Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Hyperbolic Eclair of Death & Other Tales

The weekend of Aug 1-2 began with great perilous peril and ended in a near diabetic coma.
These are the facts.

For some time now I've been itching to test out my new gear and see the wilds of Washington. Well after some half@ss planning,
alleged miscommunications, strategic coaxing, and bad weather to boot, we (Myself, Todd R., Nathan R. (brother of Todd R.)) finally loaded up the truck with the kayaks and gear and shipped out NW towards our destination 1.5 hours behind schedule.
The "plan" was to take the 3 kayaks up from Longbranch 2 nautical miles before low tide through Pit Passage towards a little place called Pit Island (imaginative, I know) and stay the night after playing three man capture the flag with glow sticks as flags (ingenious, by the way).
Preliminary satellite reconnaissance provided by Google surveillance confirmed previously established intel from multiple sources that the island was A) uninhabited and 2); yes, "two", adequately secluded.

Fun Sentence, BTW ~ go me.

We would be able to launch from a harbor and ride the tide out hugging the coast of McNeil Island. It would go swimmingly perfect. Or so we thought.
After stopping for a pizza (remember the coaxing bit?) we grabbed the last bit of gear we needed from another Rawlings sibling that lives up the way
and were in the water with the sun already ducking its radioactive head behind the horizon. After a quick lie to the dockmaster about us going to somewhere that is legal to kayak we were off. The water was mildly choppy and brisk and the going was relatively easy.
Then, as dark began to fall we noticed that not 300 yards from pit island were people launching fireworks on the other shore (See Map 2, Point A). Thus, in the true manner of white man deception we proceeded to kayak
beyond Pit island on the eastside using the island to block the view of those on shore. (Y) As we landed on on the rocky shores of the far side we noticed what seemed to be rather new signs measuring 8'x4' "PROPERTY OF McNEIL ISLAND, MAINTAIN CLEARANCE OF 100 YARDS"
Turns out McNeil houses a medium security prison less than 2 miles from where we were.... Awesome.

So now we've surveyed the eastside of the island and because of cliffs (10-20') we cant get to the ideal camping site without approaching from the westside of the island.
Back in the boats. Using bird calls, hand signals and telepathy we ninja stealth paddled around the backside of Pit Island under a clouded night sky. (From Y -> Z) At which point a 50 billion halogen flood light went on at another residence close by where the fireworks were going off. (B) Now, having been in this situation before, I was keen on the fact that when lights seem to be "right on you" in fact those standing near the light source have limited visibility beyond a certain range depending on the focus of the beam.
Note to Aubry: A certain set of truck headlights at a certain ranch on a certain moonless night come to mind, if I remember correctly. "Oh Sh*t, Oh Sh*t, we're gonna die!"

With Kayaks carried and stowed away behind another "Get the Hell of this Island" big ole sign (Z) we proceed to take the essentials to the predetermined campsite to set up. (X) Unfortunately we had already decided, given the circumstances, that a fire would not be advisable.
Now, I don't know what is was, but for some reason, this island and the situation was as scary as all get out.

Oh wait, I do remember. BONES.

Nathan: What's that right there?

Todd: Looks like a rib to me.

Grayson: Yeah but not a human rib, it's too small (the rational scientific analytical answerer)
Todd (holding the rib up to his chest cavity where it fits
perfectly: Sure about that?

Then every freaky sound imaginable
happens, Blair Witch Project style. Stuff falling out of trees, rockslides coming from McNeil Island, (C) Blood-curdling screams of "Help me, Help me! Oh sweet mercy, he's got a chainsaw and a hockey mask!" The whole nine yards.

Twenty Minutes later there is over 600lbs of Man in my lightweight backpacking tent that was clearly designed for 1.5 real people, 2 Asians, or 4 oompa-loompas, but not 3 grown heterosexual men. Bad night all
around, I'd have to say; complete with nightmares and snoring to boot. And considering that I had a full Ziploc back of trail mix right outside the tent door I was a bit concerned about ravenous aquatic bears. I've never regretted not bring my gun with me more than then. Oh, and patrol boats were all over the place too. And the glowsticks didn't glow.

I hate you, Lowes Hardware.

Click adjacent map for full details.

Stuff happened Saturday morning, but is of little consequence until we come to the meaning of the title of this blog.
You see, there's this little restaurant called the Claim Jumper , originally out of Californi-way. And they have AMAZING foods (including a burger called "The Widowmaker") and house honey mustard sauce. We went there, and we gorged ourselves. Then however, against all logical data about how much the human stomach and digestive system can hold, we ordered this mammoth dessert called the I Declair. Ice Cream based, homemade eclair atop with whipped cream and fudge bundled around and over everything. Enough said? It was the bestworst thing I've ever done with food to this day. Went to bed at 5pm, woke up at noon the next day.

Kinda like how I feel right now. So if you were looking for a conclusionary summary. and closure? Bite me.