The headline exaggerates, but only slightly. Here’s what happened.
Heather, Mike and I were on our annual winter trek to the Olympic Peninsula, delayed a month or so this year because they visited Syracuse in February. Going out to the OP in March turned out fine, though, since the weather was milder and the days were longer. We had one stormy day when Heather and I napped all afternoon, but also enjoyed two beautiful afternoons of sunshine for hikes into the verdant Olympic National Forest. The sun’s rays revealed wisps of moisture rising from the nurse logs and the forest floor.
Our first hike, to Murhut Falls, was good, but I was disappointed that Mike decided the path to the base of the falls was too difficult to try. I didn’t agree, but nobody asked me. That’s probably why, on Monday’s hike along the Big Quilcene River, I didn’t pause to ask permission when chasing Heather’s errant throw of my purple-and-white ball off the trail and down the side of the embankment next to it.
I knew Mike would try to prevent me from bounding down the cliff, a steep and dangerous drop to the roaring river a hundred feet below, so I ignored his yell and followed my ball, which caromed downward but luckily lodged against a fallen branch only about a dozen feet below trail level. Just as Heather started to slither down the bank in my direction for a rescue, I grabbed the ball in my mouth and plowed my way through the moss and underbrush toward the perplexed Mike, who was simultaneously angry and relieved.
Mike made me give him the ball, which he stuffed it inside his pack emphatically. Heather said that it was she who was bad, not me. I wasn’t about to argue. At any rate, there would be no more ball playing on this hike, which took us almost three hours. We did get a break in the middle, when we climbed down to the river’s edge and I tried to do a little stream remediation, to no avail. The Big Quilcene won again.
Oh, and when we got back to the car, I barked at a big German shepherd for no apparent reason. The dog might have attacked me, but seemed wimpier than I am. Once again, catastrophe averted. I lead a charmed life indeed.