We awoke at our borrowed cabin space and prepared a quick breakfast using some of the supplies on hand. We patiently waited to see if our pack train would arrive, and it seemed as though all hope had been lost when we saw them in the distance trudging forward. While they’re lack of timeliness and propensity to elicit anxiety consumed us all night, the pure elation of their arrival quickly diminished all of our previous contention.
We bandaged up the feet of those who were exhibiting the wounds of the day before and prepared for the short 5 mile jaunt to the waters edge. One among us needed no such bandages, and his secret was his old golf shoes.
The trip from this point forward wasn’t about hiking, it was about fishing, and for the next few days we did a lot of fishing.
The evenings were filled with food and drink, watching the sun disappear behind the mountains. A place without a road for 60 miles in any direction gives you an odd sense of freedom, and we cherished every moment of it. We would eventually stop at the Big Prairie Ranger Station and begin the second half of our journey. The small stream we were floating down would soon turn into a real river, and with it came people that we had come to forget the first few days. The upper section of the trip will occupy a special place in the minds of everyone, and will be the reason for a return. Our final camp on the upper half other river was poetic, a large beach on a dramatic bend of the river. The night was filled with laughter and alcohol, the only surviving memory a grainy photograph of all of us together. Just as it should be.