a distant memory~hiking Mt. Si
Just last night, I was reminising of stories from long ago, from when I was younger. To my my surprize, on the fax machine this morning is the very story I was thinking of!!! Sent by my parents~ they found it in the attic while cleaning....how strange!
It is a true story of my sister, my cousin, a boyfriend & me (my sisters boyfriend) this occurred days long ago, almost a distant memory... a Sunday afternoon, feeling the need to do something different...the four of us headed out for an adventure...this is my sisters' interpretation, she wrote for a class project...
The long and grueling forest trail seemed it would go on forever. Climbing Mt Si near North Bend, Washington, seemed easy enough for our FIRST hiking expedition. The trail is well-traveled and thousands of people have gone before. Unfortunately, our novice mountaineering adventure was already too burdensome on our feet and legs.
"I've got to rest again" gasped Heidi. She looked pale and tired.
"I sold a pint of blood yesterday to pay my Nordstrom bill and I'm feeling a little weak."
My companion and I studied her face. She looked at us with her big blue eyes as if to say, "I'm sorry."
"We might as well kiss this hike good-bye!" retorted Richard, "We're not going to make it up the mountain in time!" I could see the blood rushing to his face, brooding in anger, he kept walking.
"Oh well, we will go as far as we can." said my sister with an ambitious look in her eyes. Izabella's remark surprized me. I was delighted to see her feeling so lively.
We travelled on for what seemed like hours and finally the trail ascended the timberline. We finally had reached the crest of the mountain. We stood near the cliff and looked at the view.
"Oh, how breathtaking! Look at that mountain goat! standing so firmly on that rock, it was the first sight we saw as we reached the top. "And how do you think these seashells got all the way to the top of this 4000 foot mountain!?" Izabella looked puzzled, then she turned and said "It's freezing up here, it must be 35 degrees! as we are all in our lil shorts and tank tops.
It was getting very late, it took way too long for us to reach the top. Richard looked panicked and said "We better start getting down from this mountain" he started practically running.
We started our way down into the cool, dim forest, after what seemed a couple of hours, the woods began to get dark (we had no flashlight, no gear of any sort) I could feel the tension and anxiety that each of us were feeling, but no one said a word. I was mostly concerned about having one book of matches with few left in it. Finally someone spoke.
"I figured we would reach the bottom before it started getting dark." remarked Heidi, with a solemn look on her face.
"Me too." Izabella replied, " My feet and my knees are in pain, I don't think I can make it much further!"
"If you can make it this far, you can surely finish! Remind me to never climb a mountain with 3 girls again!" Richard replied
By this time, there was much tension between us, I found myself thinking about surviving over night in the woods, possibly freezing to death and dreaming of breaking my engagement with this 25 year old whiner of a boyfriend.
"Isn't that the trail directly below us?" Izabella asked
"Yep! Lets head straight down the mountain to the trail below & that will save us some time." replied Richard
We reached the path below and found this would definately save us time, we felt relieved, we did this a few times, but on the 5th attempt we didn't find the path. We all laughed and pretended everything was fine. We soon found ourselves hurdling fallen trees and rushing through the labrynth of logs and bushes in hopes of finding the trail. It was getting so dark, inside I was panicking and I know the others were too!
"Did you hear that!?" I asked with a jitter in my voice.
"Uh huh" my sister Izabella replied with a paralized look on her face.
Adrenaline rushed through my body as I listened to the vicious growls and barking echoeing through the trees. I felt weightless.
"It's a pack of wild dogs!" Izabella proclaimed with her eyes bulging with fear.
"Oh my Lord, help us!" Hiedi screamed, "They are getting closer!" My cousing the ex-cheerleader, didn't seem to cheerful anymore. She looked fragile and desperate.
We searched each others faces for a quick solution. Izabella looked at me and I looked at Richard, non of us had a clue of what do to, we were panick sticken and it was almost dark and the dogs sounded like they were even closer. I turned and started running back up the steep mountain. I desperately searching for a tree to climb, but all the branches were too high. Everyone was following me, and I don't know why.
"Why are you guys following me!? Go climb a tree quick!"
"Oh, I suppose your going to sit in that tree by yourself and watch us get mauled to death by this pack of wild dogs! Izabella was livid, yet she was screaching with fear.
"Well what makes you think you can beat these dogs with that LOG you are holding!" I snapped, "that thing probably weighs more than you!" My ninety three pound sister looked so helpless. I wondered how she even carried that huge thing, this far back up the mountain, adrenaline I guess.
The three of them were gathered at the bottom of my precious tree, none of us spoke, we must have all have been imaging being torn to bits by these, frothing at the mouth animals...what a way to die I thought.
After about a half hour & listening to the dogs barking, Richard spoke, "Everyone else grab a stick, Izabella you need to find a smaller one, something you can beat down these dogs with! We need to head back down the mountain, we can't stay here all night!"
In the darkness, we searched the forest floor for our sticks, finally with our sticks in hand we headed back down the mountain, ready to battle these vicious animals. I was certain these were the last moments of my life. I imagined dagger-sharp teeth gnawing my arms and face apart and realized that I would probably die slowly.
"There's the path!" yelled Richard
"Oh thank you sweet Jesus!" Heidi replied
Once on the path, I felt a sense of relief, but the dogs were still howling. Fear swept over me again, and I prepared myself for battle. Beyond, in the darkness, I saw them! There were six of them! They were wolf like dogs that were ferocious and ready to kill!
These man-eating dogs were chained up behind a fence at the Ranger Station! We were at the bottom of the mountain the whole time~