Sunday, September 25, 2011


Four days of wilderness.
Backpacking. Solo camping. Shelter building. Tree chopping. Fire building. 

The first day.

We hiked to the same lake I visited with Lars and company last weekend.
After setting up camp everyone left for the mountain.

Rather than tackle the same peak I'd hiked two days before, 
I decided to stay at base camp and choose rest. 

Rolinke claims a spot for our tent
Staying behind allowed me to finally connect with Rolinke 
(Our lovely, dreadlocked, herbaceous, Dutch, base mama) 

We shared mutual passions and visions.
 Hostels. Travelers. Pilgrims. Community living. Big meals on the floor.

God is stirring up something wild this year. 
I'm really glad I stayed behind in camp that afternoon.

Choosing rest is such a struggle for me. 
I feel a feverish need to seize every opportunity.
All the time.

This last winter, my good friend, Collins, confronted me about this.
"Rachael, Most of the time it's an outpouring of joy, but sometimes, it's just restlessness."

What is my motivation? 

I shared with Martina that one of my goals for this year is actually to do less and to say no.

"Don't think of it as saying no. Think of it as saying yes to something better."

I can do all kine stuff, but everyting not good fo me. 
I can do all kine stuff, but dat no make nobody come mo strong inside. 
-1 Corinthians 10:23 from Da Jesus Book


Ann J has never seen snow or been hiking.
She is a fearless woman of the wilderness
Ann J's built her first fire. 
Day Two
Eight hours. Heaviest pack. Ridge. Peak. Valley. Peak. Valley. Peak.

It was a brutal day. Some of us almost didn't make it.

Outdoor trips here are intense.
They can sometimes teeter on the edge of un-enjoyable. 

By the time I get home I'll practically be able to float down the PCT.

The wilderness sure is gorgeous here, though.

Home in the distance.
We wandered all these hills and mountains.
The mountains never end.

It was a long day.
Here, we drink straight from the streams and lakes, without filtering.
It's apparently "safe" but some of us got a bit sick.

I chose dehydration. I probably drank 2 liters in two days. 

It poured freezing rain for the majority of the trip.

We rejoined the rest of our party who'd opted to drive most of the way.
They greeted us with fire and chocolate back at camp.
It was so nice to have a treat after working so hard to get there. 

All day, in the back of my mind,
 I knew we were having salmon soup for dinner and that was not motivating.

Oh, chocolate, you work wonders on a dampened spirit.

We shared raw and honest stories. 
I'm honored to live with these beautiful, messy, people.

Fire-start gathering.
The third day.

We were sent into the woods with a saw and a tarp and told to come back in the morning.

Shelter. Complete with hoards of spiders.
fish cakes
I enjoy being alone. It doesn't happen too often anymore.


I crawled into my damp tarp shelter and watched the lights across the fjord. I was just about to turn in, when suddenly, illuminated in the candlelight, an enormous spider that crawled across the hood of my sleeping bag. 

The whole valley heard my unholy, murderous howl
(Think Westley's death scream in The Princess Bride)

He brought friends. 
Not okay.

The rest of the evening I spent, only exposing my nose from the sleeping bag 
and meditating on Psalm 91:10 
(My favorite psalm in the wilderness. Very applicable to spiders)

The fourth day

I woke up before dawn and decided to pick berries till I was allowed to rejoin at camp. 
One by one everyone met up in the forest. We were all pretty happy to see each other. 

We hiked back down to the vans and discovered that 
our drivers didn't leave the spare keys.

 We waited an extra 40 minutes to be rescued.
There was great exasperation.

Sometimes adventures are not so pleasant.

Thankful for a weekend of resting (and reindeer cookies)


Sarah E. Richardson said...

This is lovely.

αуℓα said...

oh my goodness. i am so glad that this post ended with reindeer cookies.

you, my friend, are inspiring and crazy and lovely and tough and i SO admire how brave you are on all of these adventures.

i remember your aversion to spiders when we were camping at doe bay; i can only imagine your distress when it was in your sleeping bag! not okay, spiders!!!!