22 August 2005

The Mud Shoe Diaries: Mile One Hundred Nine

Rachel Lake is somewhere on the other side of this forbidding wall
of granite. Wiener dogs, beware!
Posted by Hello


While you were indoors this weekend slaving over your hot brain, I was outdoors in the high pineys clocking my one hundred ninth mile this season on USFS Trail #1313 to Rachel Lake.

Yes, it's a repeat. And you can probably remember what happened the last time I went. No such deluge or aquatic cataclysm this time, just blue skies, hot sun and the fragrant north woods. And a shitload of dogs. And some rednecks. And some weed-huffing adolescents. But I digress.

So I know how I've commented in the past on how a trail can be judged by how many Fat Grammas and Wiener Dogs you meet along the way, and this one was no different. There was not wiener dog 1 anywhere on the 3 miles of trail up Box Canyon, nor were there wiener dogs on the "cruelest mile" - the mile-and-some of gullies and snags that you have to scramble to make it to the alpine basin, 1,500 or so feet straight up from the canyon. Indeed, I would expect that a wiener dog stout enough to endure the "cruelest mile" might have tree-frog digits spliced to it...or have compound eyes or the like. So I was pretty convinced that I would encounter neither Grammas comma Fat nor Dogs comma Wiener once I made it to the lake.

Imagine my surprise when I made it to the lake and encountered Wiener Dog Turbo Mark V with Fat Gramma in tow, basking on the shore. Let me tell you first that this hike was strenuous enough to make me lose 3 pounds (this is not a lie) during the trip, so seeing the two of them was both a shock and a mystery. Now I don't wonder that the dog made it because it was actually one of those Wiener/Jack Russell mixes, which means it's a wiener dog with a lift kit. It is a strange mixture, a wiener dog with monster truck ground clearance. And I don't wonder that the third member of the party, the fellah who ostensibly invented the Man-Teat, made it. But short of a drop from Sikorsky Sky Crane, I have no idea how the Fat Gramma in question hefted her bulk up the side of that canyon and on to the lake shore. Perhaps Rachel Lake is one of those mysterious bodies of water like McElligot's Pool, and she made her way there through a subterranean aqueduct. I did not check her for gills. Perhaps I should have.

On the way back I tripped on a snag, turned my ankle, went headfirstforemostassoverteakettle, skinned my knees and bruised my shirt. I'm okay, though. It just made me realize that I had gone a very long time without skinning my knees, perhaps since I was a kid. Which then made me wonder what I had been doing all this time that could be more important than placing myself square in danger of skinning my knees.

I'm looking forward to mile two hundred eighteen. Man it's great to be a kid again.

Cheers, and give my best to Marie.


Anonymous said...

watch what you say about those fat grammas there, son. You may be one yourself someday...

Dale said...

say Gunn -- ya know that "Extreme Image" super muscle truck on your "Lift Kit" link? what's up with it being parked in a handicapped parking place?

Thaddeus Gunn said...

Dale: You should see the wheels on the guy's chair, man!

dannynutter said...

it's obvious to me what happened. fat gramma hiked up there when she was a buxsom young lass and has been wandering around lost in the kingdom of skinned knees ever since. so lonely was she, that she crafted a "weiner-russel" out of beaver bones and bear scrotums. mystery solved. duh.