Speaking of lessons learned… A few years ago the girls and I took an epic trip. We researched the remote hot springs up in northern Idaho. Took off for a week and had a great time! Most of these hot springs only required a couple of miles hiking. So we would usually end up camping near the car. This trip, however memorable for all it’s beauty, had a very distinct lesson learned.
Three chicks hiking in the woods, of course we took the bear spray. I mean we need at least to have a small hope of defending ourselves from being prey. Over the years I’ve come to think of my bear spray, more as a defense from any human weirdos. What if there really was a bear; wolf or cougar? Better safe than sorry.One of these destinations was trail creek hot springs. Upon our arrival we found a big purple truck whose licence plate read I’m your huckleberry. Hmm… Should we go down there? Well there was another car around so we hiked down a steep embankment to beautiful jem like pools. Thank God there were a couple of pools because Mr Huckleberry was stark nude in one. The girls and I decided if he left we were camping on one of the cliff edge drop downs. This place was gorgeous, and we had time.
Well we ending up camping and basking in the hot pools! When it started to get dark however, we got a little scared. We were not that far from the road. What if the creepy guy came back. Was that a noise? Was that an animal? As a woodsy mom I knew we had to cabosh these fears right away, or to soon we would be 3 girls in a car with the doors locked. “I’m just going to spray a little of this bear spray to keep the bears away” I mean your supposed to spray a little each year to make sure it works. Why not here and now.
So I released the clip and sprayed a little here and, there. The more the merrier right? I should spray the other side of our flat on the cliff. What about up by the trail entrance. This is great! We’ll be safe here, now. They should call this bear repellent!
It began with a cough. Cough, cough….mom? Then everyone was coughing, the pepper burns! We couldn’t catch our breath! We have to get out of here. Our eyes burned! Go up girls, go up I yelled out hoarsely! Dear God, there going to run off the edge of the cliff. Girls! Girls! Mom! Mom! I can’t breath! I can’t see! Finally all together with tears and snot streaming we found each other and climbed up out of the pepper spray. It’s only 200 feet straight up an embankment to the car, but were blinded by the pepper spray and gasping like fish out of water. It’s completely dark out. Can’t breathe! Can’t see! Climbing a cliff!
After sitting around the parking area trying to not die it’s decided that we should wash this pepper off. Cough, cough. None of us can really see well tears are still streaming and everything burns. My lungs; eyes, mouth,hands, and feet feel like they are on fire! Down by the water we begin to rinse. This is not a good idea! The torture begins all over, and returns with a vengeance! At least this time we can breathe. Our eyes and faces are all puffy like we were punched. It burns everywhere. We head to camp, as I again apologize. Tomorrow we will laugh. It will funny then. They call it bear spray, not bear repellent for a reason. My feet burned for three days. My girls will never let me live this one down! I still carry this same bear spray to date. However it’s in case of emergency, not repellent!