Monday, August 19, 2013

Nature Hates Me

I had many friends, acquaintances, comrades, amigos, Chinese food vendors, and linguistic experts in Idaho. Being four hundred miles away, naturally, makes it difficult to spend time with any of these individuals.

As I try to adjust to being in Utah once more, I've had to find some form of entertainment that compensates for the distance of those people. I haven't found anything that really make up for the awesome time I've spent with my best of friends in Idaho, but I'm trying to make do with the people here. (Shout out to E.A., J.F., M.R., L.M., N.H., M.E., and M.F.)

The only guy that I've been hanging out with is Benny Generals (NOT his real name). In the past week alone, he's introduced me to bocce ball, lent me a bunch of guitar related paraphernalia, went to the rec center, and most recently, went "camping."

I say "camping" because we didn't actually stay overnight. We went up to the place, hung out for a bit in the wilderness, ate food, and then went home. But in that time, I managed to have an extremely interesting time.

We ate some fried chicken. Yep. 'Murica. Pulled it right out of the box. However, the Greek god Apollo must have been angry, because he plagued the whole camp ground with a swarm of giant bees.

You may think, "Oh, he meant giant swarm, not giant bees." No, I most certainly meant swarm of giant bees.

They were huge. I've seen wasps, and I've seen bees. These were most certainly bees, though they were the size of small children. 

Eager to escape the bees, me and Benny went hiking. We tromped through a meadow, heading for the much more interesting-looking woods. They quickly sloped downwards, and I struggled to keep myself standing instead of sliding.

I'm awful at identifying plants. In a life or death situation, I might be able to tell the difference between a small tree and a large bush, but that's the extent of my knowledge. So as we headed down this hillside, we brushed by numerous plants that were sticky, prickly, or shaped like Tom Selleck's head.

Judging by the rashes, itches, redness, swelling, stinging sensations, and the slight craving for scarce Indian dishes, I assumed that something I touched was poisonous. 

More sliding down the hill ensued. Finally, after stumbling through deer scat, we reached the rocky creek.

The next few minutes were probably best described as parkour. Benny and I leaped like majestic mountain goats, scampering from stone to stone, being redneck ninjas as we avoided the rushing water. 

After half an hour of feeling like a beastly free-running artist, we reached the top of the creek, where it came out of a tiny lake. Benny reached the top before I did.

I heard a loud splash, and immediately thought he fell in. I got up, and he was facing my direction, completely dry. Five feet behind him, however, was a moose. Since I had never seen one up close before, I couldn't tell you if this was a big or small one. For me, it was giga-friggin-ginormous. Me and Benny stood stone-still for a full ten minutes, waiting for it to move on. I didn't know what we were supposed to do! So we just stood, as it quietly looked at us. After Googling it, apparently it didn't show any signs of aggression. None whatsoever.

Thank goodness.

We walked away quickly once it left the area, and made our way back to the campsite.

Question: what is the most logical decision to make after an up-close wildlife encounter? 

Answer: Try to have another one.

This isn't really the best choice, but it's what we did. Last time we had hiked upstream, but this time we chose to go downstream. 

Following the creek downhill was definitely the more difficult way. We had to be mugged by a dead tree in order to go on at some points.

After a particularly rough part of the parkour trail, we decided we did not want to go back that direction. Since it was getting dark, though, we had to find a trail back up the slope.

Benny simply suggested we brave our way through the poisonous plants to get back. No trail was in sight for the next mile, so we took that way. 

The next bit is kind of confusing. In order to get to what-we-thought was a trail, we had to go up the hill... and then back down?

I don't completely understand it still, but it made sense in the moment.

Going down, we had to use our upper body strength to shimmy down these parallel logs. My right arm didn't shimmy the shimmy shimmy-ee enough, and I ended up scraping it up so it looked like I got mauled by a family of adolescent ligers.

After surviving that bit, we actually had to climb the mountain. Despite the apparent presence of many trees, it was mostly saplings and weeds. Because of that, I had to essentially punch my bare fists into the side of the mountain to get some kind of hold on the steep slope.

Yeah, it really wasn't as masculine as I make it sound.

The result of this whole ordeal was learning just how much Mother Nature has it out for me. Conclusion: she hates me.

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