Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fourth Year Campers Take a Hike: Part 2

If you have not read part one, STOP now, scroll down and read Part 1, then come back to this. We must have order. Unless you are one of those people who read the last chapter of a book first. In that case, I guess you are good to go. Now, back to the exciting 4th year hike!! Here is the entire group on the way back, minus my brother-in-law Seth who took this picture. Please don't look too closely at my legs, as you could easily be blinded. I would like to make a point here. Do you notice the overly-excited smile on my face? How my eyes are opened much too widely? This is planned. I have noticed in the past that most pictures I am in show my open mouth, closed eyes, or my puzzled expression. This is because I was not ready. I am now on constant alert, ready with a purposely silly grin so that my pictures look bad on purpose. Consistency is a beautiful thing. But, enough about me. Back to the hike! You are dying to hear about the casualty, I know. We are getting there, so hold your horses.
Here is one of my favorite spots on the hike. We had to hike through the rocky water for a bit to find the path again. Without getting too philosophical, isn't that a bit like life sometimes? And you know what? We all made it.
Here are all the girls, minus one who is standing behind me, at hike's end. Check out the wet jeans! And drenched heads! The hike back was more of a water-fight-waiting-to -happen than an organized hike. Every time we reached a stream crossing, people were getting wet. Did you notice the cool hats? It is a tradition at Young Women's Camp to receive a "bead" on your camp necklace for just about every camp activity you participate in. I did not award them beads, I gave them Fourth Year Hiker Hats that I found on clearance at K-Mart for 49 cents each! I am very proud of my bargains, people. And these hats became the perfect medium for scooping up and flinging water at other hikers.

Ok, you have waited long enough. The suspense is killing you! You must know, where is the casualty? Who died?! Children, gather around for a little story in wilderness survival. Or not survival. Rob, our fearless hike leader with the dry shoes, along with his lovely wife Cami and 3 Young Women hikers, drove at the head of the pack on our trip up the canyon to the trail head. From behind, we watched little animals run across the road and beneath Rob's car then surface, unscathed, on the other side.

Except for one.

This story is not for the squeamish. You have been warned.

One brave little squirrel/chipmunk/potgut (we will discuss the word "potgut" later) tried its hardest to reach the opposite side of the road, yet somehow did not. He did not get flattened as most small animals would when thrown into a match of nature vs. vehicle, but he did somehow become seriously injured. As I drove past in my SUV loaded full of Young Women Hikers, said animal was on his back at the side of the road, still moving. We all hoped the chipmunk (I am fairly certain this is what the animal is called, although others disagreed) made it, that he found his footing and ran off to join his friends on the other side of the road. But, alas, this was not to be. He simply joined his friends on the other side. We know this because we saw him there, unmoving, on the trip back down the canyon. Farewell, little chipmunk. May your life on the other side be filled with trees to scurry up and down and plentiful things to eat, as well as roads to run across without the danger you encountered today.

This is the end of our Fourth Year Hike story. But I have one last issue to address, and that is the term "pot gut". Is this a technical term? Or simply one invented by someone who didn't know the name of the furry creature? Because, as best I can tell, what Utahans refer to as a pot gut is commonly known as a "prairie dog" in other parts of the United States. It has a pot gut, but is it really called a pot gut? Please enlighten me if you have any insight on the matter.

Thank you, and good day.


Cami said...

Great blog, Gerb! I, too, am puzzled by the term "potgut." My first year camping in Utah the Young Women told me about potguts, and I was POSITIVE they were just like "snipes."
By the way, Gerb, have you ever been on a Snipe Hunt?

Cami said...

Oh, and by the way, Rob also hit a bird.

Julie said...

Ooooo...I remember going on a snipe hunt my first year of camp. It was miserable.

I have no idea where the term "potgut" came from. That poor critter looked like a chipmunk to me. Potguts are a lot bigger.

Gerb said...

I have been on a snipe hunt, courtesy of our ward's young men at a combined YM/YW campout when I was 14. Blast those YM!! I was as naive as they come, too. You should have seen me wandering like an idiot with toothpaste on my cheeks and a pillowcase in my hands, muttering "snipe, snipe, snipe..."

I am embarrassed to admit that I would have done just about anything to get the attention of the YM at that stage of my life, though.

I am such a nerd!! (and currently lovin' it.)

bigrigger said...

hey gerb, what you see lying dead there is a grey squirrel. Potguts or prarie dogs have short little tails...And of course they dont look like squirrels..lol.have fun

Anonymous said...

That isn't a chipmunk. Chipmunks are tiny, the chipmunks in Utah usually have some white stripes on their back. I positive that dead critter in that photo is a potgut. Potguts are what are actually called "Uinta Ground Squirrels". I worked at Park City Mountain Resort for 2 years in the summers, there are allot of "potguts" there, the public hit allot of them with the Alpine Slide and sometimes the potguts died.

They can be tammed with sunflower seeds, sometimes i'd rub their heads while they ate sunflower seeds off the palm of my hand.

Where the term "potgut" originated from I don't know.

Anonymous said...

ya I have been to the Alpine slides, a lot of people hit into the Potguts. My friend actually had one on her slide while she was going down and she had to stop for it. A Potgut isn't an actual name but more of a nickname that Utah people and others use instead of "Uinta Ground Squirrel."