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Survival School: Day 24
Aug 7, 2007, 10:15p - Life

3rd day of Student Ex

More hot porridge this morning - best meal (outside lamb) of the whole trip. Full, piping hot bowl - very full, and not on water. Just oats & water, w/ lots of sugar & cinnamon added @ the end (so it doesn't dissolve & evaporate).

Tree I slept under last night

Self-portrait on day 24

Self-portrait on day 24, take 2

Leland, bright and cheery, packing up in the morning

Got a bit of a late start out of camp. Jeff & Abe leading. Lots of ups & downs, a really long day - must have been 10 miles at least, w/ lots of little hill "shortcuts" which seemed quite unnecessary to me. We're seriously in the desert - lots of sand, rocky slick rock mountains, & very little water. Beautiful, most beautiful view of the whole trip, lots of pics. Totally barren & desolate.

Abe atop some treacherous slick rock

Pinky taking a break in the shade (probably thinking about how he's planning to lose our spare maps)

Mountains in the raw, only the most hardcore of life hanging on

Another view of the raw mountains

Cool precipice formation in the distance, blue sky bearing down

Plants near, precipice distant

A man on the high desert

A hatless man on the high desert

Pinky lost our second set of maps - brilliant.

Then it got real exciting - after being on the top of the ravine for several miles, needed to cross the river. Went down, had to wade across, super muddy & lots of bushwhacking. Beautiful canyon - took a break in a hole in the canyon wall. Helped Jeff not fall into the canyon, as he got stuck on a precarious place w/ little grip.

The most treacherous part of our trip - Jeff almost slid into the water, which would have hurt pretty bad (it's about 10-15 feet down) - this was intense

Same river, looking upstream instead of down

Hiked up & out of the ravine on the other side - got me excited about rock climbing, I think I'll get back into that when I get back. Only 4 more nights! I just want to get there - I'm less excited about writing in this journal, just want to cross the finish line. Nic & Rob were being oblivious, even as we tried to warn them about a potential falling rock. Nice long break @ the top - dried socks & shoes in the sun - long talk w/ Ted about investing, rammed earth construction [way cool - a way to build houses that last thousands of years], real estate & house-building. He's a real good guy - remember to call him when Prosper or Facebook IPO. Also, must stop being lazy & scared & should start putting some money into Prosper. Will invest $50 before we leave for Boston, @ 16%. Need to look into Prosper's cut of that.

Leland gave everyone a slice of the apple he saved - so kind, manna from the heavens, so sweet & juicy. After the 1-hour break, back to hiking - lost & running low on H2O. More chatting & mentoring w/ Abe - talked to Pinky & Rob about Google. Get to cliff - need to get down. Really steep. Fall, slipping on some rocks, slide a bit - hit my head slightly, not too hard because my pack padded the fall, really scraped up insides of both arms, just surface cuts. A bit shaken up, cause could have been much worse. Find lagoon @ bottom - break for swimming, people really happy. I just rested.

Hannes getting ready to jump into the lagoon

"Should I really do it?"

"Aye aye, captain"

Leland, Pinky, & Abe coolin off

Leland & Pinky, chillin

Had to hike back out cause no way through, then back down on the other side.

We're going down into that valley to camp for the night

Me & the valley

Camped @ river confluence, sandy, blanket pack by the fire. Lots of stars. Jeff says that Becca & my bright star is Jupiter - not up too much, moved down past horizon, but I blew a kiss to it. Man I miss her - I might just cry when we get back to civilization. It's going to be so damn good to be back. Dinner best so far, by Nick - bullion on fire @ end, carrots & onions & garlic added post-fire. Delish, much better than mine yesterday. Just a bit of extra water, not too soupy like yesterday, which dilutes the flavor. No ash cakes tonight. Learned about Little Dipper & Cassiopeia - how to see them in the night sky. Can also see Big Dipper & part of Scorpio.

Jeff talks way too much, so condescending & arrogant - knows so little yet thinks he knows so much - It's like having Pops w/ us, a little bit, frequently stating that which is so obvious. Group almost decided not to take hot porridge tomorrow, but I stepped in & just asked what time people wanted to leave, & that I was making hot porridge & I'll be ready by then. Some unhappy, but I think it was a reasonable compromise. Slept OK, not great. Next time don't sleep horizontally on even a small incline. Tossed & turned - had a dream about hiking w/ these folks.

(written on day 25)

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