (maybe duck) that were cold, so we hard-boiled them. Rich, bright-orange, creamy center. He said he found them on the embankment - somehow he found exactly 4, which is too much of a coincidence (4 people in our dinner group). He was kind enough to give 1 to each of us, & I gave half of mine to Leland, Jeff, & Rob. I should have given more, but I think everyone got a bit from the others. Hannes found 2 more, which he plans to scramble cause they're cracked. I think Ben found more than 4, not sure - don't really trust him, too much of a smooth-talker. [Ben upset that Hannes went and "took" 2 more - thinks we're taking too much from the ecosystem.] Argument about taking too many eggs demonstrates a conflict between selfishness & environmentalism. Ben & I disagree - I think that since [the first] 4 eggs were not split evenly w/in all 15 of the group, he has no right telling [Hannes] not to take more eggs. I think he thinks that what he took he took & taking more would do damage to the ecosystem. I find him to be a scavenger - willing to benefit himself w/ the occasional find, but quick to judge others when they take in a more or less conventional way. Group is mixed, but I think they see Ben as being pretty selfish & hypocritical. Ben too upset to want to talk about it.

Should change into contacts for a day, but feel too dirty. Also ate hot milk for breakfast, w/ some oats & cinnamon & sugar. The egg was good, but again I didn't desire it like I think some of the others did. I'm in a very neutral place right now, when it comes to the pleasures of food. Pinky didn't like the egg - said it tasted like lobster bait! - ate it anyway cause it was food.

Leland & I led today - going from Pleasant Lake to Five Lakes, pretty flat w/ some hills, ~7 mi. Plotted bearings & stayed pretty much perfectly on track. It was actually quite easy, though I hadn't done it before. Stopped @ Ledge Lake & it started to pour, got ponchos out. Beautiful view of entire valley. Munching on GORP all day, running low. Stopped for 1 hour at East Lake (pics) - went for a swim, felt so much cleaner afterwards.

Ledge Lake, site of my first bath in 10 days. Not too deep, though the rocks were really slippery and I smushed my toes a lot.

Ted, from Half Moon Bay (where he lives on his boat)

Ben, from Albuquerque; Pinky's back, from Colorado; Hannes, from San Francisco

Nick, from New Jersey

Abe, from Salt Lake City

Cliff's back, from North Carolina (?); Jeff, from Seattle

Steve, a guide from Vermont; Nic, from England

Rob, also from England (friends w/ Nic)

David, a guide from somewhere

Crit, a guide from Kentucky

Hiked to Spectacle Lake, then on to Five Lakes. Dinner is getting more meager as our rations are running low. Finished all flour into ash cakes, too wet though so they kept putting out the coals. Frustrated, so sat by myself. Frustrated by not being able to make a fire, not having a good top stone, my dinner partners' selfishness (Ben & Pinky), the lame conversation, the moochers, or the fact that I haven't been sleeping well @ all on this trip. I'm ready for Group Ex to be over. Hannes made some excellent pine needle tea - that guy was born to live out here. My ash cakes were the worst of the week - too wet, no flavor, killed the ashes. Ask people to do simple things, & they just can't - now I know how Becca & others must feel. Man, I miss her & everyone @ home. The slow pace of life is good - I'll bring that back home. Time to cook, time to hang, time to love, time to be. Rush conscientiously. Will it work? Can I do it? I think so, maybe. Just so much to do - yet so little to do here. Yet so much here too - must make fire. We'll see.

Slept in burrito, as uncomfortable as ever. No rain though, which is great. Couple dreams - Homer watching the Simpsons & getting 4 scoops of ice cream [& some cartoon dogs], & some other one I forget.

[Written on days 10 & 11]

Read comments (1) - Comment

george - Jun 10, 2008, 3:33p
It sticks with you I promise.

mmmmmmm ash cakes!

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