NOLS Alaska Mountaineering – Day 28
Yesterday was a rest day, so I didn’t write anything because it wasn’t too exciting. We woke up late, made pancakes, and then came into the tent to escape the cold rain and persistent mosquitoes. In the tent we mainly read, slept, and played cards. It was fun, and my tent group is so fun to hang out with. We’ve all pretty much lost it at this point, so the goofiness and giggling never really stops!
After finding out we had a second pound of pancakes everyone forgot about, we made those for lunch instead of eating our trail food. They were good, but it soon started raining again so we went back into the tent. and chilled out. For dinner we found a tiny bit of wheat flour leftover from an old ration, so we made mini pizzas. It was ok not eating that much since all we’d done was sit around all day. After dinner Eric and I played 500 and then all 3 of us chatted about philosophy, science (Eric wants to be an aerospace engineer too!) until 1am without realizing it!
Staying up late was fine though, because this morning we got up at 10 am to the sound of sonic booms in the distance. After some pretty gross grits for breakfast, we packed up the tent and started moving. I had wrapped up my blistered feet, but they still hurt a lot.
We hiked from 12pm to 5:30pm, and the hiking along the way was pretty easy. The only thing was we bushwhacked for the last like two hours, and my hands go pretty scraped up. We saw a caribou within 50 feet of us, and a moose in the valley too!
Once we finally got to a good camping spot, we set up tents and got to work on dinner. My group had potatoes with this broccoli & cheese that tasted horrible, but we were hungry and it’s the end of the ration. I finished off my chocolate chips too and they were GOOD. Oh and Emil lost his spoon, so he had to eat the potatoes with his fingers and totally looked like some sort of mountain creature squatting over his bowl with a mosquito head net halfway on! Maybe you had to be there, but we laughed for a while.
It started raining at the end of dinner, so we cleaned up the kitchen and quickly got back into our tent. Once inside, we realized that we’d put up our tent on these like 12 inch tall mounds (I call them ‘tundra puffs’) that form all over the landscape. The inside of our tent looked like a bouncy house! We all laughed and piled in.
I’m getting more and more excited as this trip nears the end, since I’ve had such a great time and can’t wait to tell everyone at home the cool stuff I’ve done and adventures I’ve had. Also we’re all pretty darn excited about getting two meals on the NOLS bus, and the visit to the hub. While we all like the wilderness, we also agree that we’re ready for this trip to be over. Tomorrow we only have three miles to hike (today was eight) and the next day is two to the bus. I’m so excited to have made it through this course! Yay!