Monday, September 24, 2012

COBS Day 8 - Swamp to Williams Peak Base Camp

These are the words, as written, of Chuck Lafean, age 16, on Course C-242 of Colorado Outward Bound School.

Up at 5:30. Chris has to go. Bil and I take Chris and Barb out to Gauging Station. Extremely long day of packing; 9 miles for patrol, 12 for Bill and me. Barb and Chris are waiting (when we get to camp). Chris just bruised her arm. Dinner and sleep. More rain.

Bill and I caught up with the patrol in the gulch just up from the drainage we had spent the night in. The hike back to the gauging station was at Christine's speed, trying to keep her comfortable. From the gauging station back, Bill and I went as fast as we could. Our total mileage for the day of 12 miles was the longest day, by far, we had had on the course. 12 miles is a long day anywhere, but over the terrain we were in and with backpacks recently filled at resupply, likely 60-70 pounds, it was pretty rugged. Having said that, I don't remember much about this day except feeling proud of myself for volunteering to help Chris.

Recently, there was an episode of the Office on when I walked through my living room, where one of the characters was just returning from Outward Bound. They seemed to be mocking his talking about the experience. I don't remember talking about OB when I got back; I am sure I did, but certainly not enough to be ridiculed. I think my climbing the side of the house was in response to the question, "What did you do on Outward Bound?" The experience changed me profoundly, but very personally. I din't know that I tried to explain it then; I'm not sure I could. I'm not even sure I understood the change fully then. If I bored anyone talking about the experience at any point I am sorry. I am sure any attempt to explain it sounded a bit like Charlie Brown adult speak...

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