Monday, September 10, 2007

Hidden Lake

We went hiking again yesterday. The day started off interestingly enough, getting totally lost trying to find our trail head. We where on some crazy one-laned narrow as hell mountainous dirt road, going nowhere for several miles when we finally found a spot wide enough to turn around and just get out of there. The trees where so thick, that it was dark in the middle of the day. I kind of felt like we where driving into a horror movie. I was waiting for some mutant red necks to jump out and hack us all up. Once we got out of there, we gave up on the Ramona Falls trail, and headed to one down the street, Hidden Lake. Hidden Lake was a bit difficult at first, steep switchback climbs. Halen and I where both huffing and puffing. It eventually leveled out and was pleasant for everyone. We had to find an ingenious way to carry Halen for awhile, wedged between Dan and the backpack. It looked pretty cozy, I don't think I would have fit though, especially with this ever-protruding belly of mine. When we got close to the lake, the air started smelling like blueberry pop tarts. It was amazing. It made me real hungry. There where lots of huckleberries around. Dan wouldn't let me try one because we weren't sure that's what they where. Later, another family came up, saw them, and said, "ooh, Huckleberries, and started picking and eating them." After that, I tried one. I didn't tell Dan though. He's berry paranoid. It wasn't very good, too sour. We had a nice picnic lunch by the lake. It was super clear, with little fish swimming around. Halen almost fell asleep cuddling with Dan, but Bruce's rambunctiousness kept that from happening. Halen loves hiking. He wants to climb onto every rock and walk atop every fallen tree. He always points at the big trees all around and says, "Haynen's trees." He currently pronounces his name with an N instead of an L. It's weird because he's getting pretty good at pronouncing his L's correctly now. They always sounded like W's in other words though. Just in his name, it's an N.
I've become completely paranoid of mountain lions. After our last hike, I realized that we didn't know anything about the local wildlife population. I didn't know if there where bears here, and if so, grizzlies or just black? What about mountain lions and wolves? I did an internet search and found all the info I needed on the national wildlife website. There are black bears, mountain lions, and wolves. The wolves never attack humans. The black bears very very rarely do, you have to pretty much piss them off and be the one to start the fight (i don't think i'll try that). The mountain lions though, there are a few too many mountain lion attack stories online for my liking. Those buggers are smart and fast. Fortunately, they're not even in the Mt. Hood National Forest, where we've done all our hiking so far. They're more in the coastal ranges. Actually, there is only one report in all of Oregon of a mountain lion encounter, and the authorities say they think it was probably really just a bobcat. There was no attack, just a scared person. Supposedly, as long as the people aren't sprawling too much into mountain lion territory and their wildlife foodsource is plentiful, humans will never see one. Oregon still seems to be safe in that way, but I read a few too many official reports. I don't feel safe right now, in my living room. I think mountain lions are my new irrational fear, the old one being werewolves. My aunt and I saw a mountain lion in the wild. We where safely enclosed in the car, driving down a dirt road in the Arizona Anchas mountains. We where in high desert mountains, where there was hardly any brush on either side of us. This thing came out of nowhere, darted in front of us, and disappeared into nowhere. It was as stealth as anything could have been. It was only visible for a split second, disappearing into nothing. We stopped and looked for it. How could we not see it? It had been moving so fast, surely there'd be a hint of it in all that open space. I felt lucky to have seen one in the wild. I guess I still do. Back then, I didn't even consider it being a possible threat to me, and spent the next several days hiking around the same areas we saw the thing. Now, when I think back on it, I get the chills. I think motherhood has made me a bit more cautious in the wild, and in every other aspect as well. That's enough blogging for now. Time for a samwich (that's a Halen pronunciation).

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