Update: The other night, as I was changing shifts with my brother at the hospital, I thought I may never again hear my daddy say, “Happy Birthday, little girl.”, as he has for the past 50 plus, plus years. But he surprised me yesterday. He somehow managed to have enough strength to write. Hap y B gil. It made me feel complete and broken hearted as the same time. He is not able to open his eyes but he is still with us. He can hear, understand and move his eyebrows. The doctors say there is very little hope he will leave ICU.
On to the post: We had no rain for around 9 months which lead to the forest closure. This story took place the first weekend that our forest reopened.
I had been waiting all summer to go hiking and do a little Geo Caching. Hubs, daughter and I set out on a cache I had been eying for months. As we rolled up, the GPS said the cache, “Rotten to the Core”, was to the left and straight up. Literally, like at a 110 degree angle. “No Way!” says Hubs. He points out the description said a gentle incline. He insisted we turn around and go to a forest trail entrance about a quarter of a mile back. I thought, ‘This was going to take forever if we do it his way!’ And with that thought, I started complaining.
“This is not right.” I mumbled.
No one heard my skepticism, so… I said it LOUDER! Hubs kept on walking. Daughter had a slight look of doubt on her face but kept on walking too. We walked down a valley with the sound of thunder rolling on the mountain. We had great cloud coverage and a light sprinkle. The only good thing so far was the awesome day we picked for a treasure hunt. We had walked about a quarter of the way in when it got a little eerie. The further we walked the darker and quieter it became. Bear poop was everywhere and the carcass of a half eaten elk was under a tree. EEEKKK. Soon the only sound I heard was the sound of our own shoes on the forest floor, oh, and me still whining.
It felt like we walked for miles, until hub says, “I think this is it”. Sure enough, the clue for the cache was “next to a ghostly moss covered tree” and there it was. Well I’ll be dang! He was getting pretty good at this game and of course, he loves it when he is right.
We all head over to the discovery. Then I hear daughter start to complain of something biting her or maybe a plant poked her.
“Mom!” she says in a panic. ” Touch this plant and see if it pokes you.”
“NO! Are you crazy?” I asked her.
“D@m~ IT, Daughter!” I yelled. She started laughing uncontrollably. I think from relief that a snake had not bitten her or maybe it was the little OMG it hurts dance I was doing. My hand started swelling up like a puffer fish. It was stinging so bad that I instinctively put it to my mouth to try to cool it down. Within seconds my tongue was on fire! I was scrambling for the first aid kit. Daughter and I had blisters all over our hands and they were getting bigger by the second. We were lost somewhere between sarcastic laughter and the reality of our pain, when I heard husband at the top of the hill asking what the hold up was. I could not believe he asked that question. I mean, he was watching the whole thing from above. I felt a wave of furious envelope me and I preceded to yelled at him that we were stung. But the words I heard coming out of my face were more like.
“Lee R tung!” My tongue was SWOLLEN! “Whaaa?”
“Wha ist this tuff???” I beg in a panic to my husband.
“Stinging Nettles.” he says laughing from the top of the hill.
Upon hearing this, I lost all interest in yelling at Hubs, however, I did feel like reaching over and strangling the teen that stood before me, especially after she says, “Good, at least I was not bitten.” in the way that only a teen, who did not want to be there in the first place, could say it . (again with the strangling) I could not find anything in a First Aid kit for stings. I did find a sterile wipe and Neosporin. Daughter wiped off her hands and applied the medicine. It only helped enough to knock off the intense pain. I, on the other hand, had to wait until it wore off because neosporin is for topical use only. (I could have killed that kid) Before we knew what was happening, I start screaming “EEEEES, EEEES” and swatting like mad. BEES were every where. Not a swarm but enough to make me scream like a little girl. When I opened my eyes they were gone.
“Pobabe goin ta det the hibe!” I tell daughter.
In my current state of pandemonium, I looked at my daughter and say as cool and as calm as I could, “Zets doe det da tedgger.” I start up the hill with my hub’s and my backpack pulling a whining teenager by her shirt. That was an extra 70 lb on a steep incline. Hub notices my discomfort but does nothing other than to tell me to drop the packs. “NO!” I screeched with all the furiousness returning. I reminded him the gun was in the pack and if that bear came back for his dinner we could be his dessert. I could just read it now…”Geo Cachers killed by bear. Their only protection in a pack AT THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL” Here’s yer sign!
We finally made it up to the little treasure and put some bubbles and Neosporin back in for the next
victim player. As we start to leave, hubs says take a left. I head left. Suddenly I was feeling all alone. I looked up and found myself standing in the clearing all discombobulated, surrounded by bear poop and bones. I then look behind me. That is when I find Hubs and Daughter heading in the opposite direction. With every step, they were laughing their heads off. I gave one last look at my surroundings and for a brief moment imagined the ‘EEES gone mad.” returning. I ran like crazy all the way back to the car. EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKK!
I loved every MINUTE of it!!! What a ‘tan tatic day’ Nettles and all.
Until next time, happy gaming everyone,