Friday, July 11, 2014

Lohbado on the Plains of Radiation

from a painted book, acrylic on paper
Cold and the discomfort of lying on rocky ground woke Lohbado at 3 AM. Before going to sleep, he placed some moss under the rock, threw a groundsheet over top and crawled into the sleeping bag. There was enough overhang from the rock to provide shelter from the light rain. The ground sloped, so that no water flowed into the cave-like shelter of the rock.

    It was a good spot. From the entrance to the little "cave", Lohbado could gaze out at the endless rolling plains. It was mostly gravel, rock and water. During winter, it appeared like a white desert, everything under ice and snow. Lohbado pulled the sleeping bag tight around his chin, to keep out the cold air. He wore a wool cap and scarf to keep his head warm. He managed to preserve enough heat to avoid hypothermia, as he waited for the first light of dawn.

    A couple small birds flew to the edge of a rocky pond and began singing. Lohbado thought about building a fire from some lichen and willow brush, which grew horizontally in moist areas between ponds and streams and over bogs. It would take about fifteen minutes to make a fire. Twilight usually lasted about two hours. Once the sun appeared, there was less danger of hypothermia. Instead of making fire, Lohbado partially emerged from the sleeping bag, leaned on one side and started the small gas stove. He boiled a cup of water and flavored it will wild sage and juniper leaves. The tea made him feel better.

He got up and cooked a pot of oatmeal and enjoyed the sunrise.

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