There is a campground at the head of the lake. It is 14 kilometers north of our campground. The only way to get there is to hike or row a boat.
Brendan and Kyle researched this upper site before we left and wanted to camp up there so they brought the Guzzie (boat that kyle and i built) so we could pack a bunch of gear up.
I was originally hesitant of the idea. I’m glad they pushed me to go.
Kyle and I went in the boat with our gear.
Brendan, Blaine and Jimmy hiked with their packs. They threw tents and food in the boat with us.
The send off felt like something out of lord of the rings.
Looking back, I see that we were on our own quest. Somehow, everyone everywhere is on their own quest. A quest for power or truth or happiness. A quest to be loved, and to love; compassion. Or even just a quest for normalcy. The beauty of even the smallest adventure like our trip to the head of Kintla Lake is that is symbolizes this human quest. Mostly, a quest to be fully present and enjoy each-other and enjoy the “deep wild” as Kyle called it.
We had a strong wind at our back…
…so we made it to the head of the lake in 90 minutes.
Brendan, Jimmy and Blaine arrived about 2 hours after Kyle and me.
We set up camp and got to cooking the nights meal.
The campground at the head of Kintla has strict guidelines on where to prepare food and how to store (at least 10 ft high) any food related items. The guidelines are in place to avoid any mishaps with wild animals, namely bears.
Happily, the mosquitos were dormant due to the cooler weather that had come through with last nights storm.
Blainer, who’s given name is Matthew Blaine (I think), has quickly become famous in our circle as a fairly eccentric camp cook.
While most other campers reach for their ultralight jet boil stoves, fold away utensils and freeze dried veggies, Blaine manages to show up with multiple cast iron pots, cubes of butter, fresh herbs and sides of beef for the camp dinner. Where he manages to store the equipment and how he keeps track of all the necessary, yet succulent items is a wondrous, if imperfect art form. For this meal, 14 kilometers into the deep wild, he chose to cook Corned Beef and Cabbage in the infamous and effective Dutch Oven.
The Dutch Oven weighs 20 lbs (at least) and the cooking process takes a hair under 3 hours but the whole deal turned out perfect. Around the campfire we were fighting over the last morsel of the tender, marbled, veggie soaked beef.
The windy evening was filled with more campfire tales and mishaps, highlighted by Brendan being struck in the eye by an errant ember that POPPED from the fire.
It turned out that the ember has lodged itself under the eyelid and Kyle had to use a trick he learned from Kath to remove the ember. Kyle introduced the technique by saying…”this is gonna seem weird but I am going to lick your eye with my tongue”. By that time Brendan could have cared less what Kyle was planning so long as the pain subsided. The trick worked and the two returned to the campfire, brendan looking relieved and Kyle spitting carbon. Both fully present here on the deep wild.
Hi Steve and Michel. My name is Tony Thompson and I work with Gail at WSU. I also played football here and followed Steve since I was a kid. You were always an inspiration to me growing up, Steve, and still are! It’s great to see you guys are having a fun time on such an amazing road trip! I look forward to seeing more posts. God Bless and Go Cougs!
No, Sam–I’m going to Mordor alone! Of course you are–and I’m coming with you…
I made a promise, Mr Frodo. A promise. “Don’t you leave him Samwise Gamgee.” And I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to.
With you all the way.
Steve-O, I have to admit that the pics of Kyle rowing made me laugh really hard. In my mind I pictured him going for broke rowing for 90 minutes straight and you sitting there bored not talking to him for like 45 of the minutes or so and then thinking, “Huh…I’m a little bored just sitting here, guess I’ll snap a pic of Kyle killing himself lugging me across this lake and make the caption some funny quip about the wind being at our back.” I only laugh, because it’s likely the way it would have played out had i been in the boat.
On another note, I’m really jealous that you guys built your own boat. That’s completely cool, and something I would like to do if I knew how to use any tools other than my checkbook.
Miss you bro.