Orignally posted on Uncommon Brew 1.0 on July 29, 2009
Part 1 – on the way out, an intro
We left early in the morning, 5:06 to be exact. We put alotta miles on those wheels and our butts that day. We went all the way to Laramie, WY. We arrived 2:30am Michigan time. The only bumps in the trip out were a dinner stop that went too long and my credit card company trying to save me from myself, even though I had already called them to tell them that I was leading a road trip to Wyoming. The road trip was good for most of us, if your into good conversation, sore butts and nautcious fumes. Tom Boaddet left the light on fer us in Laramie and we at least got some shut eye before the first day. A couple of the vans had CBs to communicate and catch some ammusing trucker chatter. My handle is Big-R, Matt Deitrich and Garrett Zick were rollin’ in the Meat Wagon. It was a blast.
When we arrived at basecamp the RMR Backcountry staff were lined up on either side of the road ready to welcome us. That was really cool. They were cheering as we drove by. We broke into our groups and our guides started to get to know us. My group was with Jesse and James. So every once in a while on the trial when they were together I would yell out, “hey Outlaw what’s next?” Usually that question was answered with “Don’t worry ’bout it.” Our questioning slowed down pretty quick as we all found that part of this is just to trust the guides. All we needed to know to follow the guy in front of you, watch your step, and listen to guides. They gave me some tid bits every so often since I was the HS Pastor. I thought we were going to have a muntaney when they said don’t bring your knives. 3/4s of the group didn’t listen and brought them anyway. Jesse had good reason, he had had knives pulled on him on the trail before. Leaders could bring them and our guides had multi-tools and knives anyway. So we loaded up are packs with personal gear and community gear, Zick’s Speciality Meats products and we hit the road to The Snowy’s. It was a nice drive out to Laramie, rolling hills and rocky pasture. We’d crest a hill and get a glimpse of the mountains, the anticipation was building.
We arrived at Medicine Bow National Forest and dropped the other guys group off at the trail head, and we headed off to ours. We got out of the van and car, and got our gaiters and packs on. The sun was out and the breeze was great. I guess this means we’ve started. yup, I can hardly breath walking on the flat rocky trail. “Lord, how is this going to work? How will I be able to keep up with these young bucks? Help me.” I said help a lot. We hiked a fair piece and stopped for a life story. Jesse, one of our guides went first. It was nice to hear about his life and get to know him better. He was sportin’ a Joe Dirt look with a sweet mullet and a cutoff flannel. His cutoff jeans and gaiters were a nice touch too. I have to segway into our other guide James. He had just finished a portion [a year?] of surgical residency. He’s decided to do anetheisa instead. It was nice having an almost MD with us. I really enjoyed his personality, soul and sense of humor. He would sport this sweet “Man skirt.”
We found camp in a great spot. It was on a small rim/bluff above a valley with a stream leading to a lake. Above the like was a snowy peak. I was so struck by it that I drew this sketch in my journal. We couldn’t believe the mosquitoes. Bug spray did nothing! Jesse told us to throw on our rain coats. We’d be hot, but not eaten alive. I knew I was going to loose weight but I thought I was going to loose fat, not liters of blood. Incidental I lost only 5 lbs, but I moved my belt 2 to 3 inches tighter by the last day. Let’s not too far ahead. We set up camp, got dinner and I told my life story as it got dark. I’m glad it was me in the dark. For the others it would be helpful to have some nonverbal feedback, and besides I’m still not comfortable crying like a baby in a group of people. The life story portion of the trip was pivotal for a lot of the guys. We tell our story, then there’s Q & A. After that we would have some silence and ask God to give us encouragement for the person through words, pictures or visions. I’m not going to tell you mine, but I will say they were all moving!!! I wept they were so moving! They hit me straight in heart. I felt so loved by God it was overwhelming. I dried my tears and headed to bed.
To be continued…