Trail near Sand Lake
This morning, our film crew left around 7 a.m. and hiked the short 2-3 mile trail to Sand Lake at White Pass. We reached our destination at around 9 a.m., expecting Sam to run by the trail circling the little lake between the hours of 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.. Once again, we had absolutely beautiful weather, but being in a marshy area, the mosquitoes were UNBEARABLE. Even though it was getting hot outside, I wore my fleece pants, tall socks, a fleece jacket, and a wool hat in a weak attempt to protect myself from the little bastards. In a move of brilliance and desperation, Jeff made a little fire, which kept them away. I was extremely hot, but did not complain. The alternative would have been far worse.
Around 11:30, we received a static-y message from Sam, which meant that he was close in range. We scrambled to our posts, Marion and Ben at the camera, and Jeff, ready to outfit Sam with a lav mic. Within a few minutes, Sam appeared on the trail, and our rig followed him as he hustled by. He took a quick break by our fire while Marion, Ben, and Jeff ran ahead to get another shot, and I stayed with Sam and the walkie to alert the rest of the crew when he would be passing by. Sam seemed happy but tired, and relieved to sit down for a minute. When he was ready, I informed Marion on the walkie, and told Sam we'd see him at the bottom. When we got the shot, we packed up and made our way down.
Days like this feel successful and satisfying, because sometimes they don't always work out so well, and so we've learned not to take any opportunity for granted. When we are able to talk to Sam, we try to get as much information from him as possible in order to plan, but also to prepare for sudden changes, which often occur. Marion compares our crew to firemen, since we spend a lot of time waiting around for Sam, but have to be ready to spring into action at any hour of the day. The tension between waiting and never being able to relax is the most stressful part of this job. There are always going to be upsets and there are always going to be shots that we couldn't get. That's why, at the end of each day, it's important for us to be able to say that we did everything within our control, and let go of the factors that were beyond our reach. When we are able to get a shot of Sam in the location we want, it is immensely rewarding.
Tomorrow, we hike up the Snow Grass Trail in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, where there will be an amazing view of Mount Adams. Wish us luck!
Cecily "Crazy Legs" Mauran