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Day 8: Upper Dean Cow to Miranda

It’s a fairly short hike to Head of Dean staffed camp this morning. Head of Dean is a cool place because it has a big challenge course, which is designed to get the crew working together as a team to accomplish different tasks.

Kendall gets friendly with one of Head of Dean’s residents.

Kendall and Tonie take advantage of the rare opportunity to wash clothes while we wait for our Head of Dean challenge to start.

The first challenge is a “group sit.” See how well it goes:

The next challenge has the crew trying to get a tire over the top of a pole without touching the pole.

VIDEO: Watch Charlie and the gang claim tire-pole victory.

Next up is the Nitro Crossing, in which each crew member has to somehow get a rope using only their body and then swing across a line—and do it all without talking. Watch Travis and the gang go for it:

And then Charlie and company finally get it:

With the Spider Web challenge, the crew has to get each member through rope web (with two people blindfolded), using each hole once and not touching the ropes. Watch as a blindfolded Charlie encounters the web:

Last is the Wall challenge. This one’s a toughy. Everybody has to make it up a 12-foot wall with the help of everyone else who hasn’t yet gone up it. It’s not as easy as it looks, as Christian can testify:

But the crew gets the hang of it, and they start making it up the Wall. Here’s Trevor:

Since Tonie’s last, the crew tries a different technique with her:

Finally, success!:

Working the Wall.

After the challenge course, we’re off to our next camp: Miranda.

When we start hearing rifle shots in the distance, we know we’re getting close. Miranda has a black-powder rifle range.

When we get there, we find that Miranda is a wildlife paradise. The camp is set in a wide mountain meadow of green grass and colorful wildflowers leading up to a big white tepee and staff cabin. We spot turkeys loping nearby and hummingbirds feeding at orange, trumpet-shaped wildflowers.

Kevin checks in at the Miranda staff cabin.

After check-in, we head to the black-powder rifle program, where we learn how to load and fire the old-timey guns. Everybody places their caps, bandanas, camp shoes—whatever they don’t mind getting a hole in—on the range as targets. Watch Crew Leader Kevin take aim:

As a staffer looks on, Trevor pours the black powder in the barrel and rams it down. The result? A shot through his cap (He wasn’t wearing the cap at the time.)

Christian has good luck with his bandana.

Charlie has a blast at the rifle range. “You feel on top of the world when you shoot a gun,” he says. As for the old-timey black-powder rifle? “It was easy to fire. There wasn’t as much of a kick as I expected.”

This evening, the crew is invited by the staff to a friendly game of Mountain Ball. Miranda’s staff is well-known as a bunch of crazy mountain men, and their game is as crazy as they are.

Mountain Ball is a version of baseball, only everybody plays as a mob, self-pitching and running the bases in no particular order. Oh, and the best part? The mountain men ALWAYS win, even if they have to cheat to do it. Tonight they win 10 to 0.

Miranda Mountain Ball: Crazy, I tell you.

Back at our campsite, the moon is bright, bathing the meadow grass and fir trees in silver.

Tonie, Trevor, Christian and Charlie build a campfire.

Fortunately, the moon isn’t so bright that it washes out the Perseids Meteor Shower tonight. Every once in a while we catch quick streaks of light across the sky.

5 Comments on Day 8: Upper Dean Cow to Miranda

  1. I was a mountain man (the one with the top hat)! The bases must be run consecutively.

  2. I was a mountain man! We are crazy, but we don’t cheat, Rule Number 1 is mountain men always win! Thats me in the first picture!

  3. Lucky

  4. cool

  5. I love all the movies

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