Sunday, July 4, 2010

Deer and the Common Man

I wrote about stalking deer (watching them closely) in my more philosophical blog

It reminded me of the story Hawkeye told Rainmaker and me when we shared an evening campsite on the Pacific Crest Trail.

We had climbed high onto the crest where there was no water. Below, a lovely river wound its way through the valley. As is the custom of
this 2, 658 mile trail from Mexico to Canada, one may cross water but very very seldom actually hike near it. "Always seeking the Crest" is it's motto.

Anyways, after scrounging for water from some intermittent drip on the side of a mountain while looking for a campsite, we finally cleared a spot of rocks and set up the tent. Rainmaker cooking by one tree, me by another, suddenly we hear profanity of interesting proportions. Coming up the trail, just out of view, a fellow long distance hiker.

Seeing us, he looked shocked, then happy. We all burst out laughing, and he set up camp.

Now Hawkeye is a tarp man. Lay down the tarp, set the gear around it, cover with tarp if it rains, much like a tortilla.

The conversation drifted around until we got to most feared creatures on the trail. Then Hawkeye told of the night he and a friend were camped just as we all were now: a couple in a tent, those two guys on their respective tarps. His friend had eaten supper, washed the pot, set it to the side.

Darkness fell, all slept. Until. Until a strange snorting, a pot being kicked, then a creature, turns out it was a deer, startled kicked back. The head of Hawkeye's friend was in the path of lashing hooves. Blood poured out, and the man was in grave danger.
Hawkeye asked the other people on site to watch over the injured man while he quickly hiked 6 miles for help. Rangers eventually came, and the man was evacuated.

After the story was told silence fell as we pondered the implications. Maybe the feds should require a Head Canister to protect us from deer.

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