I still enjoy those things but in smaller more manageable doses. I would love to say that I hike/camp/fish/survive with flint and a lean-to made of brush and a tree with only my keen survival skills to keep my alive, but Bear Grylls I am not. No dear readers I had really only one brush of true survival the summer before I started High school. This was the summer that my youth group would go on a 5 day long trek on a trail circling Mt. Hood.
The Pacific Crest Loop (part of the Pacific Crest Trail)is a 40 mile (yes FORTY) mile trail of winding, mountainous, rocky rugged trails that should not be attempted by a skinny pre-pubescent girl carrying a pack that nearly outweighs her. This trail though beautiful had stops along the way that left much to be desired for camping. These included those nicknamed "Mosquito-ville" (the place where all mosquitoes in the NW come from) and "Rocky-Road" where even with your whole 1/4" thick pad could not protect you from the rocks digging into your back as you tried to sleep.
The trip was not without fun. We did what we liked to call "Glacier Sliding" which was a game in which we folded our sleeping pads in half, held on and slid down glaciers that ran through our trail. The downside was the volcanic rock that also was in the ice. Stopping with anything but the bottoms of your feet resulted in horrid scrapes to any exposed skin. We also learned how to pluck and kill Quail (throwing a stick at the right angle at a quail will decapitate it, resulting in death, resulting in eating the evidence so we are not fined for hunting in a restricted area).
Food was also fun! Nothing better then Spaghetti logs with tomato paste and watered down Gatorade made with water pumped from a creek that a deer probably peed in somewhere up-stream from you. We immediately headed to the nearest burger place and wolfed down a double cheeseburger, fry and coke after being on the trail for nearly a week. This of course resulted in barfing our guts out since our stomachs had shrunk.
All in all the hike was at the very least beautiful, breathtaking and a learning experience. Plus I got to hang with my dad and bro. That for a 13 year old girl is huge.
No need to adjust your computer monitors Ladies and Gentlemen. I really was that geeky, awkward, flat chested and pale. I know it is hared to believe, but it is true.
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