Saturday, September 11, 2010

Rock in my Backpack

“Grrr….Who put this rock in my pack? Dad, did you do it?” B began stomping around mad as a hornet trying to find out who put the 4-5 pound rock in her backpack.
After a three mile hike to the ocean and another two miles up the beach, my twelve year old daughter B was unloading her pack and discovered the extra weight. The last two miles particularly had been a bit hard trudging through the deep sand. Carrying that extra weight had bent B's disposition into the red zone. The rain had drizzled on and off for most of the way. All of us were a bit heavier from the damp clothing, and I couldn’t blame B for being mad. I was a bit ticked myself.
As soon as we hit the sand my five year old son refused to go any further, so to keep him walking, his backpack was hoisted on top of mine. A half mile latter I inherited my eight year old daughter’s backpack. My friend Buck had also inherited his youngest daughters backpack and these extra loads were now bungee corded to the top of our packs. As we slogged down the beach, Buck commented, “Do you feel a bit like a mule? Yip that’s all we are, mule dads.” The view must have been similar to two high rise buildings waddling up the beach. I dared not stoop or bend to far forward because the balance was askew and my core was doing everything to keep my top heavy pack from toppling me over.
It seemed longer than it was but we finally arrived at our campsite. We soon had all the tents pitched. Buck laughed at me for bringing my huge family dome tent. I reminded him I had brought me family. I found a nice log to rest a minute which was awesome.
The remainder of the trip was uneventful and this is where I should probably consider making up some lies to keep the story interesting. I read once that when the author feels his story begins to lag, it is a good idea to kill off one of the main characters. Well I have not introduced any characters in this story yet that I would be willing to kill. Maybe if B was writing the story she might feel differently.
That first night brought out a hoard of raccoons which of course forced me to accept the mission to kill at least two. Sadly, I was unable to kill even one. Is the story getting more interesting now? Not? Hmmmm…. I know raccoons just do what raccoons do and they can’t help it. I know it’s not really their fault God created them the way He did, but I really wanted them to go somewhere else and to do their raccoon’in behavior. Some would argue that I was the one invading their space. Now don’t get all new age’y on me. Remember I’m the guy who thought it was a good idea to shoot a rooster because I wanted a taxidermy subject. Scavengers during the night are what raccoons do but doesn’t that simply translate into being just lazy. Who respects that?
Sure the little bush balls are as cute as scaditch but who can see them at night? It’s dark out! Let’s think about this a minute. I know it is wrong to question God because I am just a mere human and being created myself but why would he make a cute animal and then make it nocturnal. If I was god I would keep all the ugly animals as the nocturnal ones. Maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on God after all He did get it right when he made the rat, the bat and the possum nocturnal. Gee, I wonder if God feels better that I at least partially approve.
The rain stopped and the sun came out but it never warmed enough for bathing suits or water play. I did abscond a few muscles from a rock formation at low tide. They made a nice treat for dinner one night. One more highlight was the pictographs up at the north end of the trail. I suppose they were made by the Makah Indian Tribe in times past. I found them a little less wonderful than the advertisement described.
Upon repacking to head home B was in for justice but it just did not seem possible. Buck kept repacking his pack and each time finding a huge rock hidden amongst his stuff. The sun was out and with our packs a little lighter, leaving a food offering for the night scavengers, we headed back up the trail. Everyone was in great spirits and laughing could be heard up and down the trial amongst the children. It took us a couple hours coming out to make it back to our vehicles. We had driven separate vehicles so we caravanned down highway 101 out of Forks. Being in the jovial all around good mood I made the decision to use an area designated for slower vehicles to zoom past Buck and wave bye bye. He of course within the next 10 miles did the same thing to me. B informed me that she didn’t think Jesus would have done such an illegal thing.
Pulling into Sequim I needed a quick stop at a mini-mart and being a rule breaker, YES! there were lots of open parking spaces but I pulled into the lone Handicapped space right up front. B informed me once again she didn’t think Jesus would do such a thing.
No other events worth mentioning happened on our return trip. The next day I talked with Buck and he laughed at that little B’ster because somewhere somehow when he unpacked his backpack, way down at the bottom was a huge 5 pound rock. I of course asked B if she thought Jesus would have done such a thing - - - no I didn’t - - - but I am pretty sure He would have.


Unknown said...

Sounds like a lovely trip :)
From what I've learn, you have to hoist all food up a tree with a rope to prevent the critters touching them. At least the ones which cannot climb anyway :)

Pat said...

So what I'm getting is that you think God has a sense of humor. So do I.
I also think that B was smart beyond her years.

Shrinky said...

"..Remember I’m the guy who thought it was a good idea to shoot a rooster because I wanted a taxidermy subject.." Ye Gods, what kinda' blog have I tripped into here?? (Guilty giggle) I think both B and her brother are bound to go far. Lovely account of a family trip well worth sharing, thanks for taking us along.

Anonymous said...

