Monday, August 6, 2012

I Could Have Died

Maxwell Lake
Okay, the title is a bit dramatic and not exactly true.  But I'm channeling my inner headline grabbing newspaper. 

The truth:  I spent the week trekking around the mountains in Northeastern Oregon with my brothers, my neice and nephew.  We get together up there every summer, but this year we decided we would test our skills against the high lakes (rather than just hang out in the campground the whole time).

Easy to smile when you don't carry a pack
Mine was a big fail. I practically starved with my meager supplies of vegan/vegetarian food.  I would totally fail in a post apocalyptic society - in the world that I built for my last book, SILO.  Unless they valued my gardening skills and my mad abilities to throw together delicious meals.  Keep that in mind if the shizz goes down, please.  And make a place for me in your compound. 

See the picture of the smiling kids?  And those logs behind them on the waterfall?  We had to walk over those.  The first hike was the brutal one.  The 8 switchbacks were nothing compared to the last mile straight up.  We were crawling in some areas because there was no way to make it standind up with a 25 pound pack on your back.
The kids soaking their feet
 While the kids soaked their feet, we set up camp. 

Don't tell my younger brother, but I think my nephew may be taking after me.  He pulled out the worms and said into the box, "Sorry, guys, but we have to use you now." 

Then his little apology turned into anger when he watched his dad cut one in half.  He kept watching the wriggling side of the worm that was left and yelling, "DAD! You shouldn't have done that to him!  That was mean!"
My neice caught the first fish.  And the second.  She's quite the fisherwoman.  I had to take a stroll around the lake until they were done.  I hate everything about fishing because I look at it from the fish POV.  You're just enjoying life eating mosquitoes in a lake and suddenly spot a juicy worm.  Next, you're swallowing a hook and being pulled across the lake with the hook in your stomach.  Then, you can't breathe as you're pulled out of the water...well, you get the picture.  
I could hear them whacking the poor things on the head on the rocks across the lake. *shudder*
So they enjoyed their fish that night and I enjoyed my quinoa salad that I had prepacked.  They spent the week catching fish and small game while I did my best to avoid the killing, cleaning and cooking of the sentient creatures.  I would fail big time in a post apocalyptic society if I were required to catch and kill food.  I couldn't survive in the world that I built for my book SILO.  I guess that's why I write about it!

Despite the food issue, it was a gorgeous trip.  We had a blast, for the most part.  It feels good to push your body.  And I always love to hang out with my brothers in any setting!

What about you - could you survive in the worlds you have built in books?  Have you ever been backpacking? 


  1. Oh, you would so be in my compound! Don't worry, I'll catch and cook my own meat so long as you make all the side dishes.

    Sounds like you had an amazing trip! Welcome back!

  2. Haha! You totally have a place in my compound too, especially if you can grow things. We'd starve if anyone was counting on me to garden. Kill. Everything.

    Welcome back!

  3. I loved to fish as a kid but couldn't stand hooking the worm!

  4. Sorry you almost starved! I'd let you in my compound.
    Can't do fishing. Putting worms on hooks is disgusting and it's boring...

  5. I have never been backpacking, and I don't think I would like it too much. I love the outdoors, but I love a real bed with a mattress and sheets even more. :)

  6. I'd be okay-ish at the fishing part, though it's been years, but I'm more likely to *be* food than *get* food. Slow, delicious food :D

  7. I love camping. Didn't go this year, but usually, I have at least one camping trip per year. However, I do the lazy man's camping where there's a burger place within a ten minute drive. I wouldn't be good at catching my own food. If I had to live in those conditions, I would probably become a vegetarian. There is something very heartbreaking about catching something living, and then killing and eating it. I know all meat at some point had been a living animal, but when I don't have to watch it be killed, it's different.

  8. omg--this sounds like you had a blast! And I remember distinctly the first time I ever went fishing with worms. My g'mom hooked one and it BLED!!! OMG!!! That was it for me. I haven't ever been technically "backpacking," but I have been on hikes. And I think it's awesome that you attempted to conquer nature like this. I would also fail--LOL! But the point is to try. Great work~ ;p <3