Caribou National Forest :: Bear Creek – Idaho. Part Two

So where was I?

Oh yeah… 6 MREs.  If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating MREs I am here to tell you, they do strange things to your intestines.

Macaroni and cheese MRE? Truly terrible.

The view from camp was a sight to behold and none of these pictures do it justice… but it’s the best we can do.

Seeing as it was dinner time, naturally we were starving and wet from the journey. And the rain (which really was glorious, by the way, there is little worse than being miserably hot while hiking) inspired us to set up camp as quickly as possible.  So we did, and then we got kind of bored because we were too tired to explore and my camp burner kept extinguishing itself which was incredibly annoying. so we sat around waiting for water to boil, attempted to play cards.

But the best part, by far, was trying to sleep.

We’d had our fill of dinner, and now were so exhausted that we “fell asleep” as the sun went down.  I think it must have been 8:30 or 9 pm when we decided the day was over.

or so we thought…

Our sleeping arrangement:  we brought two fleece sleeping bag liners in place of our regular sleeping bags because 1) they were less bulky and 2) they weighed about 2.5 lbs less.  We also do not own pads.  You can already see where this is going…  suffice it to say, this night was probably the longest night of my life.

The day was not over at 9 pm, nor 11 pm, nor 12 am, nor 2 am, nor 4 am, nor when I had to pee so bad that i couldn’t sleep.  We were freezing and every time I woke up one side of my body would be numb so, I would re-shift, wrap as much of my body around Hummer as I could to share body heat, and then do it all over again.

In a situation like that we ended up playing mind games with the sun.  The game of hoping and wishing for it to rise again as soon as possible because that would mean the night was finally over and our bones could stop screaming at us.

According to Hummer, there were scary animal noises all around us all night.  I was so delirious that I didn’t notice, but apparently there was a small animal under our rain fly right outside our tent hanging out with our shoes.  I don’t remember that part, but I’m also not the protector, that’s Hummer’s job.

Anyway… as soon as it was about 5:30 or 6 am there was general rejoicing. We started an actual fire to keep warm and cook oatschmeal and hot cocoa/cider for breakfast. We eventually went down to the creek to refill our water bladders (we have a filter, don’t worry) for the trek out. ( we also hung our food up in trees so as to not die by bear attack)

I saw some female deer running up the side of the mountain and my initial thought was “oh look! cute deer!” shortly thereafter, however the only other members of our camp besides us (the ceaselessly chattery squirrels) were no longer the only other members. There was a buck somewhere near us because we could hear him pawing the ground and huffing angrily at us.

*More people die by deer attack than sharks, bears, and alligators combined.*

Our tent was still up, there were earwigs all over our packs, dirty dishes, I had to retie my boots, and change my clothes.  And this buck just kept breathing at us.  We couldn’t see him, but oh deary could we hear him.  Needless to say, we packed up as quickly as possible–but I apparently wasn’t moving fast enough.  I wanted to at least get my boots retied before we left camp.  Hummer was getting impatient and we were both scared.

The last straw was when hummer saw some does moving closer to our camp (I was in the middle of retying my boots) when he said we have to go. Now. I wasn’t ready to go, but I knew what that meant.  Luckily by then we had packed everything else up and my boots were essentially the last thing (not really, but we’ll just say so).

I’m glad we avoided a potentially lethal run in with a buck surrounded by his ladies. But I also wished he could have just left us alone so we could clean up and get out without feeling rushed or that death might be imminent.

But all in all, we came back in one piece with a greater appreciation for things like carpet and clean socks. And we hiked back to our car in about half the time it took us to get there, so that was pretty cool too.

Anyone up for some more backpacking?

Read Part One here.

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