Sunday, July 1, 2007

Waterfalls and Werebeasts

Since the zombocalypse is just around the corner, Mary and I have been going hiking every weekend in different national parks and forests. We are hoping to find a defensible bug-out area with plentiful food, as well as catch sight of the elusive Sasquatch that roams Lane County, OR.

This week we went to Silver Falls State Park, and this time I actually got Mary to wear her survival backpack (the training exercise needs to be as real as possible, you understand) as it was now all contained in a nice new camelback backpack (thanks Mom!), and she was now willing to wear it. Unfortunately upon arriving at the park I found out she had gone through it and removed some major items that she deemed unnecessary, such as kinetic flashlight, first aid kit, and slim jims. She justified this by saying that since our survival packs are virtually identical, we don't need two of everything. She scoffed at my entirely plausible scenario in which I get kidnapped by the Sasquatch tribe and the only way to rescue me is to ransom me for slim jims. I know, I know...she takes a lot of looking after.

Anyway, holy shit there's a lot of waterfalls at Silver Falls state park! The place is ri-god-damn-diculous in its natural wonders. We only made it about half way around the park and decided to turn around as it was getting late. I was identifying edible plants with my handy-dandy west-coast plants guide as we went, as I normally do when we hike, so it takes longer for us than most folks when we go hiking due to me constantly stopping and going "Ooooh! Look at that! I bet that's edible!" (Note: 75% of the time it is not edible, and a surprising 20% of the time its actually poisonous). Also Mary and I had a good time pointing at plants and whatnot and making up stupid scientific names for them and "explaining" ridiculous and totally fabricated "science facts" about them as we walked by people trying to make each other laugh.

That's me actually behind a really high waterfall. The trails go all around the waterfalls, it is pretty awesome. The only downside to the park is that it is over an hour north of where we live, making it impossible to quickly get to in case of EMP attack (as seen on 24; season 4; episode 6:00-7:00pm). Nevertheless, its a good source of freshwater.

As for eating, I did find some Salmonberries, which taste neither like salmon nor berries, they really just taste like crappy water. They should be called Blandberries.

Note: Its fun to act like you're eating the berries and flowers at random (though you've identified them -- mostly) on a trail when a church group or family with many small kids goes by, as the adults stare at you in absolute horror and the kids immediately start reaching for the colorful plants. You've never seen kids get picked up so fast and put back in the child-chariot backpack all demasculated dad's must wear to keep them from eating the moss and red berries.

Holy crap, more waterfalls!

That is a tall-ass skinny waterfall. I couldn't get the top in the picture even though I was really far away and in full panoramic mode.

Check it out, I also found pantloads of this stuff in the woods: Foxglove.

That crap is super-poisonous (to ingest). Don't eat that.

My woodland craft skills have been improving rapidly since I returned from Thailand. Especially my ability to blend in with the natural background (depending on the brightness setting of your monitor). Here, check out this picture. Now, you wouldn't know it at first glance, but I'm actually in this picture!

I'm totally serious, that's not just a picture of another waterfall, I'm in there (and if you can actually see my face then your monitor is turned up way too high and you're burning out your eyes). Uncanny, isn't it? And I probably don't have half the skill as your average forest-born Sasquatch. Now we understand how Sasquatch has eluded us all these years -- we just can't see them in the pictures they're so well camouflaged. But don't worry, I'll stay vigilant and keep looking. Scantabulous readers deserve to know the truth!

Final Tally:
Number of Waterfalls found: 5
Number of edible plants identified: ~3
Number of edible plants actually eaten: 1
Number of poisonous plants almost eaten: 1
Number of Sasquatches caught on camera: ???