Back to the mountain adventure:
Day 5 Wednesday April 27th
Last night as I was typing away on my book the lantern burned out and I realized that I will only get 3-4 nights out of a 1 lb bottle – I do not want to bring the 20 # bottle into the tent – nor the hose – to many connections and I would rather use the little bottles which I think are much safer & take less room. Upon my realization that I had only 3 1lb bottles left I decided since it was pretty cold and my feet hurt from yesterdays walk that I would take the truck & trailer with the four wheeler on it to P burg to buy some more bottles, fill the 4 wheeler with gas and buy a few bananas. This may seem like and unmountain man thing to do, but then again even Jim Bridger went to town to trade etc. I figure a good part of why I am here is to write on my book, study the scriptures, and keep a record of what I do so bottles of gas are essential to what I am about. I also ate at the Stage station in P-burg a lunch special turkey salad sandwich and taco soup. That is the first warm thing I have eaten since Saturday as I was leaving town and had a dollar cheeseburger and a dollar spicy chicken and 2 for a dollar apple pies from McDonalds. I have not felt like cooking anything, it gets to cool at night to want to be out and I don’t have a lot of room in the tent although I could and probably should cook on the stove. Part of the whole truth is that I have not gotten everything organized yet and I have yet to find everything until I really want to dig for it, I have been content to eat an apple, drink some juice, eat a peanut butter sandwich (not peanut butter and jam), eat sunflower seeds and a few other cold goodies that are in the top of my boxes. When I have used some of the stuff it will be easier to arrange things for now my days have been make sure I have enough wood, go for a walk, write in my journal (this), study, write on my book. I have been quite content with this so far and as the days hopefully get warmer I will adjust accordingly. After going to P burg I came back and rode ole Betsy up the main road to Princeton (5 old cabins a couple occupied) then on up the creek. I wanted to try and get to the old Princeton Mine but I could not. It is a good thing I didn’t try my original plan, I got into snow 4 or so feet on the level and 6 feet drifts, the only reason I could go on was that there was a worn snowmobile and four wheel trail up the middle of the road. It has melted a little and so I often sunk and thought I was going to be in trouble as I was about 7 miles from anything and walking in that much spring snow is very difficult. I did however get to the Little Gold Creek turn off which was still several miles and a couple thousand feet below the pass I originally had planned on packing everything into. As it is with the weather I did the exact right thing in setting up a base camp in this meadow – just below the greater amounts of snow and still get a little sunshine, being out of either canyons. On the way back I decided to take the trail up the power line – generally the gate is closed. It is a steep as visible from the Princeton road 4 wheel trail. I started up it and one committed had to go like crazy as it steepened quickly around the bend and slopped dramatically down to my left, it got steeper and steeper with no where to turn around so on I went giving it the goose, not daring to stop – Jake would appreciate this as we did the same over the hill from here a couple hunting seasons ago. Once you get started sometimes the only safe course is to continue – otherwise you could be in deep do do. Well I made it up and found a great place to walk on open bald ridges south facing above the Princeton road. I took a good 1 ½ walk and covered considerable ground up and around a large bowl, in and out of the trees. I did not find any antlers as I think the profession antler hunters (hereafter PAHs) got there first. I did not realize until I had met several here that there are such a group – there have been four I have talked to in my wanderings and they had the antlers to show it. They just had to beat someone else to their favorite spots and so far I am sucking the hind teat as the old farmers say. I am too little too late, but I will keep at it for the joy of the beauty I see and the antlers are just a bonus if I find them. It suddenly occurs to me why I have found fewer and fewer antlers every year. There are those PAHs who spend a lot of time and they are locals who know where to go and watch the weather etc and head out just right. It appears here I am about a week late, however they can’t have covered it all.
I have seen some beautiful rocks and big old knarly fir trees. I have found several rocks on todays walk that are deeply pitted like some I have packed home, wind, snow and rain beaten and parts of the rock must be softer as it is eaten away leaving deep holes in the rock. One looked like a minute arch from southern Utah. The rain and wind had eaten clear through and there was a fist sized hole forming an arch above. The whole rock (the above the ground portion) was about 5 ½ feet long and 2 ½ to 3 feet high it was magnificent – would love to have it, but just the visible part made it impossible for even a superman like me to haul it out, go thing I couldn’t drive to it. After the walk on the way down the hill I decided it was a good thing I had used the latrine before I came or there could have been trouble. As it was I hung on to my hat and boots and leaned way uphill on Betsy and headed down the hill. Since this area is open and much easier on this knee etc I plan to attack the same place again in the next few days - maybe several times. Heaven forbid I would do it after another of our little snow storms – so I will watch the weather. It has been considerably colder on some nights than others – although I have slept warm. I stepped out a minute ago and it is clear as can be with beautiful, bright stars overhead. Why can’t it be clear like this in the day instead of always fighting itself from snow or rain. Easter Sunday was by far the nicest day, but I will assume nicer weather must surely come my way although it looked like on my phone the rest of the week is going to continue as is with tomorrow possibly being the worse. Highs in the mid 30’s or so with snow and “freezing mix” as the weather man (or woman) likes to say. Well I best quit I want a bath (a sponge bath) and I still have a little to do it is 10:45 my latest night yet I have sometimes been asleep an hour ago I best hurry.
Day 6 Thursday April 28th
Last night I was awoken by a strange sound as as I listened further I realized it was a very strong wind blowing down the canyon toward me, about the time I realized what it was it hit hard. I was grateful I had laid poles up along the sides of the tent and tarp to hold things down besides being stake out – the wind was strong enough it may have caused some trouble but as it was it just rattled the old green tent and seemed to shake everything so hard it was near like an earthquake. It left after about 1/3 hour as fast as it came. This was about 2:30 am, probably an hour later I began hear what sounded like rain. It had been perfectly clear when I went to bed last night and calm as can be, it was also very cold, obviously some of that had changed. When I woke up this morning there was quite a but of snow on the ground and it was snowing hard. It was still cold. As a result I didn’t feel much like wandering in the woods and was grateful I had stocked up the wood supply both in the tent and around back under the tarp. I built a fire – gave myself a shot and took my pills. I ate a light breakfast and decided to stay in the tent – writing on my book, reading and knapping, certainly not a waste of a day as it gave my feet and knee rest plus allowed some meditation time and just relaxing. Saundra had left a text that she and the gals got to Provo and she had left her cell home so she had used Celest Petersen’s - hope the ole farm kennel is taking care of monkey. Except for the fact that I wouldn’t want to be chasing her around and I really would not have wanted her in my sleeping bag (cause that is where she would have headed). I would have liked to have brought her along, she wouldn’t have liked riding Betsy up the steep hill the other day either . I will have to work on some of those things – or maybe she will just have to continue to be walk along dog..
Well it is cold and blowy tonight so the bed is going to feel good even thought I did not go for a walk today I do not feel I wasted the day