|Beautiful rivers flow through Putorana, with water temperatures in the mid to
high 30s. Its sweet, fresh, pure water. We would walk to a private area near camp,
strip, and bathe in this frigid water. It was incredibly refreshing.
||One of the Russians on the expedition, a botanist, went with me to
meet the team hydrologist, who had gone ahead of us upstream. We planned to meet him
at an agreed-upon point along the river, but we failed to find him. We decided to
take a shortcut back to camp to avoid the rivers numerous S curves, but
we overshot the camp and got lost. All we had to do was follow the river upstream,
but we got turned around and headed downstream. When we didnt find him, we started
back upstream. It was getting dark, and we were crashing through the thicket, hot
from exertion, and worried about brown bears.
We were slogging along, and just as we were thinking about giving up and spending the
night near the river, someone from the group fired a shotgun and sent up a flare. We
found our way back to camp two hours later, but it was a very unsettling experience.
This area is true wilderness. If you get lost out here, youre in real trouble.
|I consider myself in pretty good shape, but I found out that I wasnt as fit as I
thought. There was a guy on the team named Kruger. He smoked, drank his share of
vodka, and hes older than I am, but he walked us into the dirt!