Tire'd of the Stigma - PTSD Recovery & Mental Health Awareness Glacier Expedition
We had packed up, unpacked, and repacked multiple times over the past few days to ensure we had what we needed and felt confident that morning in grabbing our packs and heading out. Beginning the task of building a base camp we would call home for the next weeks as we flipped our 300lb tire from Lake to Mountain summit. The intention to begin the day was to plan the best route through the dense forest and dangerous rock slide that cut deep into the mountain side, littered with broken trees, loose rocks and massive boulders. Like so often in our lives, there isn’t always an easy route, just one less dangerous, that potentially offers a few extra spectacular views and some fun challenges. Our muscles were already shaky as we slung our heavy packs down at what was to soon be called home. To reach here seemed like enough hard work for a single day, but if we were to be comfortable, feel safe and not have an added stress each day, after flipping the tire, of returning to a camp we were unsatisfied with, we had to stretch our tightening muscles, pick up the axes and continue the endeavour. Getting creative in the uneven terrain to build basecamp now worked a different muscle. Our minds turned into that of primitive architects as we tried to imagine how to make our vision a reality. We each set out on individual tasks, Jill clearing trails to help prevent rolled ankles and hang ups, as we soon hauled the trees Terrance worked on chopping down and sawing to length over to where we would build our foundation. Once a good pile of similar sized dead trees were stacked we teamed back up to begin the tedious task of tying our braces to the strong trees we had picked out, trying to figure out if we were anywhere close to flat. Once braces were up and after a few minutes of distraction by some curious deer with eyes wide like we were the person that showed up to a black tie event in camo shorts and a cowboy hat, we began to lay out the trees as our base; The truest of hardwood flooring. As the sun dipped low and long shadows soon cast across the landscape, we stepped back to look at what we had accomplished that day. Although we were not done, we were satisfied with what we had already achieved. Our hands were well calloused and we welcomed the cool evening breeze as the last of our hard work dripped from our brows on the hike back down to Camp, already mentally preparing ourselves to wake and do it all over again the next day, only this time hauling a weeks worth of water for two up with us.