Earlier this week one of my new friends, Posilonge, and I made plans to go around the “Big Bush” today. This morning I found myself following Pos (as I like to call him) and a few friends up the side of a mountain feeling like Frodo following Gollum into Mordor.* As usual, I was pouring sweat and sucking wind while they were breezing along asking me if I needed a break.

This hike was the deepest I’ve been into the jungle thus far and I learned a few lessons I would like to share so that everyone can learn from my experience:

First, if someone invites you to hike in the big bush, don’t try to impress this barefoot native with your fashion-savvy by wearing socks that don’t even cover your ankles. Instead wear high, thick hiking socks which, at least, would offer a challenge to the leeches trying to latch on to your ankles. (Final count: 8 leeches.)

Second, one out of three “bridges” made from wet, rotting, three inch diameter branches that can hold a five foot, 120ish pound native will break under the weight of a six foot two inch 185 pound white guy. (Sample size: 6 “bridges”)

Third, just because a tree looks like it was allowed to grow in the perfect spot to provide support in a treacherous location doesn’t mean that it isn’t covered with tiny, palm-piercing spikes.

*Elizabeth would claim this reference is nerdy, but I would argue that it would only be nerdy if I was referring to the book (which I am not) instead of the movie which established its place in pop-culture. Feel free to weigh in on this ongoing family debate. Note that I have read the books repeatedly and could refer to them, but I’m not.

  1. Andrea

    you lost me with the leeches!!! That is disgusting! probably much worse for the person having to remove them from their leg then the person reading about it ;).
    Adam would vote totally cool as he could quote all the movies from beginning to end.

  2. You should let the leeches do their job, so you could lose weight, and then the bridges could support you.

  3. dan

    Any LOTR reference (or use of the LOTR abbrev) is at some level nerdy…
    but don’t worry Phiily, all of us nerds think you are super cool and fashionable.
    Did you have your machete in your hand the whole time?

  4. Ashley Gaymon

    I like Joey’s idea. =)

  5. Shandi Stevenson

    I think as long as you’re sacrificing your ankles by wearing fashionable socks, you can refer to the books without being nerdy!

  6. Kelly Keever

    Nerdy, for sure! Hiking in the big bush with leeches and bridges, not so nerdy! Merry Christmas. Love y’all!

  7. PopPop

    I am sitting here in Grandma’s lobby with wi-fi finally. But I can’t get an email out to you on my new, not so new now computer. All that to say it is now mid-Christmas day and we all, your Mom(O), Grandma and I wish you the merriest of Christmases. (sp) Obviously it will be one you will never forget and one we are anxious to here about.


  8. PopPop

    …. that is mid-Christmas day for you and Chirstmas eve for us.

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