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.
Your Obedient Servant,