Category Quick Jump
The Buntzen Bleeder, Oh no I forgot my camera, Beware the Orc
It was a sunny green day; we decided to go out to Buntzen Lake for a hike. We arrived around 2:00 and were in high spirits. The plan was to hike in to see the sites and start hiking back by 7:00, to be at the car for 8:30-ish, and to beat the gate closure at 9:00. We parked the car and started the hike. Rather then take the lower trail we decided to take a path less chosen, an old overgrown and crumbling sidewalk would be the route we took.
I charged off ahead and our group spread out over some distance. We had radios, so communication wasn't an issue, and it was a bright and sunny day so what could go wrong? Inuk and myself were up front with Hypnotoad, Fallen knight and Dogyears following.
Inuk and I hiked in silence for a while just enjoying the sound of nature and the raw natural beauty. We came around the bend of the lake and started seeing signage. We realized we were getting close to our objective and slowed our pace. Hypnotoad came on the radio and asked our status, we had passed the bend in the lake and made plans to wait for the rest on the crew at the hydro dam.
Inuk and I arrived at the hydro dam and sat down on some rocks. I took off my shirt and enjoyed the warm sun and we both drank some water. As we were walking Inuk and I had begun to talk about photography. He was gushing about his new Canon AE 1 and how he couldn't wait to use it. The Canon AE 1 being the first camera I had used, I was in total agreement about its versatility and heartiness. It's truly a fine camera the AE 1, certainly industry standard and a champion in the world of photography. As we sat drinking water a talking Inuk began digging in his bag for his fine new instrument. I excitedly looked on awaiting the appearance of this divine apparatus. Our expectations built as his camera bag was pulled from his backpack. Slowly like a strip tease I watched as he unzipped the bag, both of us catching our breath… "Empty," Inuk exclaims. "Shit! I packed the bag but not the camera." We both pauseed for a moment and then laughed. Stupid. We sat around for another minute laughing, Inuk trying to figure out at what point in packing he had neglected to pack the actual camera, and where it was presently located.
After our laugh and some more water, Fallen knight comes in on the radio asking our position. We tell him and he lets us know they are at the bend, are going to check something out for a bit and then will be along. Inuk and I decide to look around a bit. As Inuk is walking the fence perimeter I am taking notice of the fair amount of bear turd in the area. Inuk calls me over; he is on the other side of the fence standing on the log boom above the hydro dam. I follow his lead and join him on the boom.
The logs at the start are fairly thick but slowly get smaller. Inuk walks a few logs up and soon discovers the best technique is to walk or run one foot in front of the other. After a few attempts we find that if one just moves fast enough and spends little time in one place, the log will not move as much and thus not throw you in the water. We begin back on land and start running the boom.
We are having grand time shouting at the logs and laughing when the rest of the group shows up. Inuk and I head back to the rocks and meet them. We all sit down and rest for a bit, each of us relating our individual stories. We all laugh at Inuk for leaving his camera. Suddenly, it seems we are not alone; our revelry did not go unheard. We hear a growl from the bushes, and loud snarling. Out of the bushes comes a smelly and irritable Orc. He is growling and snarling at us, it is obvious he has a complete and total disregard for ethics. We watch as he swills some foul grog from a sheep's belly. He begins wildly waving his arms at us and shouting profanities, we all realize an attack is imminent. We gather our things as the Orc picks up a boulder and threatens us with it. On the trail together as a group we wipe the sweat from our brows. It was a close call with the Orc.
We pass more signage most of it warning us that for our safety authorities will be notified. We pass over a bridge and begin down a stairway into the bush. We come to a walkway leading to a bit of infrastructure and decide to head down further to the water line. As we are approaching we all freeze. Ahead of us in the water is what look like a patrol boat. Four sets of binoculars come out as we scan and drop down in the bush. After a moment the boat pulls out and leaves. I decide to drop a rope and climb down a small cliff. The rest of the group decides to skirt along a cliff following a small path down to the water.
We all meet up again and begin looking at the infrastructure and surrounding area.
The group breaks up and begins doing their own little explorations, each examining points of interest. We all hang out for a bit, some taking part in the sacrament. It's a beautiful day and despite the Orc and forgotten camera things are going well. We while away the hours, eat some food, chat, the photo junkies are busy snapping.
