Besides being a quote from a classic Cheach and Chong skit, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhG__-Ql8_I, I do want to address what I recently did on my summer holidays.
As previously mentioned way back when in my blog entries, I like to hike. Take a hike: http://onj.me/704
So, what better way to spend a vacation than hiking in the wilderness for three days? Okay, it's not for everyone, but I like it.
Two years ago, my adventure friend and I stumbled upon an innovative group located in Montana. During the winter, these folk do cross country skiing. During the summer however, they brave the rustic forest terrain and go hiking. They call it Trek For Light. So here's how it works:
A dozen or so brave souls venture out to the Judith River Ranger Station located in Russell Country, Montana. You can find more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_River_Ranger_Station
When you check into this cabin, you won't find a hot tub. Under amenities, you find listed, a toilet. So, you're pretty much roughing it. There is a well for water and a nice mountain glacier-fed brook for your bathing pleasures. We brought a solar shower this year. Propane stoves are available for cooking. Enough about the place, let's talk about a typical hiking day.
After fueling up on a high protein breakfast and gathering our packed lunch and water for the day, the group gathered outside the station in order to get paired up with their guide. Most people brought their own hiking stick. My guides seemed to detect my lack of resourcefulness and acquired sticks for me. After a quick discussion of the day's route, the group would start the hike.
Various terrains were traversed by our group: from easy gravel roads to treacherous tree-fallen, steep angled trails. We even conquered a trail where we had to do five stream crossings. As one of the participants stated, I got the equivalent of an ice cream headache in my feet.
The aforementioned sticks were used to quickly communicate terrain changes to the blind participants.
A quick gesture upwards meant: there is an incline.
A quick downward gesture meant: a decline is coming.
Twisting of the stick meant: roots/rocks are in your path.
Stick being yanked out of your hands meant: you've lost your guide, don't move.
Seriously though, it's quite amazing how easy this method was for communication.
After a few hours of hiking, we would stop for lunch and a bit of palavering. Events ensuing during our hike would inevitably create quite the conversation. Take for example, the time where we were chased off of private property. Seems we had unknowingly trespassed. It was on that particular day they were moving horses into the area. We were told, with four-lettered, colorful metaphors, to leave the area. Ed Durbin, the group leader was able to smooth things over and ensure that we'd be able to pass through this area next year.
After our lunch break, it was time to return to our home base. We'd get in at around 4 p.m., only to be greeted with the amazing smells of cooking food. Dinner never tasted so good. In the evenings, you were left to your own devices. I chose to hang out with the group on the front porch and listen to local stories and the like. I would sometimes wander off onto the property in order to experience the surroundings and just soak up the area. Beddie-by time for me was around 10-10:30 p.m. Leave me alone, they were long days. The day hikes would cover around six to eight miles. That's about 15 km in Canadian. People weren't expected to complete the day trek if they felt they couldn't. A few teams did turn around early in order to accommodate everyone. All in all, this was the crowning trip of my summer.
For an article on this year's Trek for Light, follow this link: http://www.lewistownnews.com/articles/2012/08/29/news/doc503e5cb007d07921594263.txt
For more information on Ski and Trek for Light Montana, visit: http://www.trollstegan.com/sflmt/
To learn more about Ski For Light national and possible ski events close to your area, visit: www.sfl.org