Thursday, April 9, 2009

It Pays to Watch Adventure Films

Sorry about the picture disconnect, but I just haven't bothered to illustrate this latest escapade (which is entirely true).

Alternate Title: the Joke's on Me

We've had snow, tons of snow. 12 inches of snow in the woods that by yesterday sank down to 6 inches of slush. So I was wearing knee high rubber boots. This is important, as without the slush, I would not have donned the boots, and without the boots I would not have decided to go wandering about off trail in the valley along the Vivian Creek stream bed. Some of you may already know where this is going by now...
It was a lovely day for a walk, sunny and warm, but after slogging through 12 inches of snow for 5 k the day before, my calves were sore, really sore. I wanted to take a shortcut. I realized that wearing knee high boots gave me a freedom to explore that I don't have wearing other footwear (I'm like a cat, not liking wet feet--see, now I've tied in the illustration!). So I began wandering, in dog-like serpentines through a part of the woods that is always too wet for walking. This was fun, something like puddle-jumping, only soggier and slower, as I stepped into pans of damp hummus. They got wider and darker and all the more enticing when I saw green things growing (swamp marigold, I think). Ankle deep, I stooped to investigate. They were nestled in a thick bed of jet black muck and sphagnum moss (rather pretty and not the least bit smelly). The moss should have been a clue, but by then it was too late. I was already stuck, having sunk in to the top of my boots. My attempts at leaving made things worse (I didn't try hard, I've seen the movies you know).
So I stopped.
See, if I learned anything at all watching those movie heroes caught in quicksand, I knew that whatever you do, you must not struggle. So I didn't.
I carefully tried one more step, and sunk a bit more.
I had visions of awaiting rescue emersed up to my thighs in black sucking muck--not good.
Vaguely I remembered that lying horizontal to distribute your weight is a good idea but not one I entirely trusted. I pried a rotten log from the bog and moved it to convenient position, sort of a security log, something to hang onto in case I started sinking. While having visions of me hanging on one handed, while the rest of me sank up to my eyeballs in muck, I cast myself across the log, and attempted, once again to move a boot. It was like a concrete anchor. I did, however, manage to slide my foot out of the boot. There I was, face first in puddle, in socks. I was pretty glad I managed this much (I was alone) but the idea of walking another kilometre through slush and muck in socks was highly unappealing. So crawled up on the log, turned about, and there I was, kneeling and saying prayers to my sinking boots. And they were brand new boots too, so what I that bought them at Walmart; I payed good money for those boots. I wanted them back.
No amount of yanking at their slick and muddy edges budged them even a little. Back to those visions of walking out in my socks.
Time to stop, and think again. Assess the situation--I did have a dog with me, which meant I also had a dog leash.
Feeling like Indiana Jones, I crawled forward and slipped the leash through the drawstring of the nearest boot, and hauled. With a plurp, it flew free of the sucking muck. The other one, further away involved lying flat and hand crawling over, elbows and hands in the muck. Let's just say that by the time I was done, I resembled tar-baby just a little. But I had two wet (inside and out) black boots to don and black hands that smelled like summer woods in the rain.
The moral of the story, Don't Get Cocky.
Of course, not walking in boggy areas is another one.
On a serious note: yes, the Hollidge Track has real sink holes, and yes, you can get stuck, really stuck.

PS. Yes, I know. This one awards me the Stupid Award. I can't believe I was dum enough to do that, as in, of all people, I should have known better. On the other hand, it took me a very long time to stop laughing.
Image: life drawing, coloured pencil on 5x7 sketchbook.


Audrey said...

I'm glad you were laughing because I was roaring with laughter. That's the best read I've had in ages. I could clearly picture you in your struggles. I'm past the age where I would be wandering through the woods in the Spring but will commit your experience to memory. I often learn my lessons through the grace of others.

kaslkaos said...

Thanks for chiming in. It's funny because I too am well past the age of mud-puddling! I loved the way you worded your last line, erm...thanks ;-)

Jennifer Rose said...

>.< i shouldn't laugh >.<

glad you managed to rescue the boots :D never been near a sink hole in the woods. a couple on the beach that thankfully we not that deep (and I only lost a sock :p and the dog got the other one....).

kaslkaos said...

Oh, go ahead, laugh.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Yup... I can't help myself... LMOA!!

Cat-in-a-Box said...

Thank you, thank you! I needed a good chuckle.. and that is just the kind of thing I do all the time.. it always seems like a good idea when you start.

I figure either things work out well in life, or you have a good story to tell... and you are such a good storyteller, thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a harrowing story. You stayed so calm. It was darn cold too this time of year. Thanks for the reminder about soft muck in the woods this time of year. I just read a small article in the Toronto Star about girls exploring the Don Valley Bluffs area and getting stuck in muck. One girl was up to her waist in it. They needed rescuing to get out of it. -- Lone R

kaslkaos said...

Cat-in-a-box, you are correct. The first thing I thought once I got out of there was Blog Post! Blog Post! Of course, by then, it was too late to take pictures...
Lone R, I'm sure I would have lost my calm if I was stuck to the waist, yikes! & Creepy! Not funny for them.
But for me, it really was funny--I should have known better, and luckilly, I guess I knew what to do too.
Michelle, always glad to share some fun. There's never enough laughter in the world.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin