Friday, June 11, 2010

The Magic of Fire

I sat in front of my beautiful fire, poking the glowing coals and enjoying its warmth. I started with a piece of toilet paper tucked in between my much hated unopened mail. I stacked three dry pieces of wood into a tepee shape over it then lit the toilet paper. It took some effort adding new pieces of mail to keep the fire blazing, but once the wood caught on fire, there wasn’t much effort at all, just adding new wood. I had the game warden to thank for the dry wood, I talked to him earlier to tell him what I was doing. He has a little cabin with his family here on WY Fish and Game land about an hour outside of Cody, WY in the mountains.

I read from my book, The Valley of the Horses, about Ayla and her solo survival in prehistoric times. She was also building a fire, with dry seeds, wood shavings, kindling, and wood. How similar our fires are really. You start with something flammable to catch the first big flames that will catch other items on fire. There has to be something more durable like my mail and her wood shavings to catch flame, then they have enough mass to burn longer and catch the split wood on fire. Ayla, in the book, roasted a rabbit over her charcoals, I tucked a potato in foil into mine, but wished that I did know how to hunt small animals and dress them for dinner.

It was lonely, even with my dog Ayla, who has slept all day. I’m not even worried about a bear, even though I saw one earlier this morning. I’m not scared of rattlesnakes, why should I be scared of a bear. Both could kill me if they choose to, but my keen wildlife observations and respect for the animals will make it very unlikely that they would have to resort to that.

I have begun to wonder why I have chosen such a difficult journey. Sure it is my job, but I sought out such a challenging job. I have such silly fears sometimes, this job has taught me not to fear. I’ve pondered death a lot, which has made me focus on life, and what is most important for me to have in my life.

I think of these days as my last free days too. I’m being pulled by my destiny into something. Then I will never be so free again to be selfish and can not do stuff like wander this wild state of Wyoming for months...

I'm in grizzly bear country right now and think I will sleep in my car just to be on the safe side.

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