Thursday, July 29, 2010

Of Mice and Madmen

Well if it isn't one thing, it's another.

On my last wilderness trip a mouse caused a ruckus in the middle of the night.

This time there was a bonafide crazy (and/or drunk or drugged) person wandering round the tiny Mowich Lake campground (at Mt. Rainier)  in the middle of the night with a large, silent dog. He would yell indecipherable but angry-sounding things, sing loudly, then disappear into the woods behind the campground with his dog to do who knows what.

Then he would go silent for a while only to re-emerge from the woods and walk back to the parking lot.

And we were all trapped there, about 40 of us, at the end of a 17-mile gravel road with no ranger in sight. Alas, Dave was not with me or I would have felt much safer. Why you should have seen the way Dave took charge and masterfully dispatched the mouse from our tent! I know he would have done the same with the crazy/drugged guy had that guy menaced me, which luckily he did not.

I heard him drive off around 1 a.m. and only then fell into a troubled sleep, feeling very vulnerable in my little tent with the rainfly off so I could see the moon, which shone like a spotlight all night long.

The trip - a day hike to glorious Spray Park - got better after that, if also more mosquito-ridden. The Mountain was out in all her glory, as were the glacier lilies, Indian paintbrush, and many other flowers I swear I will someday learn the name of.

In writing news, there is not much, except that I'm slowly, steadily working on the second draft of the children's novel I wrote last November. I imagine it should be finished in about 20 years.I'm also archiving, in PDF format, every damn thing I've ever written or published which is a rewarding project because it makes me realize - wow, I actually HAVE been a prolific writer in the past (even if I don't feel that way now).

The idea of doing an inventory of all my writing came via the brilliant writing teacher Priscilla Long, whose new book about writing I intend to purchase soon!

Also, my friend, colleague and writing coach Waverly Fitzgerald, wrote this provocative blog post about favorite children's book for the Hugo House blog that mentions me. I'M FAMOUS!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Midnight Mouse Emergencies in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

A few updates from SparklyLand:

My poor pug Snuffy has only just recovered from all the explosive action around here on 4th of July. Next year he is going on DOGGIE TRANQUILIZERS.

Dave and I took a fabulous backpacking trip to Pratt Lake (left) in the the Alpine Lakes Wilderness over Independence Day weekend.

  • It took only 45 minutes to get to the trailhead from home. Yay, easy-to-acess Cascade Mountains!
  • Wildflowers abounded, misty and dew-laden, all along the lakeshore trail.
  • A mouse breached our tent in the middle of the night and Dave bravely chased it out while I cowered in my sleeping bag. (The mouse had apparently been pooping and enjoying various snacks in the tent for quite some time before it woke up Dave; I slept right through the ruckus. And yes, I KNOW you should never store food in your tent. I'm a professional hike leader, for crying out loud! I decline to discuss why the food was in our tent - suffice it to say, it will never happeng again. And thank God it wasn't a bear.)
  • It poured down rain most of the night but our tent kept us dry despite the hole the aforementioned mouse (nicknamed"Rhoda") put in it.
In other news, I'm continuing to work quite steadily on my next novel project, thanks to my great writing coach Waverly Fitzgerald. Yes, even writing coaches need writing coaches, didn't you know that?  

Toodaloo for now.