Saturday, July 19, 2008

5 Days of Backpacking (was this supposed to be fun?)

Tuesday morning, Braden, Jason and I were up before 6:00 am to get ready for the big backpacking trip. We made our lunches and everything ready to go well before the Parkers picked us up around 7:00 am. By 7:30, we were all on the road headed up to the Chipeta Trailhead in the High Uintahs. It was a long drive, consisting of about 3 hours to Roosevelt, then another hour on dirt roads from there. We parked the vehicles, and started the trip in around 12:00 pm.

Our destination was Pearl Lake. There is no trail into it. We had to rely strictly on gps devices. This caused us to wander around a lot more than was needed. We turned a 3 mile hike into over 5 miles. The packs were heavy, and our going was slow. Poor Jason was really struggling to breath the whole time. At about 2 hours in, he tripped and hit his head hard on the ground. It was a struggle to get him in the rest of the way.

We finally found the lake, and set up camp. At this point, Jason was not doing well. The hit to the head had caused a concussion, and he was vomiting. This was causing dehydration, and he was also suffering from altitude sickness and exhaustion. Dr. Paxton was with us, and he was very concerned. I prayed hard that night that he'd be ok, as I was not sure what we would do if he wasn't. We were hours from the cars, at close to an 11,000 ft. elevation.

My prayers were answered, and he was doing better Wednesday morning. We spent most of the day catching brook trout from the lake and stream. This was a good day.

Thursday I was sick. I couldn't keep anything down, and was really struggling. Again I prayed, this time that I'd be able to get myself out.

Friday morning came, and I was feeling better. I was bored, and I didn't see the point in staying any longer. Doug Olsen and Brad Warnock agreed, and the 5 of us, plus McKay Olsen, headed for home Friday morning around 10:00 am. Jason fell twice on the way out, the second time messing up his right knee. We took turns carrying his pack, and I spent the whole time talking him through the pain. We pushed on, and he was tough. We made it out in two hours, and were at the Arbys in Roosevelt around 12:00 pm. We looked and smelled gross, but we didn't care. We wanted the food!

All in all, the trip was a roller coaster. I had fun, but was also either worried, sick or bored. I think I'd do it again, but I'd do a few things different. I'd set a base camp by the car, then do day hikes out from base. I'd bring more mosquito repellent and a better hat to protect my neck. I'd bring a better pad to sleep on, and a chair to sit on as well. I'd pay the money and get some good hiking poles. I'd bring strike anywhere matches and lighters. I'd bring some more snacks.

I don't think Jason will be going again any time soon!

Braden was a stud, and helped with getting Jason back out.

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