Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I was eaten by a lobo and spat out a new man

Seldom do we get the chance to escape the routine of urban life. Sunday, I took that chance and ran with it. Me and my girl hiked three miles up a steep trail, carrying 40 lbs of gear, and an abundance of adventure. The bags were so heavy that the initial ten steps taken were a test of our heart and courage. It would have been easy to say never, to give up on our adventure, and chalk it up to a "good try, better luck next time". No, we decided to keep going; no matter how much our shoulders ached, no matter how uncomfortable it was, and no matter how many no's my mind could come up with, WE KEPT GOING DAMN IT!
Because of our Sunday work schedule we were not able to start the hike until 5:30pm. We had to get to camp by 7pm at the very least, so that we could have some daylight left to gather wood and set up camp. We didn't want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere in total darkness. So we marched quickly, checking in with each other, and keeping conversation to a minimum due to the fact that heavy breathing took it's place. We got to camp in just under an hour, a time in which I am very proud of. It was a real testament of how strong willed the body can be when faced with ultimatums. Once at camp we took a minute to catch our breath and then immediately went to work in setting up the tent. When that was done, we went on to gather wood. While I was gathering wood I couldn't help to think about how life was back in the days. The endless chores of things to do and things to get done. People didn't have time to get depressed or to wonder about the meaning of their existence. They were just trying to survive one twig at a time. Every piece of wood I grabbed I gave a mental thanks to it for letting me use it for the fire. It sounds silly to thank wood, but I believe that every object has a life, and every object is part of the glory of God. The death of the wood sustains the fire, and for this it should be thanked. The gathering of wood ended with a stockpile of timber sure to last us all night. There was still about 30 minutes left of daylight when we started the fire and began to eat our supper. It consisted of mini hot dogs as appetizers, rice and tuna for our dinner, and roasted marshmallows for dessert. We were set, or so we thought. It wasn't long after night fell that the lobos started howling. Initially me and my girl got real tense because although they sounded off to the distance, they sounded as if they were headed towards our camp. So we kept a sharp look out for them. Shinning the flash light at every ruffle of leaves around us. Most noises were made by rabbits or rats, but it was scary nonetheless. An hour had passed since we last heard the pack of lobos. So we began not to worry so much about them and enjoy our time together. We played music and talked about the importance of moments like this one. The importance of the break of urban routine. Out there in the wilderness you feel human again. We were wild long ago, and now I fear society has been tamed by ambition. It's important to progress, to have technology, to communicate with the world at lightning speeds, but it is also important to remain human. It's great to be interconnected, to have modern social applications such as twiter, and facebook. But it seems to me that these applications are used to acquire shallow objectives. We are officially in the "me" society. Pay attention to me, look at me, comment me, add me! We are the sheep bleating away one post at a time. Now here in the wilderness, I was what we used to be, the sheep bleating away wildly happily at being one with nature. Then, we heard them again. The lobos. Now their howls and chatter were even closer than before. We immediately put more wood in the fire, I picked up my axe and she her wooden weapon and braised for impact. We looked around, but saw nothing. At this moment I ceased to be Camilo the city boy, and became Camilo the human. Protecting my beloved was followed by the thought of seeking shelter. So we hid in the tent, looking out for any lobos through the cracks of our meshed window. There we stayed and sat for a few minutes. I immediately drifted into fantasy of what was to come if the lobos appeared. I had a game plan. I was going to turn the radio up all the way and make caveman like instinctual noises to scare them away. I was getting excited thinking about it. If they attacked the tend and we were in danger, I would wait it out until finaly it was absolutely necessary to give them a few good wacks with my hand axe. I was not going to loose my life or my beloveds life because of them. I just didn't want to take it to that place, I didn't want to spend my "relaxing" day off dismembering lobos. Needless to say, the never showed. We fell asleep, occasionally waking up to the sounds of the lobos near the camp. I said a prayer and they went away as quickly as they came. We woke in the morning drained, but grateful to have survived the night. We made breakfast and packed our things. As we headed back to civilization I thought of our mini escape from society. How we left it all behind to spend time with the animals and each other. I earned a new respect for my girlfriend. I learned how blessed I am to be with her, a strong spirit who never caved in to fear. Who was also able to carry her own weight without ever saying never. I also earned a new found respect for me. I had the courage to stand up, be a man, and protect my girl. Even though they never showed, they did in my imagination, and I was ready for them. I was ready to fight for survival if needed to. It's interesting when you watch action movies or scary movies, you always fell a sense of danger. But with it also comes a sense of safety. The movie can't jump out of the T.V screen and hurt you. No matter how advanced 3D technology gets, it will never happen. Lawyers just wouldn't allow it. But out here in the woods, there was no pause button, no turning off of anything. We couldn't turn off the sounds of the lobos, or the critters making the brushy noise near the tent. We had to endure it. Our only safety was found within ourselves and each other.