Thursday, July 3, 2014

The True Tales of Camping, Oh The Shennanigans!!

So I am going camping with my family in T-Minus 24 hours and I can't stop thinking about how much I'm looking forward to it. We are going to be at Sequoia National Park and then into Kings Canyon.

The more I think about the awesomeness of sleeping in a tent, hanging out by the fire, and our epic hikes, the more I can't help but remember some really funny stories of past trips. Now is a perfect time as any to share them :)

The Bison Surprise
I think one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen is Yellowstone. There are other places that have similar qualities that Yellowstone has, but that wide spread range of beauty seems to touch on every Eco-system you could possible imagine in the far North of North America. I remember one hike specifically we started in a meadow, walked through a heavy forest, came across a lily pond with frogs and tadpoles, continued through an area that resembled the parched valleys of the desert, walked over a zig zagged hill onto a platform of mountains to look down on a mini Grand Canyon (not mini, but in comparison to the GRAND Canyon this was like the Quite Large Canyon) with a rushing river and a double waterfall. It was...AMAZING. But, the best hike was the Bison hike.
It was my parents, my sister, me and my little brother. We walked past a small geyser pool toward a wide open meadow with a dappling of hills and medium sized pools in the distance. The trail was intended to be a loop trail with a lookout point halfway around. Round trip was only 6 miles, it was a puny hike compared to most of our crazy ones so we packed up and headed into the meadow.
About three miles in we came across a fork, one went off to the right and up over the hills, the other went off to the left and down into a mellow valley. For some reason my Dad really wanted to go to the right, but there was a small or rather a very large problem. A bison was casually eating some grass maybe 30 feet from the trail off to the right. Now I'm not sure if you have ever seen a Bison, but these bastards are GINORMOUS! Plus, there are signs at every trail head that says, "stay away from charging bison." I'm not kidding these beautiful monsters could skewer you like a marshmallow on a stick.

So, yeah we decided to go to the right because we are amazingly brilliant. Slow and steady wins the race. We all avoided eye contact, kept our voices to mute and shuffled past the completely oblivious Bison. After we put about fifty feet between us, we high fived each other and continued on our way up the sloping hill and back down the other side.
"That was close!" My little brother said.
"I know man, we were almost scooby snacks," I replied. We giggled together before each of us ran into my Dad in front of us who had stopped mid-step in the middle of the path.
I was about to ask what he was doing but then he said, "Guys, we need to back up. And slowly."
I glanced around and realized that we in the matter of a few minutes of walking, had waltzed straight into a herd of eating bison. There were at least 100 of them surrounding us casually glancing up at the weird animals on the path standing on two legs. I bet we looked like meat on a stick to them, however I am fairly certain that Bison's are herbivores. Doesn't mean they wouldn't kill us for sport.
We slowly, and without making a sound backup away from the herd of munching bison back over the hill to the fork we passed several minutes ago. Assuming we could just head the other direction, we balked at our bad luck when we say the original lonely bison only 15 feet from the trail.
Apparently, when Bison are munching away on grass and four hunks of meat tip toe past being careful not to make eye contact, the Bison couldn't possibly care less.

Birthday Blunder
One year my family went to Bryce Canyon and Zion. I think I have been to both those places at least three times each. They are quite ridiculously beautiful and a ton of fun. The river that runs through Zion is so awesome to ride down on inner tubes (when the water is up) and the hoo-doo's in the valleys of Bryce is a total wonder to see.

This year on our vacation we happened to be going around the same time as my birthday (which is coming up soon WOOT WOOT July babies!!). The day before my actual birthday I started to get really sick. Not to get into too much details but I felt like I was swallowing a gallon of nose slime every hour. It was slightly difficult to breath. I immediately decided that going on the ten mile hike into the valley of the amazing Hoodoos was a brilliant idea.
Things started off swimmingly. I had my hiking pack filled with bland luke coldish water, I had Lionel (the monkey looking Lion ), sunglasses, snacks, the hike was a go!
We bounced down the path to the depths of the hoodoos taking random pictures as we walked, enjoying the echo of our voices through the narrows of the valley. Everything was great, until we started going back up the hill. Up until the steady incline, I was breathing...fairly well. But then as we began to trudge up the steady slope I was suddenly finding it difficult to inhale any air.
My body half swayed back and forth as my eyes began to slowly close and realized, I was going DOWN! MAYDAY MAYDAY...Jessica is capsizing!!!! I fell face first in the dirt wheezing and choking on my own damn mucus. My mother, bless her nurse heart, screamed at my dad, "Quick give me a pen, she can't breath! I need to give her a tracheotomy!!" My eyes bulged at her words. She was going to what? On a HIKE?! IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE!!?!!! Yeah, no need to tell you that I completely panicked! The only think I could think was, 'breathe Jessica, now damn it, or she is going to shove that pen into your THROAT!!"
Luckily, that is about the same time the mucus/phlegm/I don't know what hacked it's way out of my lungs and throat at the same time giving me a big burst of oxygen. Thankfully, no pen was jammed into my tracheal. I clung to my wonderful Mother's hand as she then dragged me out of the valley. It was a long 2 mile climb let me tell you. But I MADE IT!!

  < ---Me and my sister jumping for joy!