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August 24, 2022: Day #7, My Own Mount Marathon

I paid big bucks for this vision quest that I’m on, and dang it, I want a refund. I said this to Becky, and she didn’t laugh. She doesn’t laugh at my jokes; I think because either I’m not funny or there is an element of truth embedded in my witty asides.

It’s been raining on and off for the last 24 hours. The clouds are low lying. Becky said that her ex-boyfriend told her that clouds are events, meaning that they are not, as we perceive them to be, tangible entities, but rather a weather related phenomenon. The same holds true of rainbows, but not snow.

This morning, I woke up (actually I was awake most of the night) and I listened for some time to the patter of rain on my tent fly. I like the sound. I have a good tent, and it does keep the rain out. I also put my PolarGuard sleeping bag

Alys in the Ogilive Mountains

inside my down bag, and so I’ve remained toasty warm. It’s just been the lack of good climbing gear that’s been problematic.

I did some minor tent housekeeping before emerging. When I then got out of my tent, I was wearing my rain gear, and this further put me in a good mood. Becky had the hot water (for tea) going. I climbed into the back of the Tundra and sat on my Thermarest pad (which has a leak), drank my tea, and ate my muesli cereal.

Becky and I then packed up and drove over to the Tombstone Interpretive Center. I gravitated over to the book area. At the same time, Becky checked out the center exhibits. I was quite content, just hanging out. In fact, I could have stayed there all day, checking out the books. However, Becky was eager to do a hike. So we filled up our water jugs and headed down road.

I agreed that we should do a day hike. Our destination was Mile 91 of the Dempster. We walked up a gravel road past a cell tower to the trailhead. We continued on for another 1 ½ miles then did an about face and headed back to the truck.

Becky and I examined maps, then decided to go to Rake Mountain, and there do a day hike. On the way there we passed a horse enclosure with a half-dozen pack horses hanging out in a muddy pen. I wanted to stop and check them out, but since I was travelling with a non-horse person, I refrained from making this request. I suspect that like most non-horse people, Becky’s attitude is, “you’ve seen one horse, you’ve seen them all.”

We got on the trail, which had been well trodden by the horses, and walked another 1½ miles, to where the trail was less muddy.

Becky checked out the trail for a possible overnighter, one in which a permit would not be required. She located a trail going up what we thought was Rake Mountain and mentioned to me that she was going to go on ahead and scout it out. Upon her return, she said that although it was steep in parts, we could hike it, if weather permitted.

So tomorrow, we’ll do a two-day hike, weather permitting. I’m not up for this. I don’t have a hydration pack, just a Nalgene bottle, so I have to stop, remove it, and drink – this will slow us both down. I’d also have to carry (in my backpack) my bear cannister and heavy stove. Pete put a differing toggle on it and I’m also having a hard time working it.

I did have an epiphanous moment earlier today. I could return and donate books to the interpretive center or send them there.

I am, overall, ready to go home.

Next: 232. 8/25/22: Day #8, Holding Pattern

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