Sunday, April 30, 2006
Where to start? Thursday night....nothing much happened. Had a beer, watched a movie, went to bed.
The fun began on Friday. Headed down to Corvalis with a few people (two of whom were checking out the DUCKS and their uni) to spend a couple/few hours wandering around a large-ish campus. What a sight that was! A sunny warm day, the first real good one in months, it reminded me of my days in college when the sun finally broke thru the midwest gray and the girls we didn't know existed burst forth in skimpy clothing to soak up the rays (these were the worst days for enduring hours of engineering gab). This day was quite similar, only now I felt an aversion of my eyes was necessary so as to not be a perv (can I really now be seen as an old lech? Sad days have fallen). Nothing else of consequence took place on campus. I felt old, the greek system still annoys, and the engineering sector is still not the place to be.
Academia took its toll, and we headed for the hills. Literally (maybe here they call them mountains, the Cascades I believe, but they ain't no mountains!). A hike proceeded towards the highest point in the Cascades (a whopping 4,000-some footer); a nicely graded path, winding thru lots of greenery and awesome trees. I was given a crash course in the foliage by the two nature-dorks in our party. Pretty cool, actually. In fact, we even ate some of the tasty scenery!
Towards the peak, however, things got dicey. Snow had not yet melted from the high plains, and we had to pick and choose our way across the white sludge. This was effortless for myself and M, but the 2 girls, Florida 'natives', had a bit more trouble. Once they transcended the, "Oh my gosh! This is crazy/amazing/freezing/slippery/ack!", M and I ceased laughing and pelting them with snowballs, and on we climbed. Gray clouds began rolling over the blue sky, blotting out the sun. A freezing wind kicked up and our sparse clothing was found to be lacking in warmth. Snow began to fall. A mountain goat tumbled down the scree, it's neck broken and strange teeth marks in its hide. The girls got scared; I hunkered down to think.
"How the hell are we going to get out of here? Think Eagle Scout, think!"
Think I did. Then into action I flew. My trust leatherman tumbled out of its sheath, almost of its own accord, and together we assailed the newly carcassed goat, cleaving its hide from flesh. Using the hide, my spare boot laces, a few vines and a clump of masticated fern (and the LM, of course) I whipped out 2 fairly decent parkas. Fortunately it was cold enough that La Vegan accepted its warmth.
For M and I, the tender flesh of the ex-goat became parka (thanks to the help of trusty intestine, lava rock and urine). So as not to waste our Salvation Animal, we each took a leg for use as walking sticks. The heart was a tasty treat for energy and I stuck the horns on my head to provide some comic humor (always important in dangerous situations)
Thus attired and fortified, we struck out for the car. It was tough going. On one particularly treacherous snow field crossing, K lost her feet and began sliding head over a teakettle for the jumbled mass of rocks 100 feet below. Doffing my meat suit, I took chase. As I began to overtake her, I dug in my heels, grabbed her hands, and earned her undying praise and devotion (A bit awkward, really). The other two made their way down to us, and we bypassed several switchbacks in the process.
Finally the car came into view thru the blowing leaves (the snow had died out earlier on, but the wind was so fierce that it seemed as though spring and summer had been skipped, proceeding directly to fall. yaaay) and we breathed sighs of relief. Too soon.
Our Fresh-Kill outfits had not failed to attract attention. A black bear sow and her 2 cubbies blocked our way, desiring all things meat. The girls quivered. M collapsed, but not before passing me his Billy-Goat Leg Walking Stick and mumbling the words: "Avenge me, my Liege!" Armed with what now had become lethal BCL Clubs, I advanced, taunting that stupid sow and her idiotic progeny.
BAM! Out go the lights on one cub. A swift kick to his spine finished the job.
BAM! BAM! Down goes number two. I kick her for my own satisfaction.
Now Big Mamma Bear. Swirling my clubs as she sliced the air with her razor sharp claws we slammed together sending out shock waves that knocked down the surrounding trees. Flailing furiously we brawled and rolled and bled and sliced and beat each other...I managed to yell at the others to run to the security of the Saturn and get it started. This they did with all due haste. A particularly vicious blow to my sternum almost knocked me out. I fought the encrouching waves of darkness and rolled to the side just as the Bear's Elbow slammed into the ground. As the bear bitch whined over a bruised leg, I took the opportunity to leap off the lowest limb of a tree and knock her out. All three bruins were rolling and returning to consciousness as I fell into the Saturn and we rocketed down the hill.
A tough day, let me tell you.
On a good note, we stopped for a beverage before mounting I-5 NB and I got the tastiest mocha!