Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
A story in the 'Nevada Appeal" said a couple gentlemen, neighbors from Lincoln, CA, 70 and 78 were on a planned two day bp trip into the Desolation Wilderness by Lake Tahoe in CA and lost there lives. An autopsy showed the first man died from a heart attack and the other was hiking out in the dark and fell down a steep hill, supposedly struck his head and was knocked unconscious and consequently died of his injury and exposure. That is where I want to die, in the backcountry somewhere, with my boots on.
Loc: Northern California
I'm with ya' Duane! There's about 2 dozen comments following that story in th Sacramento Bee, a bunch of them were from folks like us who are getting up there & years and envy those two gentle men for "dying with thir boots on - doing what they loved to do!
Well, I'm off to Desolation Wilderness this weekend, I'll think of those guys when I'm up there!
When the grey lake-water rushes Past the dripping alder-bushes, And the bodeful autumn wind In the fir-tree weeps and hushes, -- When the air is sharply damp Round the solitary camp, And the moose-bush in the thicket Glimmers like a scarlet lamp, -- When the birches twinkle yellow, And the cornel bunches mellow, And the owl across the twilight Trumpets to his downy fellow, --
When the nut-fed chipmunks romp Through the maples' crimson pomp, And the slim viburnum flushes In the darkness of the swamp, --
When the blueberries are dead, When the rowan clusters red, And the shy bear, summer-sleekened, In the bracken makes his bed, --
On a day there comes once more To the latched and lonely door, Down the wood-road striding silent, One who has been here before.
Green spruce branches for his head, Here he makes his simple bed, Crouching with the sun, and rising When the dawn is frosty red.
All day long he wanders wide With the grey moss for his guide, And his lonely axe-stroke startles The expectant forest-side.
Toward the quiet close of day Back to camp he takes his way, And about his sober footsteps Unafraid the squirrels play.
On his roof the red leaf falls, At his door the bluejay calls, And he hears the wood-mice hurry Up and down his rough log walls;
Hears the laughter of the loon Thrill the dying afternoon; Hears the calling of the moose Echo to the early moon.
And he hears the partridge drumming, The belated hornet humming, -- All the faint, prophetic sounds That foretell the winter's coming.
And the wind about his eaves Through the chilly night-wet grieves, And the earth's dumb patience fills him, Fellow to the falling leaves.
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Thank you David and JAK. David, nice words from peoples comments on these two men. Some, just don't get it. I can see being a little cautious, but one died of a heart attack in his tent and the other did what he could in a valiant effort. Nothing extreme or fool hardy here. I'm not ready to go camping in a cabin yet, if I am, I can stay at home by my woodstove, safe. That is roughing it for some, renting a cabin in a Park or in the mountains.
David, enjoy your trip, I am still cutting firewood while the woods are open, a bp trip coming up in a week though, Maria's funds improved, so she is going bping close to home.
That would be the way to go if you have a choice. But if someone knew your plans, there would probably be a law against doing it. If you live long enough you may have to look at a video of beauty while you pass on. Like E.G. Robinson in the movie Solient Green. Then again you may not be in control of your faculties at the time to even make that choice. If I had a choice though, I would go to the sierra's also.
Loc: Northern California
Interesting points JAK, of course I don't WANT to die yet & hope to be backpacking for a long time yet, but, since I accept the fact that my physical body will only last a certain amount of time, when it does wear out then I'd rather it do so quickly & while I'm doing something that I enjoy (like backpacking!), rather than gradually decline & put me through years of pain & suffering with some chronic disease condition, cancer or similar thing. As to the other part of your comment, my personal belief is that my spirit lives on!
When I was younger I used to think I want to be shot by a jealous husband in my 90's <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />. Now I'll take the mountains, preferably looking up at a starry sky picking a trail home.
When I was backpacking in the Grand Canyon this April with a Sierra Club group of "senior" hikers I heard some unsettling words from my companions.
We were hiking the 9 miles back from Clear Creek to Phantom Ranch. It was the hottest day and a longest hike of the trip. As we sat in the shade of a boulder resting I said, jokingly, "If I don't make it tell the ranger tp get a mule and pack my body out, but only if my wife wants proof of death."
Their reply, to a man (and woman) was along the lines of "I get his pack." , "OK, but I want his SteriPen." and "Hey, I'll take that WM sleeping bag and UL Thermarest."
Such sentiments motivated me to get my @ss in gear and hit the trail. Of course I hit camp way ahead of my "friends".
Death on the trail indeed!
P.S. Remember the mountain man movie "Jeriamiah Johnson"? There was the scene where Johnson (Redford) came upon an old mountain man who had "gone under" sitting at a beautiful vista, holding his Hawken rifle and a final "will and testament" letter about his passing there. Pretty touching. I watch that movie from time to time for many reasons.
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
This post and your other about taking steps to keep "healthy" on the trail at altitude cause me to respond.
first and foremost: on a ttips forum "jeremiah johnson" made my top 5 movies of all time.......great pick: it is one of the many many things my wife has introduced to me and one of the great things we have shared over the past 28 years..........
I will start a top 5 movies thread here..........on the OT
Sounds like your friends certainly know your gear and I cannot blame them for claiming the items or for you to want to stay one step ahead of them :-)
Finally, in your last thread about altitude prevention. I am not an expert on altitude sickness but most experts only recommend preventive therapy for AMS/HAPE/HACE if you have had problems previously. Those over the counter supplements are probably not all that helpful, beyond the placebo affect. Most people suggest Diamox or Nifedipine as first line treatment/prophylaxis and to high tail it to lower ground. NO or nitric oxide is very controversial in medical treatments as a FYI.........
Hey! they would have to lighten you up so they could carry you out. Reduce pack weight. Besides, it would be kinda like scattering your ashes. If you believe that some of your Karma can rub off onto material things, you would live on in sprit and in gear. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
Nice pic. I think if I'm still able to hike when I'm hopefully 90 someday, and I'm thinking about dying, I'll probably hike to my favorite spot, and turn around cause by the time I get there I'll have my next trip already planned. It's not up to us..
I've told my kids that when I reach that point I'd just like them to saddle me up with a backpack and a couple of six packs and head me into the Wind River Range. I doubt they will really do it but falling asleep after some beers in the wild and not waking up would be preferable to a rest home.