Sheep Creek-Fremont Lake
Travel day. I was glad we did not have to do any mapping today. We were all getting ready to leave Sheep Creek Canyon. It was definitely an experience worth remembering but I did not wish to return to this area. So, my mind had already shifted to the next location because we would be entering Wyoming! I had dream to go to the Yellowstone National Park but unfortunately we would not be visiting the park. We continued the journey further north and made few stops in between to observe more rocks. Even though it was already July, snow and ice could still be seen sparsely. The temperature slightly dropped from Sheep Creek. I wonder, would I survive the cold at night? With the sleeping bag alone, I didn’t think I could. For now, I had to survive the cold night with extra layers of jackets and warmer or else I would not be able to sleep.
It was a slow day and we stayed in the car most of the time. From time to time, we would hear Pete’s voice on the radio explaining about the geology of the area that we passed along the way. Other than that, it would be mostly awkward quietness in the car. Me and my buddies would talk among each other in Malay while Alyssa and Courtney talked to each other only most of the time. We did talk sometimes but probably due to the strange accent that we’ve had, it became a barrier between us. To kill the time, Courtney played Taylor Swift’s songs. I was not her fan but after listening to her songs, I think her songs were not that bad.
We stopped for a lunch at an area where there was a pine tree forest with a green field in the middle. There was a small stream crossing the field and sometimes, we would encounter cow dungs. I was already bored with sandwich for lunch, so I just ate tuna from a can straight away. After having lunch and as we were about to leave, the professors returned the first assignment on Grand Canyon. The result was not that bad and I was so relieved. At least it helped me to forget about the mapping assignment that we submitted the night before.
Before reaching the next camp ground, we stopped at a supermarket in a small town. Over there, we bought additional supplies of fruit, water and snacks. To add on my list, I bought another sleeping bag and I made the best decision ever. Not long after that, we arrived at Fremont Lake Campground. Thankfully there was a toilet, but wait was it really a toilet? The foul smell was too extreme. I had rather not sit in there for more than 5 minutes. It was horrible.
It was mapping day again. On that day, we did more mapping of glacial morraine but we were not required to submit anything that night. I was very sleepy but the breath taking view woke me up. This scenery was very new to me because I had never reached this side of the country before.
After a long day of mapping the area, we returned to the camp ground. The sun was still quite high up so, I decided to jump into the water. Since the cold shower at Grand Canyon, I had not taken any shower for 6 days in a row. To my surprise again, the water was extremely cold. It was like swimming in an ice water but I braved myself to walk slowly into the lake. I quickly grabbed my shampoo and finished showering within 2 minutes. I believe if I stay longer in the lake, I would die from the cold. Other students had also taken the opportunity to wash themselves. Some did swim. I wondered how did they do that?
Somewhere further from the camp ground, I encountered group of girls when I took a brisk walk along the lakeside. They were chatting and chilling around the campfire. The atmosphere was nice and the sun was just about to set. I began to appreciate the beauty of nature and would return if I had the chance one day.
Green River Lake
After breakfast, we drove to Green River Lake. The view along the way was amazing. We were crossing fold and thrust belts orogeny. Not far from our location is Grand Teton National Park but we did not go there.
After a short drive, we arrived at Green River Lake camp ground. Right after arriving, we went straight away for a short hike down near the lake. This is a bear country, so we were provided with bear sprays but only few of us received it. When we returned, it was almost dark but the sky seemed blue. Apparently we camped in the shadow of a mountain. How ‘wonderful’. The temperature dropped significantly and to make things worst, mosquitoes swarmed us like crazy. I struggled to set up the tent as the mosquitoes swarming any skin that was exposed. It was far from pleasant. Thankfully, after 7 days of sleeping in the tent, setting up tent was now a piece of cake. It took me only 5 minutes, and I immediately took shelter inside the tent and chanted “Go away mosquitoes”.
