I remember during the Canyonlands trip, we had stopped to eat at a BBQ restaurant just outside of Kernville, California. When we had come out, there was a big commotion by the bus. The emergency door was left unlocked and a couple had entered the bus and were found drinking and procreating. At least that’s what we thought.
Canyonlands was a very cool and special expierence. I did manage to keep a log of some sorts. Mexico was also very cool. It was certainly a different expierence, coming from 10 days of hiking and living in my own filth. I heard from the rest of my colleges while I was away. I can now confirm what I’ve know for several months. Next year, I, Andrew Ferguson, will be attending college in the State of Colorado at (drum roll please): Colorado School of Mines. Perhaps the sad thing about making my own decision is that decisions from many of my friends are now going to be trickling in. Ben is going to UW and Quinn just announced that he will also be attending UW. Staples will be heading East to Boston College. Of course, you can just check the College page to find all that information. Tomorrow I head back to school to finish my last 9 days of regular school. Then I begin my 5 week internship at UW. In many ways, I really am not looking forward to High School ending. It means the end of everything I’ve known for not only the last 4 years, but the last 18 years as well. But at the same time, it’s also very exciting as I can start a new journey.
Link of the Day: http://www.neen.org/demo/clinger.swf
Sunday morning we woke up before the butt crack of dawn. Time changed to daylight savings time so we lost an hour. 5am is way to early to be awake. We packed up our stuff and headed back to Kernville. We had breakfast at Cheryl’s Diner. Then we headed up the road to go rafting. Rafting was awesome. We did some class III and IV rapids. Ate lunch then did some more rafting. We finished at 2:30pm and were on the road to Ontario by 3. I would classify the ride back to Ontario as a somber moment. People had a great time and didn’t want the feeling to away. In many ways, it was a moment of pure blissfulness.
We arrived at Ontario International Airport and unloaded the items we were taking with us. The cars left so fast that Hanway didn’t have time to get all his stuff and had to wait for the drivers to come back before he got his sleeping bag, pad, cell phone, passport, and wallet. I waited for a little while, then headed to the gate. Jeff came through a little while later. We said our goodbyes and I asked potential prom date#2. It was a no go…0 for 2. We hopped on our plane and took off for LAX, a short 11 minute 50 second flight, the shortest in the United Fleet.
After we landed, I had a short chat with the pilots. They asked about what I was doing and then inquired about the San Juan Islands. From LAX, we caught a Canadian Air Jet to San Diego, arriving at the commuter Terminal. Jeff’s cousin, Rica, and her boyfriend, Luke, were right there in the terminal waiting for us. It was a welcome surprise since, non passengers are usually not allowed in the terminal. We stopped at "In-N-Out" and then went to their apartment and went to bed.
I woke up the next morning, Monday took a short shower, had some real food and read the newspaper. Then Rica dropped is off at the San Diego International Airport.
It had just rained the entire night non stop and just about everything was wet. We quickly rolled up the tent and shoved all our stuff into the lone cargo van. We then proceeded to the shelter for donuts and juice.
Nate Fihn had the rather ingenious idea of sleeping under the shelter. About an hour later we took off and headed towards California. We stopped at a rest stop, in the middle of nowhere, and Needles before finding Lake Buena Vista, just outside of Bakersfield, the methlab capitol of American. We had pasta for dinner, that turned out to be a rather tasteless adventure. Everybody slept outside, letting the tents dry out.
I awoke the next morning to the sound of birds repeating the same chirping signal over and over again. We ate breakfast and repacked out entire bags, putting everything we needed in our day pack, and items and food we didn’t need in our hiking bags. We left around noon and headed towards Kernville and Lake Isabella. Kernville is a very small town of 1,800 people. However, they have a very rich history, a facet I go to see when I went to the Kernville Museum. Many Western movies and even an episode of Home Improvement have been filmed their. The entire group had dinner at Chyene’s and some people watched the Final Four on TV. Some of the people went back to the bus and when they open the back emergency door, there were two people inside drinking beer. The intruders got away, however, it appeared as though they did not steal anything. Some people speculated that they might have "done it" on the bus. We spent the night in Sequoia National Park, which happened to be closed. We spent the night there anyway’s because Rob said that the even though the park was "closed," they couldn’t not let people stay because it was a National Park and completely open to the public. That night myself and a few others witnessed some oddly illuminated airplanes at approximately 9:31pm and 9:41pm. I’m planning on calling the FAA when I get back.
After solo time was over we pretty much immediately started making dinner. Our group had lasagna with meat sauce. I call it "crap in a box." I also helped Saul’s group make their dinner. After dinner, we hiked back down to where we met the girls earlier that day. We all sat in a big circle. As before, the details of the circle stay inside, however, there are some things I would like to log. To honor the circle, the log entry will be encrypted.
<– Begin encrypted section –> Passcode: Alpha-Charlie
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Thursday morning we did wake up early due to potential rainfall. We literally just put our stuff in our bags and ran down the mountain, no breakfast or anything. Although I did have some pudding from the night before. After everybody was off the mountain, we expunged our trash and pilled into the cars and headed southeast and then northeast to National Monument. We looked at the jewelry and had lunch. I bought a sterling silver cross and had a mini Navajo Taco. We booked towards Phoenix to avoid the somewhat solid form of precipitation in favor of the liquid version. We ate a pizza place where upon seeing the size of our group, one of the waiters took the Lords name in vain. We watched the NCAA Slam Dunk contest and all was good. We set up camp in a state park. It rained pretty much all night long and into the morning.
