Sunday, August 21, 2011

Survival school journal: Thursday

Stair Canyon, where we did our solo.

I woke up around 1am due to cold. I re-adjusted my rain poncho into a makeshift tent, by attaching its center and one corner to trees using parachute cord. It is much warmer this way, and structurally sounder than I expected.

It still took 2-3 hours to fall back asleep again. I thought about 3-d graphical systems that would be interesting using photography, and about the importance of a strong support network. [this has been on my mind after a few friends and my brother moved to other cities]. I wondered how various work tasks were progressing at Minted, and thought about how I should tell Mariam more often that I appreciate her.

Eventually I fell asleep again, and woke up around 7:30am. I wanted to sleep in! But cannot.

Facing my fears on this trip has been great. Hiking 10 miles at 8000 feet for 1.5 days without food was perfectly do-able. Being the slowest (which i mostly am) has been fine. I was nervous about solo, and waking up at dawn under this tree in a "tent" of my own making feels natural. There is no sense of elation or relief -- instead it feels very natural.

This feeling of "owning" a small section of land and knowing your five neighbors is amazing.

I am grateful to Nikhil and Jessica for easing my concerns and convincing me to do this. This is awesome!

I am looking forward when I return to Provo to a manicure, and a long hot shower, then lying in clean white sheets and reading kindle on my droid. Not anticipating food at all, contrary to my expectations. I could just eat some GORP [good ol' raisins and peanuts] and I'd be fine.

Making the fire drill set is slow going for me. It took me eons just to carve the spindle. I still need to use the planar technique to carve my fireboard. Then I need to prepare the bow, stone, kindle bundle. Stating a fire with matches is comparatively so easy.

I can identify trees now: juniper (bark is good for fire starting), pine (needles good for sleeping on), oak (branches for burning in fire after it gets going), sage brush.

My mind is so peaceful and content. It was not this way during the first three days, but during solo, it has been. I love everyone. :)

I did my list of errands. Washing clothes was simple, though I had to make a trip to the spring to get enough water. Washing my body is a relief -- it's so nice to be clean! My hair is the only issue. I washed it with soap, but it still feels dirty (though improved).

Steve the chief guide is very interesting. He is so non-reactionary. I feel that I could say anything and he'd reply calmly. Even if I said "Steve, I think you're horrible" or "Steve, there's a bear behind you" or "Steve, I'm the arson who set the big Yellowstone fire." He would digest it and respond rationally.

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