Monday, May 23, 2005

Easier than falling off a log.

So a couple of Sundays ago we had a particularly beautiful day, so Brent and I decided to go hiking Eno State Park. We've been to this park three times before, but there were some trails we had yet to explore.

We were hiking along, and all was well until we came to a stream that we had to cross. Every other trail we'd been on had bridges, even in places where they weren't really necessary, but this stream had no bridge. And to be fair to the trail developers, we were on the only trail deemed "strenuous" in the whole entire park, so I'm not surprised there was no bridge.

There was, however, a log crossing the stream right at the trail edge. It was nice and thick and looked to be the perfect bridge.

Brent didn't trust his balance, especially since there looked to be a shallow spot just a few yards down stream where he could rock-hop most of the way. Plus, we both have waterproof boots, so odd were he could stay dry.

But I decided I'd go for the log. I took a step or two out, and then went back to solid ground, deciding that having my camera hanging from my neck was not a good idea, just in case. I took it off, put it in a huge plastic ziplock, and then stuck it in my backpack.

I went back on the log and started my way across. It didn't take me too long to figure out that this was a particularly bouncy log. It was probably a pine, now that I think about it - one of those trees that I've seen really whipping in anything more than a light breeze. Well, I was inching along as smoothly as I could, and got about to the middle when I felt like I was starting to lose my balence.

My intentions were either to:

1. Stand still, regain my balence and stop the bouncing


2. Sit down on the log and inch along on my butt, if that's what it came down to.

So, I stopped moving along the log, but it kept bouncing (Damn Newton and his laws of motion!). And I had to keep moving, counterbalancing to stay on the log. So I decided to go with option 2. I sat down, straddling the log, for all of a split second. The bouncing was enough that I got pitched over. Luckily I grabbed on with my arms and locked my legs together, but there I was, hanging upside-down like an opossum on a log over the water.

At this point, I figured even if I did somehow manage to get on the top of the log, I'd still have to make it the rest of the way across, so I just dropped my legs into the water and waded the rest of the way across.

Oh, and I must mention while all this was going on, Brent was safe and dry, already across the stream, trying to encourage me while I yelled at him to shut up and let me concentrate. Good times.

After hauling myself out of the water and checking to see that I wasn't majorly injured (I had some "tree burn" on my right arm and leg from when I flipped, but luckily didn't break skin. If that log still had bark, it'd be a much different story) I burst out laughing. I was soaked from the waist down. My waterproof boots were squishing since they filled up from the top. And I must have looked so hilarious hanging upside down from that stupid log.

To Brent's credit, he somehow managed to hold back his laughter until I started laughing. If the roles were reversed, I probably would have had a more difficult time.

We completed the loop, with me periodically laughing and shaking my head at my own stupidity. When we had to cross that stream on the way back, too. I just forded right in.


Blogger Jay said...

Dana, I am going on a backpacking trip in Olympic National Park for about 5 days next week, and I can only hope that falling in a creek is my worst encounter. As this is my first major attempt at such an expedition, my main goal is to not get eaten by a bear.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Oso- No worries about the bears...they don't eat their own kind!!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Aha, good point! I hadn't thought about that! Gracias, Isabell!

(I really hope I remember correctly, otherwise I'm a jerk...)

9:42 AM  

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