Day 16 Sunday May 8th Mother’s Day
Today I woke up to beautiful blue sky’s , I read 2 Nephi The Doctrinal Discourse from BYU a couple of chapters as I sat in the sun, then suddenly it became cloudy and the wind started blowing. At about Noon it began to sprinkle and then to rain. I built a fire in the stove and read more also studying parts of 2 Nephi particular to the Atonement, with Lehi, Nephi, Isaiah and Jacob’s comments on. I read more chapters in the Book of Mormon catching up to where I was studying. I intend to spend most of the remainder of my time in the mountains with 2nd Nephi , even the difficult Isaiah chapters. I finally took a Aleve today, the first time I have taken anything for pain since I have been here. My knee and left foot has been really bothering me, actually both feet but the last three days I walked on some pretty steep side hills and yesterday in particular there were lots of rocks and my feet felt like they had been run over by a D8 cat. It was worth all the pain though to find 8 elk antlers in areas where the PAH;s have been working. I have all but run out of that hill, and doubt there is much more on it as it is more treed and has more rocks and I have yet to find any antlers in those areas on this trip. I did find a couple of nice psprings and places where elk would inhabit in the fall. I don’t know that I want to pack one out of here unless there was snow then in a couple of spots it would have been ok. Trouble is getting to those places in snow would probably 1 step up and 3 steps back. One thing about sitting int his tent it is either freezing or burning there is not much in between and I am running out of wood. It is suppose to storm tonight – extreme weather warning on the internet (thru my phone) for Philipsburg and vicinity 14-15 inches of new snow above 6000 feet part of where I have been walking and 4-5 inches in lower elevations , we shall see what the morning brings. Later in the week it looks like a couple days of 60 or so , then more rain and snow for a few days, going to keep this up until I am out of here. I just hope it warms enough to dry the tent out and make getting ready to go easier. Here I am talking about that and I am ½ through my experience, it has been a good one, there are things I would change. Things I would bring, things I would leave at home etc. If this were to be an annual thing I think I would get good at it. I am sure a month will never be happening again for various reasons, but it may be that 6 days of good hard looking for antlers may be in the future, ideally Saundra and puppy would be here with me. Puppy would love the walks and Saundra would be much more capable than I, but much less willing, out with the ticks, the brush, the steep hills and just going cross country – not her desire. You so see some pretty amazing things I have seen some real neat trees and rocks. Well it is raining again oretty good out there.
I carried the camera on most of my hikes, but for some reason failed the last two days and wouldn’t you know that is when I have seen the most interesting things.
Since I don’t go for walks on Sunday and tried to study most of the day, along with reading a book, I decided it would be a good day to bake me some potatoes, since I haven’t been eating many warm meals, to much of a hassle. I built a fire in the fire pit I had built on the first day and have been using to burn trash and sit around on occasion, today I built it up and them found some larger branches and put on it letting burn all of that up and at 4:50 pm I put 3 potatoes (small ones in tinfoil and put them down in the coals and then covered them with more coals. I left them for 1.5 hours, when I first took them I out I thought I had left them to long, but it ended that they were just right, I used real butter on them and really enjoyed them, followed by two tangerines and sun flower seeds.
By the way I have decided to stop drinking diet pop again and when what I have here and maybe some at the lake is gone it’s gone. I decided I like too much and it is ridiculous, I stop for several months and then think, aw it won’t hurt to have one and then I am back on it. I have to many gas station buddies that give it to me free, but to buy it is ridiculous and getting for free is likewise stupid, sometime I drive clear across town tpo get a free pop. Free huh, probably couple dollars in gas to get my fix, enough is enough. I also have devoted a certain amount of time to study, more than just the library which I do every day at home and also a certain amount of time on my book. Whether it ever gets published or not I plan to do both of those things daily except Sunday with the book. Trouble is that things happen, I need to control most of those instead of letting them happen.
