Enthusiasm tempered…


Pinedale's web cam shows plenty of snow on the back peaks - precisely where we are headed. Nothing like a July snowball fight.

Last week’s letter held a lot of anticipation about the trip to Wyoming; Ellen and Tim will both be there and the heavy snows in the backcountry appear to be melting.  It was all good.

But these have been a rough stretch of days for Felicia.  The deep seven inch gash on her calf continues to split open; she cannot hike.

The band of backpackers will forge ahead minus one.  It’s greatly distressing to me, but as the two of us have talked about, there’s always next year.  I was hoping there would be better news for this, my 200th post.  Better tidings will have to wait.

————-

July 11, 2011

Ellen/Reid: I don’t know that I can contain my excitement about the trip to Wyoming.  There hasn’t been this much anticipation since I don’t know when.  This is one of those trips where money is no object.  We could stay in the Ritz for a week and eat caviar and sip Dom Perignon for what has been dropped so far on this venture.  But that is of no consequence to me.  Too bad Sundance isn’t closer because I’d make the side trip to get the newspaper your grandfather used to work on, the Sundance Times and Crook County News.  Reid, you and I made a side trip years ago to the newspaper office when we were driving to Montana to fish.  When I’d ride to Sturgis, I’d always drop in to get a copy for your grandfather.  He often said it was the best job he ever had.  They sure loved that part of Wyoming.  Just think, if my mom’s doctor in Deadwood hadn’t told her that her delivery of your uncle and me would be difficult, I would’ve been born a South Dakotan.  That’s when your grandmother rode the train to Omaha where her mother lived.  The rest is, as they say, history.

But I digress.  Already the fidgeting about the meal menu has started.  I’m trying to steer people clear of non-perishable food.  I worry that with the increased bear sightings that anything that is overly odiferous will be cause for a grizzly or porcupine to stop by our campgrounds.  By default our cuisine will feature a lot of pasta and rice with exotic dried sauces you mix with water, plus the obligatory instant oatmeal for breakfast and energy bars.  I’ll also make a ton of gorp (peanuts, raisins, M&Ms) for each of us to tote on the trail.  All of the provisions, sans the sauces, will be purchased in Jackson.  Ellen, tell Tim that I will probably steer clear of dehydrated food because if it’s not hydrated properly, it takes it’s liquid from your body and that can stop people up.  Trust me, I know that very, very well through painful, clogged experience.  But that’s another story, too.  One of our members, a good guy, will cook his own food, and that’s okay.  Tell Tim, too, that he will be a meat fisherman for a change.  As far as can be determined, only he and I will have flyrods.  We will be highly dependent on Tim to advise us on the flies to us.  Another guy will have the rough equivalent of a bamboo pole.  The wife of the minister is a bonkers fisherwoman, too, and we may rent her a rod for the duration.  I am so excited.  Reid, you’ve been there before a few times, but it would’ve been great if you could’ve pulled up stakes in Chicago for a week to join us.  There will always be next year – hopefully.

Felicia just this morning reported bleeding from the seven inch gash in her leg.  It should have enough time to heal in the next 10 days or so, but we will still tote a fully-stocked first aid kit with enough bandages, tapes and medicines to fully supply a triage center.  That includes ample amounts of mole skin and a liquid that dries on the skin to prevent blisters.  New Skin, I think they call it.  I’ve told people to bring some Tevas in the event they get un-curable blisters.  Reid, you might recall the woman on an earlier trip who had quarter-sized blisters after the first of seven days and she pressed on thanks to her Tevas. 

One of the things I like most about a trip like this, and this goes back a few years with you and me in the Bridger, Reid, is that it’s a foundational thing to get you guys into the natural world.  Although we didn’t get as many chances to head for the hills when you were younger, it means a lot to me to introduce you to this sort of adventuring.  There’s nothing wrong with testing your mettle and sleeping on the cold, hard ground and eating dreary camp food every once in a while.  It’s good to help you develop an appreciation for this end of the environment.  At the rate we keep screwing it up, there may not be many more decades to enjoy it.

Okay, I’m down from the soap box.  But there are worse things to badger you about.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Enthusiasm tempered…

  1. Mort

    Good hiking to you and the party Dave. Sorry Felicia won’t be joining you; the mountains look spectacular. We look forward to full particulars upon your return…

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