Our ten hour journey is complete. We have arrived at the site to observe and respect nature from for the next several days. We discover we are the first in our party to arrive. The land is quite desolate. There are rocks, sage brush, a fire pit, a picnic table, and much wildlife. No showers, and running water is scarce. Upon inspection of the sites we determined the best place to set up the nylon and mesh temporary dwelling unit. We determined that to be in a flat grassy area approximately 50 yards from the building of discretion, yet not down wind from it. We wait for the others to arrive.
I awoke from a fitful night's rest atop a twin air mattress with the wee one to find that Hollywood and The Man are missing. In the daze of sleep, I pray Sasquatch has not taken them. I search for my phone to call The Man, and discover in this vast remoteness, we have no contact with civilization. However, upon further examination of the site, I find that several others and the boat are missing. I learn that hunting upon the great Fish Lake began early. All of our party has safely made the trek in as well. A member of the party has discovered a tick on my left shoulder. She removed it before it's head could burrow. I am then given brief instructions on how and where to check for ticks. I find it displeasing to say the least. The littlest of the party are eagerly chasing chipmunks and finding their weapons of choice upon the fallen branches. Curly has taken a twist and has used the fallen branches and a few strips of toilet paper to create homes for the creatures in the unlikely event of rain.
It is three am and this night The Man and I have decided it is better for the wee one and I to find sleep in the more permanent dwelling unit made of steel riding on wheels. I have left my chair in the soft pallet and nasal symphony to find the unit swaying. I believe my space inside the nylon to be safer than that of a place surrounded with coolers full of meat, fish, and vegetables. We have not yet seen any wildlife of significant size and stature, however there are signs posted to warn us. This is indeed brown bear country.
A large doe made her way into camp. At first I mistook her for a large pit bull having only seen her hindquarters. When she revealed her face, I was quite embarrassed by my mistake. The matron of our party informed us about sunrise that there are indeed protective measures we should be taking. Bears are attracted to sunscreen. The sun is intense at 10,000 feet even if the thermometer shows a steady 80 degrees. We must forgo the risk of skin cancer and brave the elements if we are to withstand the wildlife. I don't believe I have ever faced such risk.
We have survived our field study. Part of the party broke down camp last night and made their journey north. We will break down our camp and clean up all evidence of our presence after breakfast and a few games of red light green light. The remaining members of the party ask if we will return to the field study next year. With the successful study we had this year, perhaps we will.