Friday, August 18, 2006

extreme denali. i am a loser.

I lost my gear not once but twice this week backcountry camping in Denali National Park..

It was pouring rain.. the entire week - non stop.. I got rained on.. and had no food for three days..

I depended on the blueberries I picked for survival. they were yummy.. but I needed food.. After a few days of backcountry hiking/camping in such harsh conditions..I had no choice but to leave Denali.. I was cold, totally wet and starving.

The first time I lost my gear was on the first day. I had started my day early. I took the 6:30 am camper bus to Kantishna.. The bus which took me all across the park.. I had a permit for camping @ unit 34 between Toklat and WonderLake.. I had just gotten off the bus and was really exciting about exploring the park. So I left all my stuff - tent, my bear canister w/ all food for the week inside, sleeping bag and backpack and figured I'll come back to set up camp later on after hiking and scouting the area.. I was wrong.. I couldn't find it when I got back.. The area all looked the same. Green bushes.. It was getting dark and the rain was pouring heavily!! For hours I was searching for it.. there were no other campers in site either.. There were supposed to be two other campers within that area that night.. but saw them hiking out of the park earlier that day. They met bears in that area and decided to leave..

My clothing was now sopping wet. I wasn't dressed warm enough to make it..I hiked out to the road.. I met a wonderful park ranger..and we went out to search for my gear again.. We finally found it.. I was so tired and wet and just wanted to go to bed. I left my bear canister there.. making sure it is away from where I was going to camp not to attract the bears.. I hiked some more.. set up my tent and went right to sleep..

In the morning, I woke up to another rainy day.. I was hungry so went out to look for my bear canister but couldn't find it.. went back to my tent.. again went on a search and hike.. and so on for the next three days. The bear canister w/ the food was too well hidden from the bears.. I myself couldn't find it.. and I was starving.. the cold, rain, and my hiking made me even hungrier..

I was all curled up in my wet sleeping bag.. shivering.. my tent filled with deep puddles of rain.. I was miserable.. and was thinking about writing it up in my blog.. Hey, this is totally crazy. Here I am almost dying of hypothermia and I think about blogging?? I decided not to write about it.. but now I am here. I B"H survived.. and as thanks to Hakodosh Baruch Hu I recall His greatness and miracles..
אם אלך בקרב צרה תחייני (c alaska)

ואני אשיר עוזך וארנן בבקר חסדיך כי הייתי משגב לי ומנוס צר לי עזי אליך אזמרה כי אלוקים משגבי אלוקי חסדי

וגם עד זקנה ושיבה אלוקים אל תעזבני עד אגיד זרעך לדור לכל יבוא גבורתך (c panama)

Chena hot springs was well appreciated afterwards..
I left the park.. hit the road.. I thought it would be some time until I get to the hot springs. Thank G-d I got a ride all the way to the hot springs! It was wonderful..

Soaking in the hot springs after hiking in cold wet Denail..It was so nice!! but the pleasure wasn't for too long.. It was pouring rain and on the road back to Anchorage.. I and all my stuff got even more wet.. At last Shabbos יום מנוחה was coming. I got to wash and dry out all my stuff and Shabbos was nice and warm..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very shocked and saddened to see that your blog has been vandalized. Can you believe that some someone added the words “loser” and also “weakling”?!
I know…I know…I could not believe it either. People living on purpose are never (EVER!!!)losers or weaklings.

2:10 PM  
Blogger truelife said...

yeah.. I don't really believe that either.. (although I did feel somewhat at that time..) but I did lose my stuff :)

4:05 PM  

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