Friday morning we woke up to rain.
Continuing on from where I left off:
Wednesday Alec woke me up a little early and we, along with some other guys, began the tenuous 10km round trip hike to get water. It took almost 2 hours, but we got the water. Just about everybody tried to clean up a little bit because we were going to see the ladies today. We hiked down .5km or so and met the girls. Two trips were offered, one trip was going west to look at pottery, the other east to see what was out there.
Like I was saying, there were two groups, one wet east and the other west. For whatever reason, all the guys went west and all the girls went east. I suspect it was because the girls went on their day hike the day before and the guys went east. In any event, the guys hike was nice. We hiked about 3km round trip. When we got back, we had about an hour until solo time. Pretty much everybody hung out, panting and lying in the sun until 2pm when solo time began. Solo was 2 hours long. I started recounting the events of my trip then; however, I only managed to write up a few days. I spent the rest of the time:
- Watching the clouds move
- Watching the sun move
- Watching a cessna fly below me
- Peeing twice
- Eating a candy bar; and
- Reflection of the previous days.
<– Begin encrypted section –> Passcode: Alpha-Charlie
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The primary reason I haven’t written the last few days was simply because I could not get a GPS signal. However, when I got to the well this morning, I was able to get a signal and thus far, maintain that signal. In any event, we are now doing "solo time." I figure this would be as good a time to recount the events of the last few days as any other time.
As I stated previously, I was rejected to Caltech. It still is not a big deal as I was pretty settled on CSM for some time now. However, all my planning now will be specifically based on the fact that I will be at CSM next year. We drove from Tuba City to Navajo Mountain. The drive was about 2 hours long. We arrived at the base (12, 4092845N, 510556E) and packed our bags. It took some time, but we got everything packed up and the guys left at approximately 1:24pm MST. I assume the girls took off shortly after that, but I really have no idea. We arrived at base camp (12, ????????N, ??????E) about 2 hours later. We set up our tents and then headed west along side the mountain for about 1.5km. We discovered a very cool set of caves and spent some time climbing in them before heading back to base camp. That night we had mac and cheese for dinner. It was good. I took a short nap then woke for camp fire. The specific details of camp fire stay with the group, but I can relate the basic jest of things. Everyone sits in a circle. Rob asks a question and passes the object around. In this case, it was part of an ancient pot that we found. The first time around, nobody speaks, just listens. The next time around people talk. Rob asked 3 questions. At the end of the last question, the object goes around one more time so that the leaders can comment on anything. After that, Rob throws some tobacco on the fire. Then we went to sleep.
On Tuesday, I woke up kinda late. I didn’t have my water bottles in the right place so they didn’t get filled up during the morning run. I ended up borrowing a liter from Saul. We had oatmeal for breakfast and then prepared for a six hour day hike. The hike was actually quite wonderful at times. We climbed from about 6505 to 8004 and about 7 or 8km to the east. The view from the top was absolutely amazing. We could see for at least 500km. Off to the west we saw 3 smoke stacks, probably from a coal burning electrical plant. The hike down was almost as hard as the hike up. People quickly ran out of water as the hike neared the 7 hour mark. Upon arrival at base camp, several brave souls offered to go get more water from the well 5km down. When they got back we cooked rice and chicken that had about 120% of the daily recommended value of sodium chloride (salt). I could defiantly taste it in the food, but it was necessary to replace all the salt my body lost during the hike. I made some no bake cheese cake for the group that Rob supplied. Then we sat around and did the fire thing again, sans tobacco, for whatever reason. We ate the cheese cake then went to bed. I remembered to put my water bottles in the correct place.
Because of the delay in Flagstaff, we had to spend the night in Tuba City. We arrived at 6pm and promptly ate dinner at Hogan’s, a small restaurant tied to the local Quality Inn. The males spent the night outside, save JHan and Thomas. I wore tops and bottoms, fleece, wool gloves, booties, and a skull cap and I was still a little cold. We woke up this morning and had breakfast at Hogan’s then drove to Bashas’ Grocery where I purchased the last few essentials. I called home and found out that I was rejected from Caltech. I’m not really that disappointed. It really just makes it that much easier to go to CSM.
While driving, our bus hit a tumbleweed, completely destroying it. Shortly there after, the break on the right-front side started to rattle. We pulled into a gas station in Flagstaff and determined that the bus needed to be repaired. Rob and Cathy went to Flagstaff Airport and rented another van. 2+ hours later, we are once again on the road.
Just had a nice leisurely lunch break. That was after we woke up at 5:15am and broke camp and left at 6am. We drove to Denny’s and finally ate breakfast at 8ish. We were back on the road at 9. We drove for a few more hours which gave me time to finish HGTTG. I had some chocolate milk, a ham sandwich and 3 Musketeers bar for lunch. Now I’m sitting in the back of the bus in my chair in the aisle. 4 hours down. 6 to go. Heading northeast on Route 89 to North Arizona.