We weeded some of the property today and loaded the boat to bring it home. We went down to start the pump and struggled with putting the pieces together, I need to rebuild this thing if we have it next year. As I was putting things back together Kimber stole a plug while I was working on something else, and I ended up having to go to town pulling the boat for a $1.29 plug, we never did find the one she had.
We went to Sari and Marks to be with them when Mark came back from the vet. Little Chep was full of vim and vigor a typical pup, a cute little dog and one that the girls and hopefully Sari and Mark can throw their affections on, knowing Bear had a good life and has moved on.
Day 17 Monday May 9th
Well, it rained hard all night, the forecast was for snow, but that didn’t come until this afternoon. The hard rain and snow continued all day. I got up and had breakfast, read for a while and studied hoping for a little let up, but the hard rain and then snow continued throughout the entire day. It was about 35 degrees or cooler. I went out to charge the computer and decided the only way to stay warm was to get my night clothes back on and go back to bed for a while (I was worried, I was burning to much of my wood supply) so that is what I did. I read with the head lamp and then slept before I knew it I had been in bed another 4 hours. Finally nature called and I had to get up. It was still cold and when IO opened the tent doors there was a couple inches of wet snow and it was coming down hard a mix of rain and snow. I checked the computer and it was charger, thought I best start the truck and sure enough I had been to long the battery was to low to turn it over. Well, that required some action so I dug out my rain clothes and got all dressed up – took Betsy to Maxville hoping that the fellows that I had borrowed the jumper cables from the other day would have left them in the old truck where they were working. Sure enough they were there so I borrowed them, came back and with the cables hooked up, the old truck barely started. It takes some real juice to turnover that ole 460 engine, it tried hard and then up she started. I left the cables on for a while charging the new battery and the old as well. Since I had on the rain suit I dug out the chain saw and cut a couple small dead trees (not very big, and very wet, but figured it would help. I then moved all the wood I had in the tent to my sleeping side and piled the new stuff on the other side where it could dry. There wasn’t very much but I am a little more comfortable now, this should get me by a couple days if I an careful. The forecast is for a good day Wednesday and then possibly more showers on and off for the rest of the week, well I best find some more wood when it gets a little better. I took the cables back, left the truck running for all the while. I then went on a little ride before I took off the rain suit, I went up the canyon seeing where I might walk if I put on my wool pants and best boots, sure enough the snow was pretty deep on all side hills and in the canyon. I rode up and planned where I might go when I get a chance and then came back, ate supper and began writing on my book. It is now 9:40, I have my rain clothes in the tent with me, I am running out of room but at least I can go out in this storm without getting everything else wet. I have resorted to tearing up one of the paper backs I brought for fire starter material (yes I have read it) it was so – so I don’t feel too bad burning it, to keep the wood going. This is nothing like the hunting camps we have spent in this tent where it was so cold to you could not sleep without the fire roaring, but then again the tent didn’t have all the holes in it then and the stove pipe was firm in the tent it is now duct tapped on and it heats up and opens to the sky, rain comes not only down the chimney, but in around the stove. I need to repair it, I am not sure where the tape came from, I don’t recall doing it and I know dad didn’t, but it may have been Stephen and I when we went ice fishing once and took my propane heater. I have it and thought about digging it out today, but I am a little leery of it and I could not get my little propane stove to run with the connections that I have so I stole them off the heater and I am still not sure if the hose is somehow plugged – maybe I will play with it on a good day, although I would rather use wood if I can. I just stoked the ole stove – feels a lot better I was almost thinking I would head right to bed, now I will study a while. I started to say about the cold times I have been in this tent and how I thought about it today, for some reason it seemed nearly as cold today although I know it was a good 30-40 degrees warmer, maybe it was the wet rain. At any rate I thought of the movie & book “Into Thin Air” as I snuggled down into my sleeping bag, my feet never did warm up and that is unusual for me. I look around the tent and see quite a sight, a bag of dirty clothes, two pair of levis, one I hike in the other a little cleaner for around camp. A towel (remind me not to bring a white towel on another adventure like this, but it was what I grabbed), a wash cloth a bar of soap, a small squeeze bottle of hand cleaner, two extra pair of socks, one heavier pair I wear to bed and the other probably ready for the dirty clothes bag. Three pair of boots and a pair of tennis shoes, I slip on when I just need to slip in and out, no shoes stray on all the way into the tent they are either under my small table or at the door, one of them wet from today is sitting over on the wood pile on the door side. My rain coat and pants each hung on opposite sides of the tent away from the stove and bed. Wool pants, long johns, knee brace, several shirts etc in a pile, some to hike in others for around camp, almost all clean since cleaned up Saturday night, a vest, a top I wear to bed, I have on sweat pants tonight that I wear to bed as well. Two pair of gloves drying on the wood pile, one heavy pair and one lighter leather ones. A small cooking pot I heated water this evening on the stove for a couple of packages of instant oatmeal, I brought more in I will use more of these easier than cranking up the cook stove. Three ot four empty pop cans I tie in the door to hold the flaps together and to wake me if anything or anyone opens the door, I just started doing this the other night to keep the flaps tighter, the noise option was just a side benefit. I am not fearful of bears or anything else, been sleeping well, so well if something decided I would make a good dinner I may sleep right on through it all. With the exception of a little rain around the stove pipe I have really not had much in the tent of course 3/4ths of it I covered with a plastic tarp the first day and a few things are under the edge of the tarp outside, all tied down with piles leaning up around to stop the flapping in the wind, a great decision, covers to within a foot of the stove pipe so 2/3rds of the tent is covered with the tarp, the bed and clothes part. I have a small folding Costco table I took in and out the first few nights, since then I have just left it in and pile things on and under it. A folding chair I sit on to typw beside the stove to my left and then put it beside the table, with my glasses, headlamp and the