Friday, November 30, 2012

Never leave your gear outside of the tent at night

    Hiking in Olympic National Park in Washington I spraining my ankle about 10 miles in, so my boyfriend and I decided to cancel our trip and hike back out to the trailhead we started from. On our last night in the backcountry, camped in Grand Valley near the ranger station, we were warned by the ranger that there were mountain goats in the area that harass campers. We were told to yell at them to scare them off, we could even hear other campers in the distance yelling "GET OUT OF HERE!" throughout the day and into the evening.

    That night I woke to a noise right outside my side of the tent, assuming it was a mountain goat I unzipped the door and looked around, no goat. As I was about to zip up the tent and go back to sleep the light I was holding crossed over my trekking pole sitting just outside the tent door. In an instant I realized there was only ONE pole on the ground, at one point I had two... Looking around again I noticed a deer standing in some tall grass a few yards away. I shined the light at him and as I did he raised his head to look at me with, YEP, my  other trekking pole hanging out of his mouth! Well, I had a sprained ankle and was in no condition to race out of the tent to save my trekking pole. So I started throwing some small rocks at him while yelling to "GIVE ME BACK MY POLE!" However, this did not work, instead the deer started to walk away, trekking pole dangling out of his mouth by the strap. Luckily all the noise I was making woke Eric, who ran out of the tent and saved my trekking pole from the deer. From then on I have never left anything outside the tent and I never got a new strap for my trekking pole, I kept the chewed up one as a reminder of what happened the night I forgot my trekking poles outside plus looking down at it makes me laugh.

"A day without laughter is a day wasted."
Charlie Chaplin

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