Was your blog the inspiration behind my ‘Little Choco’ series? Did I discover your blog around the same time I started writing that? I don’t remember. But the ability to reminisce so beautifully and effortlessly.. Making it seem like a story rather than some strangers life.. No one does it as beautifully as you do.
And now that I have been all nice…
Cats ARE mostly nocturnal AND super cute! And God must be mad now for not blessing Grayquill with night vision… :D
Ps: Its rock episodes like these that bless little children with a sense of humor.. :)

betty said...

Sounds like a fun trip. Love the story about the rock.

Grayquill said...

Shadowthorne: Oh yeah, we hoist our food but raccoon will eat anything that was dropped or left out. They are quite capable little animals. Their paws are more like hands then paws.

Pat: I hope He has a sense of humor. : >)

Shrinky: I am glad you decided to stop bye – thanks.

Choco: You are way to kind…Thanks. I suspect your little Choco series was inspired by the big Choco who has many fun experiences to tell. And of course we are all want to know how little Choco became the unique big Choco.

Grayquill said...

Betty: Thank you, and thanks for stopping by.

Amrita said...

God i s my heavenly mule Dad- He bears my burden.

Reminds me of what Jesus said

Come unto me all ye who labor and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you an d learn of me, for my load is easy an d my burden is light.

Hilary said...

Amusing story for sure. I'm going to make a raccoon lover out of you one day, I hope. Frank and I spent last week getting to know an adorable kit named Binky. She made a point of climbing into one of our laps at nap time. If a baby raccoon fell asleep in your arms.. you'd be smitten for sure. ;)

Frank Baron said...

Any time spent in natural settings complete with kids and critters is time well spent. Your kids will always remember it and hopefully, they'll spend similar time with their own someday.

Blunt Edges said...

So if ever I have to make a story interesting, all I have to do is kill off a character ha? **Notes down the point**

Arkansas Patti said...

Well you managed to hold my interest completely and you didn't have to kill anything off. Way to go GQ. Loved the image of the stacked backpacks.
Fun story and a trip I am sure each remembers for different reasons.

Wanda..... said...

Thanks for sprinting over from Patti's blog...there is no 'black snake story' on the blog, but there is a video of a black snake climbing a tree, if you want to come back and watch it:

Meanwhile...I'll be following your great blog!

Debra said...

Loved reading this story GQ! Beautifully written. Especially enjoyed your take on "nocturnal".

"If I was god I would keep all the ugly animals as the nocturnal ones."

Couldn't help but think, is THAT why God has had me work for the last 30 years on the night shift? LOL! Just had to give you a hard time about that one!

Blessing GQ hope you and Mrs.GQ have a great Sunday.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

I am always amused at the brilliance of kids for getting what they want.
We often underestimate what they really see and understand. I bet they all knew what you didn't. Wasn't it Moses who began "Thou shall not .."?The mule theme is humorous,especially now that there's a theory that they are quiet bright. Thanks for stopping by my post. Your comment is very touching and heartfelt.

Grayquill said...

Amrita: Nice

Hilary: You might be right but I cannot visualize any possible circumstance where your scenario would play out. I will say you might become a raccoon hater when one of them decides to stop being nice.

Frank: That is a nice thought – I will hope for it.

Blunt Edges: I am glad to be the conduit for passing along something useful :)

Arkansas Patti: Whew…I am so happy. Killing I am sure needs to be a last resort. :)

Wanda: I checked out your snake. They grow’em big there and lonnnnng.

Debra: The rule doesn’t count for beautiful nurses.

KleinsteMotte: Yeah, kids have a secret language and it might be telepathic. They also usually have you out numbered.

Bill S. said...

Fantastic post. I also sometimes wonder why God did certain things. Maybe we will find out. Also I am reminded from time to time that Jesus wouldn't do what I do. I am glad that I am mortal and not half-a-god.

Thanks for your comments.

Nezzy (Cow Patty Surprise) said...

Oh this was great! It reminded me of Geek Son when he was little, always collectin' rocks. He came home from kindergarten on day when lifitin' his heavy backpack from his tiny back I asked, "what do you have in here, Rocks??? "Yep", he answered, "Mrs.Smith wanted to get rid of all the rocks I'd taken to show and tell."

Isn't it great to know that God will never load our load heavier than we can bare? :o)

Ya'll have a marvelously blessed day!!!

~mel said...

I just became a blog follower ~ I've been sitting here drinking a BIG cup of coffee while reading and totally ENJOYING your blog. Thanks for sharing!

Grayquill said...

Bill S: Thanks for stopping by. Questioning is often our way, I do it often. It sounds like you do to. BTW-who is your Jesus conscious? One of your grandchildren?

Nezzy: I loved your comment and the picture it painted. That is a great mini-story. Geek son must be all boy. Thanks for stopping by.

Mel: That is an awful nice compliment – Thanks!

Sh@s said...

You are an amazing story-teller i must say. It made an interesting read though you didn't literally kill any character. I am curious to know who kept those rocks in the bag? I guess that calls for another post and another story... :)