Archive for September, 2012

Monday August 27, 2012

Lynx, Stefane, Miles and Dany left for lake Chelan today.  Jess, Neil and I stayed back and its good hanging with these guys.  I went to the hidden lake today.  It was super beautiful.  Perfect weasel tracks in the mud.  Clouds started coming in so I came back to camp and we fixed up the shelter.  Been feeling temptations of the other world today.  We’ve been out here for 17 days now and we have 11 left.  Thats a LONG time!  17 days is longer than I’ve ever been camping without trips back into town.  The canada canoe trip was 11 days and thats how much time we have left.  The days are going to go by fast and I’m going to think back on this adventure fondly but I’m so excited to go back to the world and all its creature comforts.  I need to stay focused, appreciate the present moment and keep motivated about hunting and shooting a deer.  I can’t wait to eat, drink, shower, use facebook, watch basketball, talk to friends and family, wear clean clothes, sleep in a bed, talk to girls, watch movies, have a house, drink coffee, read all day, study tracking all day…

Beautiful, cold, crystal clear, high mountain lake.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Another windy, cloudy day.  It sprinkled last night but we didn’t know it until the morning.  I think the deer will be moving tonight so I’m going to try an evening hunt.  The shelter continues to be good.  As a group we are running low on food but personally, I have a ton left.  I could definitely last the whole time on my own food but as it is, my food will turn communal and all our food will probably run out by the second or third of September.   I’m not interested in starving out here because it seems dangerous.  I’m going to portion two good days of food and leave when I get down to that.  I’d be willing to fast one day and try to get a deer but the weather has been pretty crazy and I don’t want to get stuck out here without food.

Just hiked to Surprise Lake.  Almost caught a couple fish.  Beautiful down there.  Freaking amazing view from the pass.  Crazy clouds and high winds.  Sun setting.  I apologize for my sloppy penmanship but my hand is cold and this is the best I can do.

Species list:

Mammals: black bear, martin, ermine, pika, red squirrel, ground squirrel, chipmunk, coyote, marmot, mule deer

Birds: Golden eagle, sharp-shinned hawk, junco, robin, clark’s nutcracker, stellar’s jay, red-tailed hawk

Had a cool thing this morning.  Heard the marmots alarming and had the feeling it was a coyote, not an eagle.  Then we saw coyote tracks – fresh- going towards that hill side this afternoon.  The alarms sounded faster and more annoyed than the eagle alarm.  Later an eagle flew over and they alarmed it.  So cool to get to know the little nuances of this place.

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Friday, August 24, 2012

I’m sitting here looking west into the mountains.  The sun is warming my back and my belly is full of bison, brook saxafrage, wild rice, wild boar fat and salt.  Over those hills is where my new life will be in just two weeks.  I’m glad I don’t have to walk there, although it would be a great adventure.  I wonder how often Mom and Dad think about me.  They probably try to picture me in the mountains or sitting by a fire at night.  Maybe they are inspired by the thought and they go outside and take in a deep breath of fresh late summer air.  A golden eagle just flew right over my head at maybe 40 yards.  The marmots and ground squirrels alarmed.  The bird flew over the ridge and I can hear alarming marmots miles away.  Amazing!

Caught shootin’

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We got fresh meat yesterday so we had it for breakfast today.  It was so good.  Very tender being cooked all night.  Fatty and filling.  Last night was rough.  I was uncomfortable and pretty cold all night.  It looked like it could have rained and that scared me because we would have been totally screwed.  Today we built shelters and that was fun.  We didn’t finish ours but I think it will still be way warmer as it is.  Last night was the first time I thought about leaving.  Not cause I wanted to but cause I was cold all day and under dressed and cold all night.  I don’t want to just freeze for the rest of this.  I put my moccasins on today and I have a hat and head wrap I can wear too.  Anyway, I feel great today – especially because of the shelter and I think I’ll last the rest of the time.  Time to get back to hunting tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll journey to the hidden lakes.

