This is what we were trying so hard to get to…
If you look closely, you will see my brother tromping through the bush to get his line in the water.
Ben set himself up overlooking the lake, and spent several hours nursing his embarrassment at holding up the party earlier. We left him alone to recover his dignity.
This was my brother’s really cool tarp that he set up for some of us to sleep under. I really liked the simplicity of it. Lightweight and functional.
[Please take note of the flimsy sleeping pad under my sleeping bag. It will become important later in the story…]
I started doing what I do in the wilderness… taking pictures of wildflowers. Here are some Forget-Me-Nots. There were a lot of them scattered around. I love ‘em.
Some of us went to look at the lower lake. I did NOT feel like hiking down to it. But as a point of interest, that peak you see is the highest one in the wilderness area. So our lack of oxygen was not a figment of our imagination. At the top of the trail right before we dropped down to the upper lake, we were at 7,760 feet.
The first night, we slept poorly.
This is an understatement.
I own a lovely lightweight sleeping pad called a Thermarest. I love it. It’s great. But it is burried somewhere deep in our storage unit. So I had to borrow a rudimentary one from S. It was not fully functional. That’s the nicest thing I can say about it. I wrestled with my sleeping bag all night. I was a tad chilly. Ben kept moving around and waking me up. I’m not used to sleeping fully dressed. I missed my comfy nightgown. The mummy bag accentuated and punctuated and underlined my [evidently] fairly high level claustrophobia. While I was wrestling with my physical and psychological sleeping problems, I didn’t make a peep. As those close by me were silent. I mean, I didn’t like to whimper, but I sure wanted to.
It turns out that in the morning, when my neice and I started talking about how our night went, I found out she had been awake most of the night too, but thought everyone ELSE was sleeping just fine. For some reason, most likely sleep deprivation, we found this hilarious and laughed ourselves silly. I determined to do something about my sleeping arrangements forth with.
As soon as breakfast was over, I borrowed my brother’s folding saw and spent 45 minutes hacking off some fir boughs to make a bed. We jokingly called it my nest. You know, like gorillas make. Thus proving, at least for that first night, that I am stupider than a gorilla.
Here’s my nest:
The log was to keep me from sliding downhill, which was also a problem the night before. Notice the added benefit of preditor deterants on either side. Eh? Eh?
The second night, I had a tolerable sleep.
But we were all longing for our beds at home.
Frankly, sleeping is the most problematic thing in all backpacking adventures.
I don’t mind hauling water, or firewood, or grubby fingernails, or creative bathroom arrangements, or wearing the same clothes for three days running. But dude, when it’s time to go to bed, I want to be comfortable.
I am NOT going into the mountains again without my thermarest… EVER.
(The Universe is listening you twerp. Keep it down.)
Okay, I won’t go into the mountains voluntarily without my thermarest.
How’s that Mr. Punctuation Lawyer?
I feel SO much better knowing you approve.