Friday, March 6, 2009

Spin Cycle: Pioneer Woman

A Word to the Wise: this post references female plumbing - if you are a man, you probably don't want to read this one.

To this day: one of my favorite memories of all time; one of my favorite adventures was with Brandon in 2002.

Brandon's family had gone to Jackson Hole in August to spread the ashes of his grandfather atop the Tetons. Five days after they all got there and had good family time (including his aunts, uncles, cousins and their brothers) and had progressed into the fighting stage of their extended visit, I flew out there to join the fun!

Seeing as how Brandon and I weren't married (although we were living together) we were put in separate rooms, separate condos even. But we still had fun (albeit wholesome fun), we went white water rafting and kayaking and many other fun outdoor activities. My sinuses cleared, my skin cleared. Clean air is amazing! Then everyone else left Jackson Hole to return to their lives and jobs with the exception of me, Brandon, his cousin Cory, and his grandma.

Grandma (I can say that because now I'm married into the fam!) drove us three hours out of dodge. We slept at the Cowboy Hotel - grandma and I shared a bed (an adventure in itself). We woke up, had breakfast at the Cowboy Restaurant wherein my inner girl scout emerged and I decided that even though my monthly (unwelcome) guest was a week away I pocketed some ibuprophen and *ahem* equipment. Actually, I stood in the cowboy parking lot, dug out my suitcase from the bottom of the trunk and dug through it to retrieve my uterine support and stuff it down the pockets of my cargo shorts.

So then grandma drove us up up up the mountain and dropped us off for our backpacking trip through the Wind River Mountains! Even typing this is exciting! Of course it was way more exciting for me because I was there - sorry, I wish I could take all of you there to experience it.

Ok, so we started journey with a 10,000 foot (near) vertical hike. It was at the start of this hike that the cramping began. Oh my - can you imagine hiking up 10,000 feet with forty pounds of gear on your back ... and with menstrual cramps? If you are a man - duck out now - it gets worse! The only thing that got me through it was pretending that I was a pioneer woman traversing this land as one of the first non-indigenous women to lay eyes upon it. Took the edge off.

At last, we found a sweet spot to camp on Lake Louise. We set up our tents, our bear bag, our firewood and at last we were set! It was one of the most special times of my life. It was the first time I went boulder hiking. I was a little afraid but with my boyfriend there to coax me along, i made it alright. It did rain a little, once the lichen became damp, the boulders were a little scarier to climb. Again Brandon came to my rescue. That sounds really girly right? I kept up with the boys just fine, don't you worry. This pioneer woman wasn't about to slow anyone down - he just helped settle my nerves with his famous humor.

Going to the bathroom was tricky though. I was with Brandon - who again was only my boyfriend at the time and his male cousin. I didn't mind trekking through the wilderness to dig a hole to do my business in but what was I to do with my woman apparatus? I placed it in a zipper bag, inside another zipper bag, tucked under my shirt and casually walked over to the bear bag - which was about thirty yards across a clearing from the camp fire (where the guys hung out), lowered it and quickly slipped my dirty little secret inside a compartment I prayed the guys wouldn't look into in an innocent search for some sort of gear. Then I prayed EVEN MORE that the bears wouldn't hunt me down and rip me out of my tent!

After four or five days of living in the wilderness, we hiked back down the mountain where grandma was waiting to pick us up and we went on our journey to the Jackson Hole airport.

It was a once in a lifetime trip. I can't wait for my boys to grow up to be big enough to backpack with us. And - more importantly - I can't wait for my hubs and I to take another big adventure! Of course, we take the boys hiking and camping (anyone remember Big Bend from November?) but we haven't packed our gear on the back of the two year old yet and wished him luck as we scramble a mountain. Maybe next year.

Hungry for more adventure spins? Check them out HERE.

Pioneer Woman extraordinaire

just before grandma waved goodbye, she took one last picture (maybe for the search and rescue pilots?)

at camp, standing below the bear bag.

the cowboy motel


Sprite's Keeper said...

Give me the comforts of a hotel room any day! John wants to rough it in the wilderness with Sprite, but has already given up on me, who requires indoor plumbing! Awesome adventure! You're linked!

Shangrila said...

You are a pioneer woman in my book, chica! Although, honestly, The Diva in me would've plopped her butt down at the first twinge and waved the boys on! (Who'm I kidding?! I wouldv'e stayed in the hotel and ordered room service!) Your boys are lucky to have a mom so willing to rough it! ;)

smiles4u said...

What a great adventure and doing it with a visitor makes it even greater! I would love to hike like that. My daughter and her boyfriend do this kind of hiking and camping and they love it.

Krista P said...

Every time I see the PW I get excited. I like the personal spin on it.

Nadine said...

You are the woman! First off - camping and hiking - two words that just aren't in my vocabulary. Doing those things that time of month - well I'll it again - you are the woman!

I know some women enjoy those things. I'm not one of them, but more power to those who do. I admire that.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I want to go n a cowbay camping trip. sounds like great fun. Loved your spin.

Casey said...

I was waiting for the story to end with "then I got eaten by a bear". I'm glad you didn't but man, the smell of blood and the fact that you were in the middle of nowhere, eek! That is quite the adventure. I haven't been camping since high school because it's so hot in FL and there is no Wifi in the forests. Glad you had a great adventure, the pictures are beautiful!