Well I can see through the holes in the tent that it is good and dark out, I always wait until it is to go brush my teeth etc, kinda dumb bumbling around in the dark, could stumble onto a bear or something. One of the PAH claims he saw a sow and cub grizzly here a year or so ago while he was looking for antlers. One of Jaiden’s notes she sent me to read said, “Grandpa keep your bear spray near and use it.” Well that is a great idea, but if I used the bear spray in the tent I don’t know who would suffer more the bear or me. I have bear spray in a box in the truck, but haven’t dug it out and the 44 is also in the truck haven’t dug it out either, since I put it in there on the 2nd day. I have started putting two pop cans in the ropes where I tie it shut at night, wouldn’t do much good if the bear didn’t know what the front door was, anyway it would make a little noise, just enough so I could see what was going to eat me. I guess if you find this you will know how foolish I had been when I could have avoided it with just a little effort. I still have the theory that short of leaving food or something out to attract the bears, they are more afraid of me that I am of them. Now a grizzly would be another story of you started one with cubs etc,, but I think the few grizzlies they report in this area are passing through one their way elsewhere. I knw they have reported here and Rock Creek in the past and there is no doubt the Pintlers could have some and as far as that goes so could this triangle, there is some pretty inaccessible country east of where I am right now, with lots of lakes etc, that is part of what I wanted to do and of course that was impossible I can’t even get to the foot hills of those highest mountains, it is hard to believe the snow that has been here and more expected. I have been up to 6435 feet on the first couple of climbs I took and am not sure since, I have left the GPS at camp just like the camera, extra weight the only reason I really wanted it was the program that showed land ownership etc and once I figured what was around me I have left it. I guess I could have marked the spots where I have found antlers, but I could take you right back to each of them bow and will be able to in 10 years, that has always been 2nd nature to me. I can walk for hours and go up and down canyons and still always come out within a few hundred feet of where I started. The exception was like the night I spent in the mountains, if in the near dark you dropo into the wrong canyon, you are not only stuck, but not sure exactly where it is going to turn out, the key is not to panic. The only thing I did wrong on that trip was not stop soon enough, I figured I wasn’t going to get out and it was so thick, and wet, I passed a couple of places where I would have had more wood and a little better place to spend the night. As it was I had about burned all the wood around , when Jake come trudging along following my tracks, he’s a good boy, I was glad to see him, then it was his turn to need the fire, by then I had warmed up and was doing fine. We still had quite a ways to go to get out of there once he had rested, and it was cold, we were both bushed by the time we were done, I know one thing it takes me longer to recover from those ordeals than it did once. Even these 2 to 3 1.2 hours jaunts I am taking now – I sit and try to recover and it is the next day before I am ready to hit it again. Speaking of that tomorrow I plan to go back up to a couple places higher where I started when I first got here – depending on the snow of course, but there are two places across a canyon from each other near where I saw the wolf tracks, that I have to check out and would feel bad if I didn’t walk them. I just haven’t gotten myself into the climb yet but I will, if ot tomorrow then later in the week, Then there is one other place I want to go, above where the PAH have been going. Then I don’t know where I will try because that is about all of the southwest slopes that are open enough fro elk to have been out on in this snow. It appears to me that they only go out far enough to graze a little and then stay along the edge of these parks and I don’t think it is for protection, I think it is to avoid the deep snow, often under the trees there is less and it requires less energy to move about. Well, since I don’t write on the book on Sunday I nearly wrote a book for my journal. It is nice to have this computer to put my thought down each night, it may seem silly to some, but it is kinda fun. Do I miss people? Yes Saundra anyway and the Sunday dinners. Do I miss my bed? Not so much, other than Saundra to snuggle up to. I have slept quite comfortable and my back hasn’t ached as much as the Missoula bed, the lake is better than Missoula on my back. Do I miss the meals at home? Yes and no, of course I miss eating with Saundra and enjoying what she cooks, but interestingly enough I have only cooked two meals, to much trouble. It is easier to eat what I can raw, fruit, still have 12 apples and about as many tangerines, dried food cherries, mangos, trail mix, jerky, peanut butter sandwich still have some bread left and it hasn’t gone bad, oh yes and sunflower seeds lots of them. I thought I may need some effersylum or something similar, but so far that has not been an issue. Of all the medical stuff I brought jus tin case, I have used the antibiotic ointment a couple of times for saddle sores and baby powder and that is about it. Another thing that has been handy is a small squeeze bottle of hand cleaner, for pitch etc. Well, I suppose I will either have to build up the fire or head to bed getting cold in here. I need to go scrub my teeth – my dentist would like that. It sounds a little ominous out there lots of rain, maybe I can write few more minutes and see if it quits. Also need a potty break or I will be up in the middle of night and once in bed I would rather stay. Funny thing thought at home there are times get up 3 or 4 times a night, here I haven’t done it. I know I wake up a few times usually a noise etc like the wind, or sometime rain. Maybe to that I don’t have my Cpap machine? I don’t know I sleep longer here, course not much else to do it is not like I wake up to the heat coming on in the house and the refrigerator in the other room, so here I wait till it gets a little warmer, sometimes it doesn’t but I have only a couple of agendas – one is a hike and I am only good for about 2 – 3.5 hours on these side hills, the other is study and I do that when I come back. At night I type on this journal and my book, I have been known to play spider solitaire or mahjong a time or two to pass the time at night before bed as well. At any rate less rain or not it is time for me to build the fire or climb in the sack, think I will do the later, after I brush my teeth son.