book I am reading so I can read and put it all up from my bed. I have old floor mats around the stove and coming in the door, otherwise I have blue tarp and them dryer felt from the mill on top of that like a carpet, two sleeping mats one on top of the other (although it always ends up at the back of the tent right against the tent pole during the night). I have an older sleeping bag on the mats opened up, then my good sleeping bag, then another older bag opened over that and on top of all my hunting quilt my mom made me that has been on plenty of trips in this tent, I also have the luxury of a pillow. Even thought the ground looked pretty level when I got here it is not and slopes to the south, the back of the tent and to the west – the way my feet point, so under those sides of the mats I have piled the sleeping bag covers and a couple small tarps I had along , they help but I still slide that way, but I am more than half way through my experience so why change now. Beside the book I am burning, I have another – which is the last thing I do after my nightly prayers is read a while, either until I am to tired to keep it up or my hands and head get to cold to keep exposed, then I shit the light off, put glasses and book on the chair and pull the bag over my head and am out of it. Have had some interesting dreams, primarily about family, most have to do with being together and enjoying one another, a little about the next life and worry for my children and their families as I want to be with them. I suppose some of this has to do with the fact that I have read and studied all of 1 Nephi and am in 2 Nephi and spending a good amount of time studying it on this trip and of course besides the doctrinal things and primary theme as a witness of the Savior, there is the drama of the family of Lehi and his genuine concern for some of his children, I am sure that is why I have dreamt and spent time just as I was falling asleep with the same concerns. I want nothing more than to be with my family forever, I cannot imagine a greater hell than to be without them, I likewise think of our parents and the rest of the family as well. I don’t understand how anyone in this life cannot believe that we lived as a family before we came here and that the ultimate purpose is to continue that beyond the grave. Any parent who loves their children would want to be with them forever, the gospel is so simple and yet so thorough, the more one studies the more one realizes the tight fitting of the pieces, the simplicity, and yet the enormous amount of interrelationship with the revealed word on all ages. Well, not meaning to be preachy, but certainly as you are all aware I do have very strong feelings about these things. I am so impressed that the 4 major authors of the Book of Mormon (all but Enos, Omni and Jarom) are Nephi – who saw the Savior and testified of him, Jacob had the same experience – early in his life, Mormon, likewise responsible for the compiling and summarizing of the most of the book, and then his son Moroni also. All 4 saw the Savior, saw our day, had nothing more in mind than the welfare of their family and of us. I have not seen the Savior (yet), but I believe the 93 rd section of the Doctrine and Covenants verse one which says: “… every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me (the Savior), and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am.” Whether that is in this life or the next I do not care, I just want to live up to my part of that bargain and have it be so. I want with all my heart to have that happen with my entire family. One of the great blessings of this trip has been to study 2 Nephi better than before, I am not done, but I am impressed with Lehi’s testimony and blessing to Jacob 2 Ne 2, and then Jacobs own testimony 2 Ne 9, and I know that they did see the Savior and that the Book of Mormon is a great blessing in our lives. We need to understand it better, I used to dread reading most of 2nd Nephi, now I am actually enjoying studying it, I hope I feel that way where Nephi quotes Isaiah directly, I hope I understand it better. Well, it is 10:43 guess I will wind this down for the night, it actually sounds like the rain & snow has slowed for the first time today, good time to take the computer and other things to the cab of the truck for the night. Hope I can go for a walk tomorrow, hopefully some of this incessant rain will slow.
Day 18 Tuesday May 10th
Sometime during the night, I am guessing it was about 4:30am the rain and snow of the past 40 plus hours stopped, the continual beating on the tent roof ended and the irregular drops off the trees continued for some time. By midmorning the sun was out and only blocked on occasion by clouds, strange how quickly things change and quick the feelings change with it. I decided to take a walk up onto two southwest facing clearings up high further up Wyman Creek. These are near one of the ridges I had walked on my second or third walk, they were smaller openings and higher up, probably 6500 feet. I decided I had found antlers fairly high in the other parks I had walked in so I better check it out. This ended up being probably my worst climb of the trip. The mountain was much steeper than it looked and the rain and snow I got in camp was new snow that stayed here. In camp when the rain and snow mix turned more to rain the snow that was on the ground began to disappear a little, but this being higher was all snow. For every step or two I took up, I slid down, fell or nearly fell, my back hurts tonight more than my legs and feet as I used a strong walking stick and literally pushed my way up the mountain. I looked them over pretty well, but no antlers, I don’t think anyone had walked here, there was elk sign, but I think they were not here when the dropped their antlers, even though the parks were smaller, it was a 2 ½ hour hike just because of the new snow on the old and the rocks, I was glad to get off of there without breaking my neck. On the way back down Wyman I found more diamond willow, didn’t cut any, but I know where they are. Cut up more firewood this afternoon – don’t want to be trying to get wood dry if the rain starts again and the forecast showed that it is pretty likely by mid week next. In some ways it seems I have been living here for all winter, yet in other ways it seems I just got here. I have my routine down, the time varies a little but the activities are about the same. Sundays I don’t hike, so with the rain from Sunday through Monday I didn’t hike Monday either and it seemed that it had been a week. With such good results finding antlers last week, I was anxious, however I knew I had walked the best parks I had seen, now it is just wherever I can get and there no more south southwest facing slopes which are by far the best. I am going to go where the PAH have been and couldn’t find the matches to some of the antler s they found, who knows, there have been four of them, one guy has been back at least three times that I know of , but I was surprised how well I did on the other parks I walked in where they were supposed to have walked, Well, I fiddled with the book quite a while tonight so guess I best brush my teeth, say my prayers and head to bed, It is actually 12:34 am. I think Monday’s extra nap caused me to get off schedule here.