Friday, July 22, 2011

Confessions of a Naughty Boy Scout

What can I say about living in Washington state?  For everyone who lives here and is reading this I don't have to say anything. We know exactly what we hate about living here and we like to complain about it a lot. But to my Russian readers (I actually have gotten some hits from Russia--isn't that weird?) I will explain that we get a lot of rain. But going any further to emphasize how dire our lack of sunshine situation is, to someone who lives in Russia, well...the fact you live in Russia really takes all the fun out of it.  Granted, I don't really have a clue what it's like to live in Russia, but my guess is it's much more difficult than living in Washington state.  But if someone from Russia could let me know if I'm wrong, I'd appreciate being set straight.  (Then I'd actually know I have a fan in Russia!)

There is a little secret we have here though...a magical place called "Eastern Washington". You can actually get a sunburn over there!  So, in our quest for vitamin D and a chance at skin cancer, we load up our tents and swimsuits and make the five hour trek over the mountains every summer...and this is the setting for my next two hikes.   The main hike and the one the campground is named after I'll save for next time. The hike I'm describing here is one I've wanted to do for the past two years, but you have to take a short drive to get there. This has been a hard sell, because usually the weather is always so blessedly hot it's pretty near impossible to get anyone out of the water long enough to even think about leaving the campground.  But because this year was much milder, I was able to talk a whole group into venturing out to do Northrup Canyon.
Everyone was excited looking at the little pamphlet that explained that we should look out for snakes (Danger!..awesome) and an old homestead we would come across. (History!...not as awesome as snakes, but still awesome)

The one thing the pamphlet failed to mention, because it was definitely NOT awesome, was the mosquitoes.  I'm not talking a few mosquitoes--everyone knows there's always some mosquitoes...I'm talking ravenous swarms of flesh puncturing beasts that have been lying in wait for days for anything with blood to walk through.
(see all the red bumps?)

And this is why I love my husband, because he is a boy scout...and boy scouts pack backpacks for any and every hike with things like extra water, jackets, AND bug repellent!  So as we were getting sniped from all sides, Ken pulls out the magic elixir and saves the day. Now, when I say "we", I mean just the two of us.(we were behind because this is a group of dutch amazons and my legs are 4 inches shorter than everyone else' I'm in lousy shape, so Ken was compassionately walking slow)

As Ken is hosing me down with deet, he is mischievously watching everyone ahead of us swat themselves uncontrollably and confesses, "I was only thinking of self preservation when I stuck this in my pack".  And this is why I love my husband even more, because he's a naughty boy scout.  Of course, everyone eventually discovered our secret and came clamoring after the spray, praising Ken for looking out for every one's well being...but I knew better.   Thankfully there was enough for all and we made it out of there with a few ounces of blood left.  Next post I'll describe my second near death experience, on Steamboat Rock.

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