Day 8 Saturday April 30th
Frozen water again this morning, my wood supply is too low for comfort, I got up and dressed and ate a light cold breakfast. I fiddled with the chainsaw and took the chain off to see if the saw would run, it did – so I figured this was one of the bad chains I had and it was just my luck it was the only one I brought (kinda dumb huh, but getting ready was a little quick under the circumstances). So I determined I would head over the trail pass to Pburg and buy a chain. I dressed warm and headed out at 8:30am in a snow storm, about ½ mile up the canyon I realized I had better go back and get the scoop shovel since there was 5-6” new snow and plenty old snow up high. This was a very interesting trip, I traveled for several miles atop snow drifts some as high as 10’, I could see down under the trees and once in a while I was sitting pretty close to quite a drop off. It had quit snowing and at one point the sun came out causing me near snow blindness it was so bright, the fresh 6” of snow on everything and the bright sun made it hard to tell where the trail went as I crossed over the top of the pass, I didn’t measure the elevation, but I looked back to the ridge where I had climbed a couple days ago that showed an elevation of 6430 feet and I was well above that. I think it was a little warmer up here than at my campo this morning, of course it was now later in the day as well, and the sun was out. I began down the other side and through a beautiful park of large fir interspersed with clusters of lodge pole, I saw a quick movement just in head and slowed to watch two moose cross in from of me. As I worked my way down that side I came into some steep narrow canyons. In places there was no snow whatsoever due to the large fir trees and their overhanging branches, where there were no trees, the snow depth more than made up for it. By going up my canyon and over this pass it was 10.1 miles to Pburg. Had I gone down to Maxville and over it was nearly double that. I was reminded as I traveled this route of the show Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, the snow was piled high and deep and somehow I just could see that show in my mind. I purchased a chain and some bar oil. Pburg and Maxville are two of those towns where it is very common to see a 4 wheeler whipping down main street. It was obvious I had been up high as I had snow piled on the fenders and my box on back. I know this will go against some of your grain for whgy I am here, but I stopped at Doe Brothers on Broadway and had a hamburger, after the run over the pass it was nice to sit in a warm room and dry my but (it was all that really got wet and ot was from the wheel whipping up snow behind me and my wool pants soaked it in. Now, I contest that even mountain men ate when they got to town, Every thinks this is about being a mountain man, there is much more to it than that. Kinda hard to explain and perhaps before I am done I can do it, I went for an hour walk in deep snow between Princeton and Little Gold Creek this afternoon then I put on the new chain and sawed up some more wood reserves.
The ole green tent is just like I have always remembered it, except the holes are more plentiful. You are either freezing or burning there is not much in between, Even when you head and shoulders are hot you feet feel like you are dipping them in Flathead Lake in February. Well, a little more on my book I am now on Chapter 11 (so designated by me as chapters just to keep parts straight. Another thing some have though strange or at least questions – this book, again perhaps in the coing days I will be able to explain that or the book will speak for itself. Tomorrow is Sunday I have been spending a ½ to an hour/ night with the Book of Mormon, writing my feelings as I go then going back and looking at what I had written in the columns etc of an old set. Interestingly many of the thoughts are the same, but some are different and give me cause to ponder. Well, the fire is down and I think rather than add more wood I will hit the sack. Need to put a few things away and call it a day – hey that rhymes.
Day 9 Sunday May 1st
Well the day was a mix of snow and sunshine not very warm but warm enough to melt a lot of the snow around the camp. I didn’t eat until; 4:30 pm partly because it was fast Sunday (although I did not, but should have fasted, I thought about it after the fact (as I unfortunately sometimes do at home also). I will repent, at least I studied quite a bit of the day, more reading from the Book of Mormon and following up with cross references etc. Also read a couple chapters in 2nd Nephi The Doctrinal Structure from Religious Studies Center BYU. I went for a leisurely walk for about an hour up the road and back, studied some more and then tried to get the propane stove going, connections wouldn’t let gas through so I used a propane bottle and heated a couple cups of water – first cooked meal, been to lazy and it takes so darn long to set everything up. I had to unload half the pickup to get everything. Part of this is that when I leave anything of much value I lock up. I found a piece on the propane heater that I have, but haven’t been using and took it off to adapt it to the stove we will see if I can get that to work with my propane tank. Maybe I’ll have oatmeal a couple times this week if so. It is cooling right off again tonight so I am in the tent with the stove burning and the lantern on. Tomorrow appears to be probably the best day of the week so I hope to get a good hike in across the road and in the ridges I started exploring on Wed, before it began snowing so hard. As far as antlers go the PAH,s were out in force again this weekend, they come out of the woodwork , mostly from Pburg or Anaconooch as the Buttonians call them. The long hikes I had hoped for will not be, I am not fond of hiking through 4 or 5 feet of hard packed snow – that will just have to wait, still I am enjoying it and writing on my book etc. I hit a little writers block on Chap 11, but some ideas are coming through now. A good walk tomorrow ought to cement those and allow me to go on. Whew just filled the tent with smoke as I went to add a log, happens regularly if I am not careful. Liable to get ling cancer as a nonsmoker or one of those lung diseases fire fighters get – clearing out nor through the holes in the walls and the ceiling. This ole green tent had about had it course of time. It is too bad but if I want to continue to use it it will take some major repair. Joan wants to set it up in her back yard. Good luck on that it is heavy, tough to set up, and dark even with the holes in it. The smell is still the same and the memories, but without others here – some of it’s charm is lacking. The way I am set up I am using all the room , I could consolidate, but it kinda looks like my office with stuff sitting everywhere. I know Saundra will have something to say about that, but it looks like a mountain man affair. I am sure other than dad I have spent more nights in this tent that anyone, perhaps after this trip I may be close to dad, cause after he got the camper – he stayed it and I stayed in the tent when there was more than the two of us, had to adjust the damper – all the sudden the stove took off. As I was walking the other day I was enjoying myself and thought – except for my heel and my knee this is about as good as it always was. A country song I think it may have been Toby Keith came to mind (there are parts of the song that don’t agree with my moral background – but that is true with lots of country songs – in most they are drunk, drinking, chasing women, losing their wife, their dog is dying and sometimes all of these in one verse) anyway back to the thought – I think the line in the song goes something like this, “I ain’t as good as I once was, but I’m as good as I’ll ever be.” Something like that anyway. The message is clear I ain’t as good as I once was , but I am probably about as good as I’ll get – physically that is. Somewhere I read – “no matter where you are – your mind can take you anywhere you want to go.” Well, it is that time of the night my left side is burning and my right side is freezing – my head is hot and my feet is cold. Now, there’s a country song for ya. Opened up one of the messages from my granddaughters I bet it was Kyla – anyway a drawing I think of a tent – thank you. Well guess I’ll close this off – the foirecast looks like Mon partly cloudy – rain and snow T & W partly cloudy Th and F,S,S snow – lets hope the weatherman is as good as they sometimes are (not as good as they once were – ha ha!