Survival School: Day 25|
Aug 8, 2007, 11:11p - Life
4th day of Student Ex
Only 3 more nights left! Today was a ridiculous, hardcore day, one of the toughest so far. Woke up early, ate a delicious hot oatmeal w/ a tad of milk, lots of sugar, & a smidge of cinnamon - full cup, the best breakfast so far. So much better than dinner. (Been writing over the campfire in mornings, hard to write more than simplistically, conversation distracting). Shit #9 - nice & clean, avg. < 3 per day.
Red mountain wall we slept next to
Red mountain range, as the sun rose
Got on the road - 2 miles of bushwhacking, took 3 hours - fucking ridiculous. Tons of river crossings, wet shoes, muddy. The sand is everywhere - It's stuck to my skin, I can't even wash it off, it's everywhere. Water & dirt in the shoes, making them heavy. Carried Hannes' dogbane pack (for cordage) for a while, as we walked down Sand Creek. Nic C & Rob leading, Nick Ph. & I in sweep. Legs are fatigued after 24 days of hiking, keep going. Picked some prickly pear & rose hips, tastes OK. Get tiny cactus spines in my hands, annoying but now used to them.
The hiking begins anew, bushwhacking in a ravine carved by the river - it was ridiculously difficult and slow-going, a real pain in the ass. The river zigs and zags, alternately touching each edge of the ravine where the mountains rise up - so you have to cross the river every hundred feet to move between the islands of dry land.
The barren, desolate wasteland - shade is priceless out here
Get to Escalante river, take nice, long break by the water. Don't see any fish, though Ted said he saw foot-long sucker fish farther down. Eat ripe prickly pear fruit for lunch - very tasty & juicy, sort of like Kiwi fruit. Took nap under first natural arch.
First natural arch, about 100 feet above where we napped
Hiked 2 more miles down the river, very easy trail, flat. Saw 2 couples hiking.
Second natural arch/bridge, farther along the river
Natural bridge & river
A better view of the natural bridge
Got to [human-made] bridge [next to the highway], Cliff is back! Just had a kidney stone. BOSS folks look @ Hannes' leg, behind bushes [trying not to break the perception that we're still alone]. Leave note @ cairn under bridge. 2 more miles to camp, will be sleeping on sand in trees. Hiked 1/2 mile up looking for Anasazi pictographs, didn't find any. On way back, slipped & smashed hand into a cactus - a few drops of blood, but now the palm of my hand stings whenever I put any pressure on it. Get back, tromp to river in the dark to get water. Dinner OK, Ben cooked, too much grit, not like Nick. Really tired, dazed in front of the fire.
Went to bed - dreamt about hitting a parked cop car w/ mine, breaking left front wheel, pissed off - Seattle. Some more - 3 simultaneous weddings, one wife worried her husband will cheat, family of marble light blue eyes. Consoling her. Steve's sister getting married. Slept pretty well, peed once, woke maybe 5 times, arm asleep & numb.
(written on day 26)
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- Jun 11, 2008, 9:34a
the student ex was on week three leading into solo for last one.
I did solo just up from bridge you spoke of.
:-) sucker fish was great until had a bite of trout, couldn't eat it after that once last one was gone.