Ira (my son) and I did a 5 day horse trip in the William O. Douglas Wilderness area of Washington.  It is on the eastside of Mount Rainer. It was just the 2 of us and we did a mountain man trip as much pre-1840 as possible. Only non-traditional gear we had was Ira's saddle, saddle bags, water purifier, dog's pack and rope for the feeding corral. We had 3 horses and a dog. One saddle horse a piece and a pack horse. We made the dog carry his own food in.
All the clothes & food, plus tarp for shelter and oil cloth, wool blanket & buffalo robe for bed. Cooked in small copper pots and ate on tin & wooden plate with antique 3 tine forks, & pewter spoons. Ate buffalo steaks, fresh caught fish, deer jerky, salt cured bacon, rice, lentils, dried corn, dried peas, oatmeal, Finnish hardtack (made with oatmeal), dried fruit & nut mix, corn meal, etc.
Weather was good with temps in 60s most days. We moved camp every day going about 4-8 miles per day, depending on how much site seeing and exploring we did. Sometimes we were only a few miles from the previous night's camp. Trail in and out is semi-steep as you climb up over some low peaks into a long relatively flat valley between peaks, dotted with lots of ponds and small lakes. We had elk in or around camp on several days and had them come right through one night. Had full moon so visibility was good at night (no flashlights, only some bees wax candles). Two days we woke in a heavy wet fog as we were in the clouds. One morning very cold just above freezing and heavy fog. It had also had some light rain at night. Rained off and on all the way out on last day, but it held off until just when we got packed up. It was a little cold though in the 50s with a wind. As we got in the trees the wind was blocked but the temperature dropped as their was no sun in there.
All went well even though we had to borrow two unknown horses who had never been in the mountains. We were only going to borrow a pack horse, but Ira's Appaloosa got injured the day before we left. Our biggest learning curve was how to take care of and keep the horses, but they did well.
 I made camp, cooked, packed, etc. Took me a few days to know how to handle or take care of my horse, but she turned out to be a very gentle and sociable mare.


As Always,
Your Obedient Servant,
Gene Hickman

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