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Saturday, October 19, 2002

Hiking 31 miles

Mike started his 31 hours awake at 5:00 this morning and then was driven down to the road to start his 31 mile hike and 3100 feet in elevation gain. He walked back to the campsite and we had breakfast then another guy and I walked to to the other end of the campgrounds with him and up a canyon for a short distance. Even the short distance had us scrambling over rocks and slipping between boulders. The landscape in the park is like being on a strange planet. Awesome rocks that look like they're piled on top of each other.

I finally turned back as I didn't want to slow Mike down. The guy continued on a little way but turned back not too long after I did. I had trouble finding my way down in just the short way we'd gone but it was hardly a danger situation.

Everyone was climbing except one other lady who had brought some work to do so I sat and read most of the day. It was really nice. The problem with vacations is that you don't get much time to read. I finished reading "Under the Dragon's Tail" by Maureen Jennings. This is set on Toronto in victorian times and was very interesting. The detective is William Murdock of the police department. He is called in when a midwife is murdered and finds out the secrets hidden under the polite surface.

It's always a shock to read how close to destitution so many people were. They could lose their job if they took off a sick day or had to take care of family. It was fascinating to learn how a coroner's jury was selected. They just told the closest ten men than they were the jury, period. Many of them weren't happy with that as it meant taking time from work. They actually looked at the body with the police officer and looked at things he pointed out to them. How distant we are from the blood now.

It was getting into the late afternoon and I was getting worried and then it got dark and I really got worried, especially since Mike said he'd leave a message on someone's phone and there was no message. Finally he called to say he wasn't too far away and the walked slowly in. Poor guy, he had gotten lost and climbed two or three peaks, instead of just one. He ran out of water twice and begged a gallon of water from some campers deep in the park and then again near to us when he was really thirsty. He was tired and pooped and still had to stay up all night and walk a few more miles. I was so glad to see him. I wish he hadn't done it alone but that's the way it worked out.

I was happy sitting around the campfire that night.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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