The dinner was like a party for us only it was attended by million of mosquitoes. The cook worn face net. Good for her. Most of us, including me had to wear mask made by clothes. Not far from us, we encountered a moose family hiding behind the trees. That was my first time seeing moose. It was amazing until I had almost forgotten about the mosquitoes fiasco.
Mosquitoes did not wake up early like us that day. So, we were preparing as usual for a day mapping. We were not warned by the professors about the day. I didn’t know it would be one of the worst. I wished I would do more preparation.
We hiked as usual. It was a nice hike because the temperature was moderate and there were greens all over. Wild flowers sprouted from the ground and they look lovely. I did dig some of them and discovered the fleshy roots. Some smell like onion. Could there be wild onions growing here? The view was also amazing. I was so grateful to be given this opportunity to witness the natural beauty of mother earth. Before this field camp, I had only seen this in documentaries like National Geographic. This time around, I witnessed with my own eyes.
I did not finish the sandwich during lunch. I only ate half of it. Today, for some reason it did not taste good at all and I stowed them in the bag to just enjoy the view. Then after lunch, we kept hiking up hill. We were already high up and the lakes below seemed so tiny. I wished this would not end and I wished I could just stay there lounging and appreciating the view but the professors kept going up hill which seemed never end.
We reached the end of the trail and the view was awesome! You could see the difference in the color between the mountain that we stood and the opposite mountains. The professors explained about it but I was too engrossed with the beautiful view. If you ask me now, I don’t remember anything Geology about the mountains. LOL.
It was already 4pm and we had been hiking for almost 10 hours and I almost ran out of water. 2 bottles of them. Wani took the ice from winter glacier leftover and put the chunk in her bottle. I did not do it because I was worried it could be contaminated. Besides, I still had few liter of water left.
I really regretted the decision.Not long after that I had totally ran out of water. Hiking down was not that pleasant. It was long and tiring. Now, there were no more ice around for me to use as the source of water. I was extremely exhausted, thirsty and hungry. With only half sandwich in between, I didn’t think I could survive another hour of hiking. I had already lost motivations to continue the journey back to the camp site.
When I heard that we had another hour to go, my feet felt very weak and I suddenly collapsed. My breathing became irregular and I could not move. Everyone came to surround me and Pete came to peel oranges and fed me straight away. He said, I was dehydrating and I need to recharge myself with water. To think of it again, I did not drink any water for the past 2 hours of hiking and did not eat any food other than half sandwich that I ate during lunch. After taking a deep breath, I forced myself to stood up and pushed myself to hike though weak to the camp site. It was a great relieved to finally back to my tent. I took off my shoes and my shirt and laid down quietly in the tent. I was not feeling well. I fell asleep for a moment and woke up suddenly and immediately went to the kitchen and had dinner.
I woke up feeling horrible that day. I had decided not to go out for mapping. I really was not feeling well. I told Jay about it and he told me to take a rest. However, he told me that I would not be able to see myself the outcrops and all for the mapping exercise for the day. I took 3 pills of paracetamol and it took me a while to finally forced myself to get ready. Everyone was already leaving so I caught up with three students as they were the last leaving the camp.
I was not feeling that great but I kept hiking until paracetamol kicked in. We arrived at natural river arch. The river run strong inside the arch that apparently became the tunnel. I did not talk much that day as I was still feeling under the weather. To my surprise, I still managed to hike with the fever and caught up with the other guys too.
Nonetheless, I returned to the camp site earlier and took a nap before waking up again to finish the map. At that point of time, I just did my current best. It was not a good trip but I did manage to observe few things along the way. I submitted the map by midnight and dozed off after another three pills of Tylenol. What an experience for the last 2 days.
When I think about the time I almost passed out, I realized that I had already caught with fever on day 9. That explains why the sandwich tasted bland and why I had to drink all my water before I could reach halfway back to camp site. After much thinking, the fever might have been due to the cold Fremont Lake where I jumped in to take quick shower. Probably my body was extra sensitive.