If you've been following my blog, you will know that over the past several months, I've written a serial adventure chronicling our 9 days on the Wind River High Route. It was a major undertaking for me, because my typical adventure stories are relatively involved and emotionally charged - so it isn't something that I can sit down and spit out in an hour at the computer.
Looking back on my Wind River High Route series, I can't help but feel proud, but I also realize that there is something missing - something that is glaringly obvious to me. As much as I love to write, my own experience on the trip was only half of the adventure. I didn't complete the trip alone, and I certainly wouldn't have wanted to. Sharing the experience with Aaron was a key piece of what made the trip so incredibly rewarding. On day 1 of our trip, I asked Aaron to keep notes on the experience from his point of view - he isn't much of a writer (his words, not mine), but he graciously obliged.
If you haven't read the entire adventure, I strongly suggest going back and reading days 1-9 before diving into Aaron's remarks about the trip - it will make their gravitas seem all that much more powerful and dramatic.
Aaron's thoughts, days 1-6. Note the mention of the backcountry bidet. This was a relatively life-changing, albeit extremely brisk experience. We bathed and washed our socks/underwear every single night on the trip. It was the least-smelly backpacking trip I've ever done.
Aaron's thoughts... days 7-10. Keep in mind, our trip was only 8.5 days long. Just sayin'.
Aaron's thoughts, days 11-14. At this point in the trip, I know that Aaron was really having the experience of a lifetime. He was likely experiencing euphoria at each and every moment due to the fact that he was getting to share such an incredibly bonding experience with his extremely adventurous wife. What a lucky guy!
Note: on day 13 there is a brief mention of "Skurka Time". In our guide, professional hiker Andrew Skurka provided his own hiking time as a reference - we were slower than Mr. Skurka, but once we noted a pattern between his times and ours, we found "Skurka Time" to be very helpful in realistically planning our own day.
Day 15-19 thoughts.
I want to thank Aaron for his first contribution to this blog - he has been able to provide, in remarkably short sentences, what I was unable to completely capture in 9 ridiculously lengthy literary posts. I also want to thank him for being such an incredible partner on this adventure. I heard years ago that many professional guide services will not allow a husband/wife to hike on the same rope while climbing a mountain. I am guessing this is because most husbands and/or wives will opt to cut the rope and continue on if their significant other falls into a crevasse. Aaron and I have climbed 6 volcanoes together (on Baker and Rainier we were indeed attached to the same climbing rope), and hiked hundreds upon hundreds of miles together. I simply could not imagine not having him by my side. His humor, amazing photography skills, incredible fitness abilities and ability to tolerate my insatiable desire for exploration are quite remarkable. As much as I love the wilderness, our relationship and marriage are by far my biggest and most favorite adventures of all.