Thursday, December 3, 2009

Taking On the Wilderness Alone

Americans love stories about conquering nature. There are all kinds of famous books about surviving alone in the wilderness. I haven’t read them. As previously discussed, books are dangerous.

Keeping certain books closed is not always enough to safeguard from imprudent ideas. Some ideas sneak out of their books at night. They menace the unsuspecting and lurk about like mental ectoplasm. I must have walked through an errant pocket of the stuff once myself, for at one time I entertained fantasies in which I was alone. In case you have failed to insulate yourself from such notions, I offer you a cautionary tale.

Once upon a time there was a girl who had a week that needed killing. Semi-stranded in the southwest, she decided to go it alone. She set up a tent and lived on a creek with a can of sardines and some cheese. The first day she played harmonica in the early morning sun. She breakfasted and sat down to write postcards. All her postcards written, she looked around and could think of nothing better to do than launder her under things. She gathered them up and waded into the creek. A leech got her.”

Do not attempt such foolery, don’t go into the wilderness alone - there could be leeches. See the beatific picture at the top of this post? There could be leeches there too.

You are now convinced and want guidance in finding a hiking partner. Don’t fret; I’ll blog about that in the very near future. Oh, were you fretting about something else?

I’m sorry I didn't mean to cause you undue anxiety. No doubt, you are wondering what happened to the girl. I only held you in suspense this long to illustrate the most important of points. We might never have known what happened to her, for she found herself alone with leeches. But, in this case we do know: despite acute emotional trauma, the girl survived.

Heart pounding and nauseous, the girl packed her tent and walked. She put her thumb out on the first strip of concrete she encountered. In the nearest town she met some street musicians and talked them into driving her to the Grand Canyon.

[Please feel free to post your own leech stories or stranded-in-the-wilderness-alone stories and stay tuned for, “Finding the Perfect Partner In Crime”. The photo above was taken 11/15/09 on North Sugarloaf near Deerfield MA.]

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