This Blog

This blog is dedicated to explorations of spirit, life, adventure, and people. I hope that it encompasses much more than the actions of people, but rather creates a more complete picture of what it means to be an athlete and a person in the outdoor community.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Things They Carried

This is a continuation of the Mill Creek post
Our story left off with a horrible pin gone right, and a dislocated shoulder reduced. Two disasters avoided. Now what?

We needed to figure out what to do. We sent Galen and Clancy on a hiking reconnaissance mission.

Jared was assigned to take care of me while Galen and Clancy went to look for the trail. We barely had time to improvise a sling before they were back. They said the trail was a short distance away. I had markedly recovered by then and was able to paddle across. I also carried my own boat to camp.
That evening we hiked the boats, empty, another mile and slept with our stuff. We did not manage time well(It was really my fault) and we made it back just before dark. We only had brought two headlamps for the four of us. Oops.

We wake up in the morning and set to work. We had estimated that there was somewhere between 5-8 miles to the start of the run and 8-10 to the access point in the middle, so we were going back to the start.
Getting ready to go. Watershed bags apparently strap together nicely to make a makeshift backpack.
Jared all packed up.

We hiked. And hiked. 

Galen taking a break
And hiked.
Kokatat rescue vest backpacking system. A lifesaver.
We dragged.

And carried
Our way to the trailhead. It took us about 5 hours to hike out. Which is not too bad really, but we were happy to be done.

We had to walk another half mile to get cell service. We called Tristan and he was there to our rescue.

The things we carried, and how they were used:

Long underwear and shirt: sling and padding
Kokatat PFD: backpack and kayak dragging harness.
Spray skirt: counterbalance and shoulder pad.
Flip line: for everything. Boat moving, bag strapping, carabiners, strapping boats down, waist belt, gear ball, safety sling for reduced shoulder.
Water bottle: Melted snickers cooling device. Also for carrying water.
Paddle: Hobo Stick, carry your stuff on each side and balance it on your neck.

What went right?
Did not die
Recent WFR recert popped shoulder back in immediately
We had plenty of food
Three of us had been there before and knew that there was a trail along the north side of the creek for an easy exit.
We had some information about the run. Like where the major markers were, like the mandatory portage.
We hiked out with our stuff the first time
Brought a cell phone. Checked for service.

What went wrong?
Bad scout? I scouted and it did not look the way that I thought. This is how kayakers die. On weird, class II-III mank, or freak wood, or cracks in rocks, or weird momentary shifts in current.
Only two headlamps for four people.
Poor time management on first night hike.

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