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Survival School: Day 27
Aug 10, 2007, 9:27p - Life

6th day of student ex

1 more night left! Jeff caught a scorpion in a bag, I killed it to take back to Jyoti, Aki's sister. She said she wanted one before I left. Should be easy hike today, all along not dense riverbed. ~6 miles.

Scorpion Hill, our second-to-last night out here

Self-portrait on day 27, on Scorpion Hill (w/ flash)

Self-portrait on day 27, on Scorpion Hill (no flash)

Really easy today, Cliff led. Very little water in river, some serious flash floods had recently flattened all the reed brush - lots of empty wash to walk through. Made excellent time, doing ~2 miles per hour. Took one break next to a trailer/shed. Hannes & I investigated, half was broken down, other half was locked & clearly used. Could see 2 bunk beds, 2 liter bottles of coke, salt, ketchup, & more through crack in window. Told folks, hoping that one of them was so desperate for food they would break in, but no one took the bait.

The shack, the only non-primitive shelter we've seen in 27 days - does it have food?

A bunk-bed, seen through the window

Same room, another bed, lots of shelves w/ stuff, a stereo

A table, coke (!), oil, soap, beans (?), ketchup, & more

Door window through which the above photos were taken - note the padlock

Almost done...

The troop taking a break - Cliff, Pinky, Rob, Leland, & Abe

Cliff, also thinking "almost done..."

Ben & Jeff, taking a break on the dry riverbed

Kept on - ate my 16 ash cakes - 3 for breakfast, rest throughout the day. Gave 1 to Leland & 1 to Abe. Very tasty to nibble on. Got ahead of the group, found a faster route, & got to the road (Highway 12) about 30 min ahead of them. Crossed road, & found an overhang that could have been the cave Steve told us was our final destination. Weren't sure, so hiked around for another hour before settling that that was the cave.

Hannes in the cave - note the carvings that previous BOSS groups have left on the wall

Hannes in the carved chair, everyone else napping & resting

Only ~1 pm, so pulled 1000s of pricklies off my socks & shoes, which took an hour. Napped. Tried to just sit & think & savor our last day. Jeff talks way too much, all about food now. Very annoying - I wish he would just shut up. Brits eat it up. Too many flies, so sleep under tarp so they don't keep tickling me. Trying not to take a shit, but I've been stopping the urge for several days & feeling uncomfortable, so took a shit (#10) - hardest one yet, took 20 min of pushing to get it out. Was 2x as wide & chunky as normal, & a little bit of blood from the gut pressure. Much happier when it got out - felt much looser & lighter. Everyone just talked about food. :(

Dark came, & ~8p Steve, Crit, & David are back! Good to see them [first time in the past 6 days] - brought dinner in 2 white buckets. Stew, but w/ tomatoes & squash in addition to the regular ingredients. So good, slightly more than 2 cups (+3 spoonfuls). Totally re-energizing. Next, heart circle - talked about how this is all about deprivation - can make you find pleasure in what's around you, or pleasure in what's back in the default world. Next, they told us our Final Challenge - a night hike to an unknown destination. Everyone guessed we'd do a night hike to BOSS, & they were right. Hiked on the highway, followed the glow sticks, ~12 miles, 4 hours. Hiked in group w/ Pinky, Leland, & Hannes. Leland & I had agreed earlier that we would hike w/ packs on, just to increase the physical challenge, so we did that, & Hannes joined us. Beautiful, starry night, increased elevation ~1000-1500 ft. Spent 2 hours just bitching and venting about people - Jeff, Brits, Ben. Great to have some privacy to do that. Lots of shooting stars, esp. 1 that lit up the whole night - no moon. Saw 1 car parked on side of road, & another drive in front of us. Passed farm, got to town of Boulder, then BOSS! Final challenge is over! 2 pieces of an apple & 2 pieces of an orange, + watered down Gatorade. Oh yeah, had contacts in for the hike.

Pack off, exhausted, went to sleep in burrito. Best sleep yet - dreamless, didn't even get up to pee. It's over! Unbelievable, unthinkable.

(written on day 29 - aka 28+1)

Read comments (1) - Comment

george - Jun 11, 2008, 11:46a
Thanks you so much for sharing your journal!

You write well so that I believe many will have an understanding of BOSS that is hard to capture.

Interesting slight changes to the program, almost inpercetable, and slight changes I felt through you're words generationally, but yet so much is the human syndrome that never changes.

You've done a good service by sharing.

Thanks again! Hope to chat sometime, and good luck on your future joys I know you won't take for granted :-)

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