Saturday, April 8, 2017

Drive - A Memoir 89th Installment

and bones plus anything that would stink enough to attract dangerous wild animals, i.e. grizzly bears, mountain lions or Fish and Game officers (we didn’t have a fishing license) at the head of West Camas and started hiking downstream to find a good camp site. Even though it was early summer, at this elevation it gets quite cold. The creek wound around to the north side of steep mountain terrain with tall Douglas Firs and with snow still on the ground in the deepest shade. One snow field in a ravine set us arguing if the snow pack was a glacier or at least year around snow. At the tip of what we now called a glacier, the creek we were following ran under the snow and out a few yards later. I was leading at the time, and being a boy of very little sense of danger, I started walking out over the snow. Suddenly with a crackling snap, both the snow bridge and I crashed down into the creek. The snow started to melt and I started to freeze, to death, I assumed. My companions, the three musketeers, switched into immediate rescue mode bent on saving my life or at least the wrath of our mothers if I gave up the ghost and died in the creek. The creek was only about a foot deep, but I had fallen laid out flat on my back, so I was just as soaked as if the creek had been several feet deep.

Let’s get a fire going, right now!” Russ instructed.

Let’s get out of here!” Don took command.

I’m hungry again,” whined Neil. No one offered to help me as I thrashed about trying to get out of the creek.

Quite quickly I regained my feet and trudged down stream a couple yards to where I could step on dry land. I stood there glaring at my so called friends that were no use to me in an emergency.

Russ and Don were right. We did need to get out of the north shady side of the cliffs where it was real cold, and I did need a fire. We took off at a run, pretty much in a straight downhill route heading west and covered a lot of ground. The sprint was nice because I stayed alive with all the effort, and soon we broke into a small meadow where there was sunshine again. Dry pine needles and kindling were quickly gathered and worked well to start a fire. The musketeers gathered copious amounts of dead wood, as I huddled by the fire. While the others were out and about, I fashioned a fire ring out of football sized rocks that were near by. We were trained by the adults in our lives about the danger of starting a forest fire. After the effort I edged close to the fire. I was quite dry on the fire side of my body, and that felt so

500 more words tomorrow

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