Miles looking noble.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

A great night’s sleep in the new shelter and a beautiful morning with the sun warming my back, looking west into endless mountain peaks.  I think my toe is healing but its slow going.  What adventures will today behold?  I want to walk.  I’ll take my bow and walk far down the valley.  I also want to see the hidden lakes.  I may not have time for both.  Maybe I’ll see the lakes tomorrow.  Maybe first I’ll go up the ridge and see the view.  I love how much time we have out here.  I always feel unsatisfied by short camping trips.  A month is a good length of time.  I like having a big group of people too.  I should finish up the shelter today.  But first, I’ll have breakfast.  Neil’s cooking.  Acorns, fish, seaweed and greens.  Maybe a little lamb’s quarter flour.  Last night we raged on bay nuts up at the evening fire pit.

Our warm and cozy shelter.

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Journal Entries 3 and 4

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eatin’ pine nuts with Jesse in the sun after a good hike.  We hiked 6 1/2 miles today.  3 more up over the pass tomorrow to our new base camp for the rest of this trip.  I felt pretty good hiking today but I’m tired and sore now.  We’re staying at a little lodge.  I saw a bear barreling down the hill today.  It must have been going 30mph straight down.  It feels good to move camp.  Like we’re back on this adventure.  I’m excited to get settled at the new place and start hunting.  Dany saw a moose and calf yesterday and their tracks were on the trail today.  I hope I get to follow some fresh moose or bear trails in the next couple weeks.  9 days until deer season.

Caveman Neil practicing with his bow.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First morning in our new camp.  Frost on the ground.  Feels much cooler today even in the sun.  I imagine it will be like this and colder over the next two weeks.  I want to make a cozy bed with lofty bedding and maybe reverse the head and toe on my buffalo soon.  Its uncomfortable sleeping in all my clothes on the hard ground, squished between people.  I know that the more comfortable I can be at night, the longer I’ll want to stay out here.  Although I have no substantial desires to leave.  Its a beautiful thing, living out here like this.  I could loose myself in the mountains.  Wandering, hunting.  I would need to kill a bear soon.  A couple bears if it was for more than just me.  We’d need the hide for warmth and the fat for it too. 

Resting on the pass.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

I’m sitting by the river this morning eating breakfast.  I’m having a Lara bar, almonds, sunflower seeds, freeze dried blueberries, and a corn tortilla.  Yesterday we rode up here in the back of Lynx’s truck, leaving my car, laptop, and cell phone behind.  No communication with anyone but these 9 people for a month.  It is very beautiful and pristine here at the river camp.  I woke up to yellow-warblers and western wood-peewees.  We had fun hanging out on this huge log that had fallen across the river.  It was deep enough so we could jump off.  The water is cold but not too cold.  Then we had a nice hot sweat lodge and Lynx made us dinner.  I was cold last night but ok once I put my buckskins on.  Tonight, we leave for the project. 

Peter posing at the first pass.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today I awoke from my buffalo bag to find myself at 7,000 feet in a pristine alpine valley living in a tribe of hunter-gatherers.  We snuck out of Sunny Pine in the night and piled into the back of John’s truck.  The stars were out and the drive was amazing.  It felt like the world was spinning super fast.  We hike through the night.  Yesterday we climbed the pass.  My pack was heavy but I managed.  I have 30lbs of food so the hike home will be a breeze.  The views are unreal.  I drink out of the streams.  Life is good.  I just can’t believe we are on the project already.

The view from our first base camp.

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I spent the summer wandering through the mountains barefoot with my bow.  It was a magical time.  I’ve only been back in the modern world for a day now and I already feel like the past month might have been a dream that never really happened.  It is such a different world in the wilderness where there are so few things to distract you from the present moment.  The only real distractions are thoughts.  But I found that after a short time, I grew completely bored of my own thoughts which fully liberated me to the moment at hand.  We lived without any modern gear of any kind.  We wore deer skins for clothing, slept in buffalo robes, cooked in clay pots, fished with bone hooks and plant fiber line, hunted with bows and arrows with stone tips.  Everything we made by hand throughout the summer.  The beautiful thing about living using only things you’ve made is that if anything breaks, you can just fix it.  That feeling of freedom doesn’t exist in my modern life.

There were many great moments and many adventures.  I’ll try to share some of them with you as time goes on.  It is hard to know where to start.  Its confusing jumping between universes so quickly.  Leaping from the stone age to the modern world in just an afternoon.  We did in fact bring a camera – I’ll add more pictures when I can.

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