Jake is our survivor ... he wants to live in the woods all alone, fishing and scavenging plants for food - and has often begged for the chance to do so. This spring, Steve finally decided to let him have a go. Being that he is at least a tiny bit responsible, Steve decided to go with him as an emergency buffer (and so we wouldn't get reported to the authorities by any curious onlookers who might see a grown man dropping a ten year old off in the national forest).
The deal was made that he wouldn't offer any help to Jake at all unless there was an emergency (for instance, cougars or drowning or hypothermia or...). Jake finally agreed to such stringent regulations after it was pointed out to him that Steve wouldn't even TALK to him. It still allowed him to be on his own with his own tent, own supplies, own survival skills.
He does know quite a bit about such things and has poured over his book of wilderness survival (we have definitely decided to sign him up for Scouts!) - but he didn't quite count on our May weather. Here they are, ready to embark in our fancy '92 Subaru.
The day was slushing ... not raining or snowing ... it was slushing. The snow was still deep at that elevation. If it had only been cold, they would have fared better. However, it was definitely in that terrible, miserable, sopping wet, hypothermia-inducing, feet sinking kind of slush.
Before they had even finished backpacking into a good site, Jake was soaked. Having expected nice, springlike conditions (with plenty of bugs to eat!) ... Jake wisely realized that this was not a good set up and teamed up with Steve.
Even our outdoor hero, Steve, couldn't start a fire. At that point, the prospect of spending the night and more didn't seem so great. They decided on a good plan.
They headed back down to Bend and a visit to Izzy's for the hungry survivors. Jake returned home after a trip to (close your ears, union supporters) WalMart to buy the b-b gun that we had decided he would be allowed to buy. Not what he had been hoping, but at least a good ending!