Now as a communications consultant, I thrive on bettering my team and the project as a whole with as many details and information as possible. The exact opposite was the case here. With these two guides in the lead and myself way in the back there was no knowing what to expect at all. After six hours I finally asked about the plan as we all came to a stop. The female guide sneered, "we're waiting for this grizzly to move". My heart started to pump frantically ... 'thanks for playing on my greatest fear', I thought.
The other guy jokingly chimed in, "we're just trailin', trailin', trailin'" ... and trailin' we went. Up and down and all around. From meadows to moehills to windy sides of jagged peaks. Whoa! There's a few moose frolicking in the distance and oh, what are those things down there? Elk! Who knew! I just knew my ass hurt like hell and I was totally exhausted already. We kept on going and going with no end in sight.
Night fall came and we were still trailin' ... leading the horses through some crazy marsh full of sink holes. I couldn't see a thing. At that point, I was going on blind faith alone. Finally around 11pm we arrived at one of the spike camps. We were met by a 40 year old wrangler and a couple of the guides who were stationed there. They helped us with our horses and to unpack our stuff. The young wrangler and I were shown to a dingy old tool shed where we would sleep for a few hours. It was full of stinky junk but at least it was dry.
The other guide set up his stove and cooked a midnight meal of ribs, canned potatoes and salad. It tasted so delicious after such a long day. I was the first to hit the hay while the rest stayed up to chew the fat as pass around a bottle of the Captain.
A loud banging on the toolshed door in the wee hours told us it was time to get going again. I dragged my weary bones and aching hands out of the warmth of my down sleeping bag and into the cool crispness of the morning.