Around 6:45 we decide we should and be on our way. Fallen Knight and Inuk take the lead, I begin up my way and Dogyears and Toad start up last. I reach the path and am waiting when buzz comes over the radio. Its Toad: we have an injury hold up. I stay in my position, not sure what to think. I can see them about 50 ft down the path. Neither of them is screaming so I figure it can't be that serious. I stand waiting. Toad comes on the radio again, "guys we have an injury its kind of bad". I lean over the railing and can see toad has his med kit out and Dogyears has his pants down.
I hop the railing and head over, I see Toad dabbing at the wound a line of blood down Dogyears leg. It doesn't look to bad at first but as I get closer I can see fatty tissue. I realize Toad is attempting to hold the wound shut; I immediately drop down and pull out my own med kit. I look up at Dogyears he is calm but I call tell he is attempting to ascertain the depth of his injury and its possible repercussion statistically speaking.
Toad and I begin doing team first aid. Luckily I brought my med kit this time around and its quite well packed. At Dogyears suggestion we both put on gloves. It's one of those 0 to 60 moments: you suddenly go from idyllic bliss to the Buntzen holocaust. Toad begins by cleaning the wound and keeping pressure on it and I start pulling out butterfly bandages. As I am getting the bandages ready, Toad is controlling the bleeding. I have the bandages ready and tell Toad to push the two sides of the wound together. He pushes the ragged mouth shut and wipes the excess blood away. I apply three butterfly bandages and Toad puts on the final gauze over top and tapes it. We wrap a triangular bandage around the outside and begin the walk out.
I call over the radio to Fallen Knight trying to explain the situation but keep getting a broken and distorted signal. Dogyears and myself begin hiking up the long set of stairs. The hike has taken a different shape; being in the bush with a wound on the leg you have to hike out on is less then desirable.
We reach the road, about a 100 ft down. After a call on the radio to Fallen Knight, we realize we are going in the wrong direction and head back up. We link up with Inuk and Fallen knight and break down the situation. They decide to wait for Toad as we carry on; we hear howls in the distance as Toad battles the Orc. Dogyears and I carry on. In this particular situation the best bet I feel is to hard charge as long as possible and try and commandeer some transport.
Dogyears and I hike along talking, both of us keeping our minds off the wound. We arrive at the far end of the lake; I eagerly run ahead knowing this is where transport will be if we are lucky. As I run up towards the beach I see a park ranger truck and two lovely rangers emptying the garbage cans. I sprint towards them waving my hat; Dogyears continues his labored hike up to the vehicle. I break down the story to Tracey and Kelly, two beautiful and savvy park rangers. They immediately get on the radio to their colleague to come and pick up the rest of our group. I call using our frequency and let the rest of the group know their ride is in-bound and to stay on the road.
As we are riding back to the parking lot the girls revel us with tales of unprepared hikers found injured on the side of the road. They compliment us on being prepared. We all silently consider for a moment how lucky we are and how unforgiving nature is to those who underestimate it. The rangers ask how the wound occurred and I realize at this point I don't know either. Dogyears explains he lost his footing and went down on a sharp piece of rock. They ask if we need the first aid attendant. Feeling confident with our dressing we decline. It's better if we just go straight to the emergency at the hospital.
We arrive at the parking lot and thank the girls profusely. They smile and wave in that "all in a days work" way. A short time later the rest of the group arrives with a fellow named Sean. We all thank him he waves and drives off. Back at the vehicle we are all feeling good and joking. Fallen knight puts it in 5th and rockets us to the hospital.
We arrive at a slow point in the emerg and Dogyears gets admitted almost right away. The rest of us sit in the waiting room and wager on how many stitches. We all laugh at the lonely bag of ruffles sitting in the vendy. Dogyears comes out of the ACR smiling with six stitches. I win the wager being the closest, guessing 5 and Toad owes me a burger and brew. We load the vehicle and head out. We drop Dogyears off at his doorstep and he waves goodbye to us. On the way to the clubhouse we grab a case of cold ones. At the house we revel each other with tales of heroism our close call with the Orc, the forgotten camera, and the Buntzen Bleeder.
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