Hitch of the Killer Tree Posse: U-routes South, trick!
Crew: Kendra (Kernel K-Fu), Andrea (Killer Krossing Guard), Kelly (Egomaniacal Easter Bunny), and Johnny (Killer Klown)
Day 1: Day of the forgotten tent.
Upon arriving at our worksite near the old, haunted, and demon-infested Bonanza Ghost Town, we immediately realize that our tents are missing. This, of course, is Hitch #10. It’s mid-October. Temperatures in the Yankee Fork drop to 20 degrees and below each night. Unfazed, the Killer Trees weighed their options, none of which included returning to Moyer Base. Luckily, the Posse is a very good-looking and resourceful bunch, undeterred in the face of adversity. Solution: fashion a fort from various available materials, including a jank blue tarp nearing disintegration, a plethora of insulating garbage bags, two clear shower curtains, Kelly’s suicide bracelet of cording, warped tent stakes, and pieces of mismatched REI tents. All four slept comfortably and moistly in the brilliantly erected structure for the next four nights, refusing to abandon their hovel for the commonplace Zeta and Half-Dome tents that Jackie arrived with on day two.
Monday of Hitch #10 marked the first week of hunting season in the Salmon-Challis. Hunter’s bullets zinged through the air constantly, threatening to end the Posse’s U-route season early. Kernel K-Foo (as she insisted we call her) handed out uniforms – bright orange flagging tape with the words “Killer Tree” emblazoned on the side next to a skull and cross bones. We donned the tape creatively, each sporting a more ridiculous taped up outfit than the next to avoid death by hunter.
After conquering Montaῆa de Estes, nearly falling down mine shafts, warding off a shape-shifting demon, magically conjuring French toast and sausage flavor from quinoa and curry leftovers, and Nancy Drew-ing a suspicious bunch of murderous midnight miners, we evacuated at 5am on Sunday morning to Copper Basin, narrowly escaping being squashed to death by an evil hail storm.
True to its namesake, Copper Basin was wonderfully copper in color, the tree’s fall leaves vivid against the surrounding snow-covered peaks. The Killer Tree Posse laughs in the face of high elevation and late-season lightening storms. The nights at Copper Basin were cold.
John later described this U-routes hitch as the “…manliest hitch I’ve ever been on.” When asked his opinion on the various triumphs and incidi encountered by the fearless crew, his one-track mind stayed focused on the group’s visits to the Challis Taco Bus, verifying: “I love burritos!”