|Morning exercise before hiking about 11 miles with 4000 (+/-) vertical gain/loss|
At daybreak on day 3 of our 50 mile trek through the North Cascades, I rolled out of the tent, slurped down a serving of runny oatmeal delicately seasoned with almonds, olive oil, raisins and brown sugar and licked the bowl clean. I washed down my morning Ibuprofen dose with instant coffee, and quickly changed behind a cluster of trees from my warm, dry morning layers into the still damp hiking clothes from yesterdays' sweat and sprinkles. Tim reminded me that it wouldn't be long before I might be wishing for the relief of cool, wet clothes, and he was right.
As miserable as this may sound, and with full disclosure that indeed, myriad discomforts followed our every mile, please understand that the spectacular environment, wonderful crew, solid prayer routine, and Ibuprofen all made this experience in the wilderness much more than bearable. Rather tremendous, really. Admittedly the weakest link in our crew, my repeat participation in this high adventure trek primarily hinged on the fact that the other Scouts' dads couldn't come due to work conflicts. I joined the crew to fill the required second adult spot, knowing that my physical strength could not match that of the guys. The guys regularly offered to carry some of my weight, and I humbly accepted their kind and chivalrous offers of assistance.
|11 push ups preceding an 11 mile day|
|Challenger Glacier from the top of Whatcom Pass|
|Extreme descent down Whatcom Pass|
|On alert for flying rocks|
|Switchbacks on Whatcom Pass|
|Grinding downhill course|
|Miles of bushwhacking along uncleared trails|
|Crew break following Whatcom Pass descent|
|Caleb, at rest|
|Stream crossing with care on a slightly broken bridge|
|Water filtration and sock laundering stop along Little Beaver Creek, near Stillwell Camp|
|Bros on a bridge (over Little Beaver Creek)|
|Enoch and Peter on fire duty at Beaver Pass Camp|
"I'm kinda creeped out by the wasp that's eating flies off Peter's back!"
"If the swarm comes, we're in trouble!"
"We should interconnect our tents and play cards."