Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Hike from Hell

I didn't think there was such a thing as a bad day hiking until Eloise's husband, whom I am tempted to refer to as Lucifer but instead will call Fred, wanted to change our hiking plans. Instead of going to a new trailhead I wanted to try out, he wanted to go to the ice cave. Eloise and I had accidentally discovered this "trail" a few years ago.

We made our discovery a few springs ago when we followed some cross country ski tracks into a gulch on our snowshoes. Even with two or three feet of snow, we still fell over deadfalls on the "trail." Then we stumbled on a few rock cairns and looked up to the head of the gulch into a frozen, blue waterfall. We tried this hike the following spring, but turned back because of a soaking rain and the over abundance of moose scat near the mouth of the gulch did not bode well for two unarmed women on a June hike.

Against my better judgement, I agreed to the change of plans. Our hike outlook barometer plummeted as I put on my hiking boots and my knee popped and became sore. Things really took a turn for the worse when we left the forest service trail. We walked over some deadfalls and then could hardly find our way into the gulch through the bank full creek, stinging nettle, and downed trees.

Trying to tune out my sore knee, I started up a slope steep enough to make me wonder what on earth I was thinking when I followed Fred up it. Then, I then had to slide on my rear DOWN the slope in hope the "trail" near the creek would be better going. Some maniacally optimistic person had placed cairns on the talus in the gulch which we took for trail markers.

From there, things got worse. The Marine boot camp obstacle course would look like a workout for sissies compared to the deadfall and rock going up this gulch. Every so often we had the bad judgment to be encouraged when we saw that some one had sawed through a deadfall here and there. To our dismay, these cut trees were followed by piles and piles of more downed trees.

To add bad attitude to worse attitude, I was dealing my carpal tunnel surgery aftermath. My hands were very sore. I couldn't use them to catch myself or to climb obstacles. And I had to be careful not to hurt them and break open the newly healed incisions. Then the June sun started to pound us and the mother nature stoked the furnace. Our aroma must have been magnificent because around noon the horseflies mistook us for sweaty pack animals and began biting us just as we stumbled on another patch of stinging nettle. And if that situation doesn't tell you how completely miserable it was, even my dog hated this hike.

Finally, an hour up the gulch, I said, "I am going back." Fred tried to talk me out of turning around, but reason suggested to me that another hour or two of hiking forward would make going back on the trail from hell an even longer process. The further we went, the more we had to go back through. I think there could be a repentance analogy here.

Thankfully, Hermione cheerfully accompanied me back through deadfall crawl, across moose meadows, and out to the trail where we experienced the only fortunate thing of the entire day: cell service. We called Wilbur to meet us at the trailhead. Whew. Next time I follow my original plan.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What's Happenin'

Eglantine wanted to know what's going on around here, with pictures. So:

It's as green as it ever gets. We had rain and snow the week of June 11th. Last week it warmed up.

The chokecherries are almost done blooming. They smell heavenly.

The creeks are running high. As my Dad would say, "The mighty Mo is mighty muddy."

We went on a hike to Crow Creek Falls on Friday and saw a beauty pageant along the way.

Fairy Slippers

Clematis was climbing all over the trees.

I have never seen so much water spilling over Crow Creek Falls. The ground was vibrating and shaking as we stood on the shore. Usually, the pool below the falls is still a few yards from the waterfall. Friday, the entire pools was boiling and churning.

Max had the good sense to stay out of the pool. He was leery of the water.

I sure wish I had remembered to wear make up. The two old old ladies make an excellent foil for the babe.

We found a mermaid near the pool. Have a good week!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Stacy's Garden

I have a planter in which I only plant pink and white flowers. Every summer as I plant my pink and white flowers, I remember Stacy. Pink was Stacy's favorite color. This year, Hermione helped me shop for flowers and planted them for me because my carpal tunnel surgery interfered.

I like to remember how five-year-old Stacy would say, "Grrrrrraaaaandma...." I can still hear her saying it. I remember three-day-old Stacy giving me a HUGE smile as her mother slept after being up all night. And I remember almost two year old Stacy, after I forgot to get milk at the store saying, "We have milk at MY house." While I don't think I ever hurt so much as when we lost her, knowing Stacy added so much to my life. I am grateful for her. And I am grateful we still have her as part of our family.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Hat

Hermione brought Wilbur a sombrero back from Mexico. It's a pretty sought after item around here. This post is dedicated to the beginning readers in the family.
I have a hat. It is not flat.
I like to wear my big fat hat.

I wear it here. I wear it there.
I like to wear it everywhere

My hat is big. My hat is round.
I wear it when I plow the ground

My hat is grand. It has no smirch.
I wear it when I go to church.

I looked and looked for it one day.
Max had taken it away.
Give it back! It cannot stay!

Orville thought I wouldn’t care if he wore it as a spare.
But sometimes it is hard to share.

Hermione likes to shower with it. She should have known I’d have a fit.
Give me back my hat you nit!

Prairie thought she'd look divine.

She took my hat and spent some time.

Orville and Hermione fight.

To wear the hat they use their might.

Give me back my hat I say!
Now I must take it away!

I have a hat. It is not flat.
I like to wear my big fat hat

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Men at Work

Bilateral carpal tunnel surgery has the men doing extra work around here. Wilbur and Orville have both been doing the cooking and dish washing. Some of specialties at Cafe de Wilbur and Orville are: Cattle Drive Chili, and Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. They are threatening pizza for Monday. My hiking partner Eloise happens to be a great cook. She brought in dinner on Friday, bless her. I have been told to use my hands as much as I feel comfortable using them, but to keep my bandages clean. That reminds me of a tune my Dad used to sing, "Yes you may go swimming, my dear. But don't go near the water...." Cooking, cleaning, and eating are not conducive to clean hands or bandages, but I am being as careful as I can.
I am supposed to keep my hands raised to reduce swelling. Something about raised hands brings out the cowboys and Indians mentality in men.

Orville shopped for and wrapped the wedding present for Jill Alsbury's wedding reception. He even remembered to buy a card. I would have never thought of purchasing a surge protector and a small weather station as a wedding present. At least Jill and spouse shouldn't have duplicates on those gifts. Ever mindul of my reputation, Orville added the following disclaimer to the card, "present wrapped by Orville."