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Camping, Day 4: Stranded, Cold, and Tired - Elf M. Sternberg
elfs
elfs
Camping, Day 4: Stranded, Cold, and Tired
Girls at natural bridges
Girls at natural bridges
Ever year whe put about 20 pounds of dry ice at the bottom of the cooler, and it usually lasts about six days before it melts completely. It keeps the food cold in a stratified way-- refrigerator up top, deep freeze at the bottom. This year, I must have done something wrong because the freeze zone was deeper than previous years; the eggs froze and cracked. Did you know that frozen egg yolks harden much like boiled ones?

With much stirring, I was able to break it all up enough to make really delicious pancakes. We ran out of water, so we had to drive to the nearest campsite or ranger station for more.


Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge
The car's battery was dead. I wouldn't have thought that using just the dome lamps, for just a few hours, could have done that, but apparently they did. Maybe the battery's old? I got a jump from some hikers who'd come up to do the trail we'd done yesterday, and we fetched water.

Omaha wasn't feeling well, so we left her to nap while the girls and I went to do the local Natural Bridges and Ice Caves touristy places. Natural Bridges is a half-mile long lava tube, mostly collapsed but for two natural arches crossing over 18-foot deep gaps. We walked the length, but the girls weren't impressed at all.

Grizzled Old Elf
Grizzled Old Elf
The ice caves, on the other hand, were super-cool. Freezing inside, with ice everywhere. The entrance is a hole into the earth about 12 feet in diameter with a wooden staircase leading down; the cave is an uncollapsed lava tube that goes off in both directions. To the south is a short space to "the gallery," which is completely closed off; ice is present here all year long. Unfortunately, while getting there, we discovered that there's a puddle about 14 inches deep and four feet wide covering the whole floor of the cave. The puddle is slush-- and in the dark looks just like ice. All three of us plunged right into it. Kouryou-chan backed out, but Storm and I trudged across to see the Ice Gallery, which was very pretty.

The other half is about a quarter-mile of cave with much less ice, at the end of which is an opening about three feet high. The outside wind blowing through is what keeps the ice down in there. Dull gray but sharp-edged boulders are everywhere, and climbing over them is a challenge, but we made it out. The voices of the family in front of us faded out. "Well," I said, "Either they got out, or they were eaten." Kouryou-chan did not think that was funny.


Ice Cave Stalagmite
Ice Cave Stalagmite
Ice Cave Stalagmites Collection
Ice Cave Stalagmites Collection


Luke, I am your dinner
Luke, I am your dinner
Back at the camp, we made beercan chicken. We still have the entire campsite to ourselves. Depsite warnings from every quarter that "mosquitos are bad," they weren't.

After dinner, rounds of Uno, more S'mores.

Around midnight, drumming started up somewhere to the north of us, far away, but loud enough to be heard clearly. I slept well, but Omaha complained she was cold no matter how ferociously we snuggled.

Tags:
Current Mood: tired tired
Current Music: Loreena McKennit, God Rest You Merry Gentlemen

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