A Tale of Two Schmucks


Myself (Schmuck 1) and Schmuck 2 (James), sat atop Garfield Peak in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon and had a great idea; wouldn’t it be great to go backpacking, to just head off into the woods with only what you are willing, and can, carry on your back. Not an original idea I grant you, but something new for me and James. I don’t know about James, but I love to challenge myself. I get a feeling of satisfaction from pushing myself to my limits and then finding the strength, either mental or physical, to go further. It’s why I think it would be great to work on one of those crab boats you see on Deadliest Catch or why I try to build a 40 x 15 deck in a weekend. Could I spend the weekend in the woods with only the items I brought? Could I overcome any hardships we might face? Hardships caused by nature; snow, rattlesnake bite, broken leg, or hardships caused by our own stupidity; not enough water, impractical shoes or heading into the woods when a ranger says, and I quote, “Are you crazy?” I don’t know if going into this journey I was planning to push mine, and unfortunately James’ limits, but because I like the idea of challenging myself, I’m sure that subconsciously I was going to do my best to turn each leisurely backpacking trip into a test of mental and physical endurance.

And so began, on one particular sunny weekend in September (note to others: don’t be fooled by sun in the morning) a journey involving two middle-aged couch potatoes and an ever changing, never relenting wilderness; a journey pitting the will of the human spirit against soulless Mother Nature.

Come along and see how this turns out . . . .

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Backpacking Lessons Learned the Hard Way…

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