The anxiety-filled night wears on but I finally sleep. I wake with a start. I was going get up early and join Gini to paint the rock cliffs downstream. I check the time and it is 8:15. Too late, the light is gone. John is also gone, most probably running around shooting the early morning light.
I quickly dress—it’s still chilly and go up to the cabin. I can’t find anyone. John comes from around the back of the cabin where he has been photographing Gini’s easel. Good for her, she did get up early to paint. John tells me that Gini and Randy are down at the river fishing.
Soon Gini and Randy are back. They decided to catch and release since we have plenty of food to eat. Before we get started with breakfast, Gini and I spend a few minutes at her easel and discuss her early morning painting.
Then it’s on to morning chores and breakfast. I’m in charge of the bacon while Gini mixes the pancakes. The bacon is sizzling and popping, the coffee is percolating, and breakfast is right humming along when all of sudden, everything shuts down. What the heck! We are out of propane.
We radio Hungry Horse Ranger Station to let them know and say that we have seen propane tanks in the barn. They reply that they’ll get back to us. Luckily the response comes quickly and we get the go ahead to change out the tanks. Thankfully, our guys are here to help disconnect the line and carry the empty tank to the barn.
We switch out the tanks and John and Randy start down the path with the full tank. Once we’re on level ground, the guys let us take over for a photo opt. John is snapping photos as Gini and I pose with the tank between us as if “we’re” the ones handling the situation and carrying the tank. In our defense, we do carry it for a short while. We’re still wilderness women even with our wilderness men there to back us up.
Randy and John soon relieve us of the tank and take it up “the stairway to heaven” as John calls the stone steps that lead up from the trail to our perch on the rock.
The guys hook the tank up again and we’re back in business. We have huckleberry pancakes, bacon and eggs—another feast!
Randy does the dishes. Gini and I clean up the kitchen and then get our art gear pulled together. John makes a quick trip back to Our Quiet Place to secure our bedding from critters and insects. Finally around noon with all our chores done, we head upstream to the confluence looking forward to a beautiful, sunny afternoon of painting and fishing.
Just a little teaser for next week’s installment. This 4-minute video is a little long but shows the trail all the way down to the confluence. About half way through I get lost in the bushes and you can hear me say, “I think I went the wrong way.” I’m still learning how to navigate this maze of bushes and trees. I find my way back down to the rocks and we join Gini and Randy. The wind is fairly constant especially down by the river as you’ll hear.