Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

August 3, 2013


NOLS Outdoor Educator Course
Beartooth Wilderness, Montana
11 July – 2 August 2013

(Story and photos are coming soon, which might explain a few strange lines in the poem!)

15 folks flee their phones, for a wilderness jaunt,
Searching for freedom, where wild animals haunt.
Hot bus ride to the start, led to rain our first camp,
A drizzle falls lightly, crap, my stuff’s already damp.

The I Team’s instructions, teach us how to Dominate,
Use Lennie, dig a deep hole, before it’s too late!
Mosquitoes and head nets,  buzzing in our ears,
Let’s climb much higher, til it’s only silence we hear.

“Where’s my socks!?” shouts Amanda, “I’ve lost them again!
“What, no compass either?!  How will we know where we’ve been?”
The route is confusing, so many lakes and small bumps,
“It’s this way”, says Dawn, “we’re close, just over this lump.”

Hey, there’s a trail, oh no, I’ve lost it in scree,
Most often we travel, over boulders and trees.
Up high there’s not much, but snowfields and rocks,
More boulders, some flowers, and one lonely sock.

Haley’s hysterical laughter is catching,
It starts to pour, Kate’s knee gets a bashing.
Hot cocoa for all, and to all a good night,
No classes in this rain, so snuggle up tight.

The tents are quite tight, for 4 folks and their smells,
Those beans for dinner are working quite well.
The tent smells disgusting, is that John’s blue shirt?
We’re all a ripe mix, of sweat, farts and dirt.

Erinn teaches rocks, and Andrew is baking.
Jeremy, clouds, and John’s is on lightning.
Lyndsay plays a bear, a convincing marmot, too!
Ryan is a bearded fish, and Doug, a baby moose.

Black beans and lentils, every spice in the bag,
Potluck is quinoa, prepared in three ways. 
Clean up your kitchen, Leave No Trace is our way,
Of showing no others, we’ve been here to stay.

Each camp has a lake, fill the Drom for the cook,
I’ll be down fishing, hope there’s a big one to hook.
River? Scout for crossings, D.C. coaches us through,
“Left, together” drones David to our confident crew.

Russell’s the resupply, mules bring us more food,
We’ve got trash, fuel and spices, we’re an organized crew.
More beans, rice and pasta, will it never end?
Some coffee comes too, and Rachel finds her friend.

Arriving in camp is a daily relief,
I’m hungry, who’s cooking? Just feed me please!
What to make for dinner, our favorite Gado-Gado?
Lunch is snacks and sausage, and some cookie dough.

My pack feels so heavy, please eat more of my food!
Yet walking through wildflowers lightens the mood.
Kate’s nugget teaches of flowers that amaze,
We eat some bluebells, press more between a page.

Two early mornings, for those feeling spry,
Summit? say others, no, more sleep would be nice.
Dewey and Rosebud, mean climbing some scree,
Sunrise on Sky Pilot, we’re over 12,000 feet!

A spotlight each evening, tell me more about you,
Everyone has history, a funny story or two.
Long nights are for stories, a book or some cards,
Just try to stay dry, falling asleep is rarely hard.

Bear fence and bear spray, all we find is old scat,
Two moose in a meadow, is better than that.
We see a mountain goat, then a family with kid,
They run down the rocks, with barely a skid.

The moon becomes full, and the sun burns our face,
Red sunsets are welcome, such stars in this place!
Someone screams “Yahtzee!” as thunder booms loud,
Ryan rocks our tent fly, before the wind blows it down.

We awoke with a start, at midnight light flashed,
“Wow, that looks close” as the thunder crashed.
Happy Birthday, we say to tentmate Lily,
Go back to sleep now, no willy-nillies.

Climbing camp was a change, our legs could finally mend,
We built anchors, rappelled, even learned to ascend.
The weather was nasty but we couldn’t be luckier,
We always had clear skies for cooking our supper.

Only a few days left, no time to be sad,
The lessons we’ve learned, last longer than fads.
A final silent hike to reflect on our trip,
Knowing we’ve formed some lasting friendships.

Give back our gear, and finally get that shower,
Our desires couldn’t really get much baser.
We want some ice cream, a pizza, so cut us some slack,

No comments:

Post a Comment