Have you ever done something that you though was going to be totally awesome, and then it turned into a total nightmare? Well… that happened to me last Friday.
Being the sort of ‘odd’ female that I am, I enjoy archery. Archery’s one of my favorite things to do. And I like to go bowhunting, although I haven’t had too much luck with that ever. 🙂 I’ve been hunting since I was 12 years old and haven’t ever gotten a thing. But I don’t care… what I love about bowhunting is hiking into the beautiful mountains and sitting in nature for hours on end while you wait for something to happen. It’s a wonderful experience and I love it.
Well, I live in Utah these days, and I don’t know too much about these here parts… so I found myself a guide. Someone who knows where to go to go hunting around here. And hunting season opened last week. So, I went out on Friday to go hunting, fully expecting it to be really easy and fun, like it normally is.
I have never been more wrong in my life.
We went up Diamond Fork Canyon, and it was pretty, though the road was really narrow and had lots of turns and the guide drove really fast, which freaked me out a lot. But it was okay. I didn’t get carsick or anything. Anyway, so we get to our destination, get out of the truck and proceed to hike down a fairly vertical drop. It wasn’t bad. Then we crossed a really fast river (scary!!!), but not so bad. Then I realized I should probably use my inhaler (I have asthma), since so far the journey was a little strenuous. It wasn’t too bad though. So, we went up, found out the place we were going didn’t have any water anymore and then it got dark and we started back home. So far, it hadn’t been so bad. A little hard, but I was doing just fine.
So it starts getting dark. And we’re doing okay… downhill trip all the way now. We cross the river in a different place this time. In the dark. And it’s deeper here. I was so scared I was going to fall in and be swept away… it was really freaky. But we got across just fine. And that’s when the nightmare started. Apparently, we were about a mile in some direction of the truck. And the guide hadn’t been to this part before, though he knows his directions, and so was sure he could get us back. So, we start climbing a nearly vertical hill. This is where it’s bad. It’s dark. And when you’re clinging to plants and climbing up them, you can’t really have your flashlight out to see what you’re grabbing. I grabbed several stinging nettles, nearly slipped into the water like 3 times, and this is really strenuous, so my asthma starts acting up. I’m clinging, literally, to the mountainside, hanging onto plants and desperately hoping that I get to somewhere where I can stand and use my inhaler. Luckily, my husband is fantastic and kept watch over me… he helped me climb up that treacherous mountainside (which took me like 30 minutes or so).
But don’t think it’s over yet… oh no, now we have to go across the mountainside. At this point, we’re following an elk or deer trail, on this pretty much vertical slope, with all sorts of bushes and tree limbs grabbing at me. I’m already scared that I’ve probably killed my baby by climbing up the mountain, and I still have to stop every ten minutes to breathe. I easily lost my footing several times, and grabbed several more stinging nettles. Not to mention, I gathered like 500 little burrs all over my clothes… that was quite annoying. So we continue on, in the dark, for quite a while. My husband is smart enough to carry my bow for me (I’d have lost it somewhere otherwise). And it’s not so bad. But then we have to go up again. ARGH! Grabbing roots and branches and hauling myself up again is no fun. Then we go across the mountain again, and we get into a thick thick set of pine trees. Oh. My. Gosh. I have NEVER hated something SO MUCH in my life. There is so much deadfall and underbrush in these trees that I fall every five minutes, stabbing myself in the leg and side with dead tree branches… spiderwebs are everywhere… I’ve got dirt in my shoes and the bushes are scratching my ankles…. oh it’s bad. And so slow.
And then my husband says he can see the road! Except… it’s on the other mountainside… not the one we’re on, but the one directly across from us. I pretty much died then. I still can’t breathe, I’ve got stinging nettles in my hands, scratches, burrs, bruises and I’m about to break down and cry now. We have to go DOWN again? And then back UP? And we’re still in the stupid pine trees. I just didn’t think I’d make it through this nightmare. And I couldn’t believe I had wasted all that time climbing up this stupid mountain, to have to go back down it and up another mountain.
Well, I made it somehow. It was bad. A fairly decent slope downwards (at this point I decided to slide on my butt where I could… and it worked pretty well, despite the deadfall.) but a horrific vertical slope again, up to the road. Luckily, my husband was behind me, pushing on my bum to get me up to the road. And I made it somehow. Our guide, being chivalrous, offered to go get the truck and come back and get us. I was fine with that. I just lay there on the roadside and breathed and felt like dying. I was so glad it was over. I ached everywhere… I was still cold from that stupid river, and I had thorns embedded in my hands. It was bad.
We got home at about midnight that night… and then I was exhausted… but I couldn’t sleep because I hurt all over and my chest ached. So I got up, got the computer out and made sure that Tylenol was safe to take while I was pregnant, and took some. Then I finally slept. And I slept pretty much all Saturday long as well.
Honestly though, this was the worst experience I’ve ever, ever had in my 21 years of existence. I will never do that again.