Dear Harriet Walter,
Ohmigosh I got so wet and muddy today. Not like normal wet and muddy that one gets from stepping outside on an average spring day in the northwest but like wet and muddy wet and muddy. Like, I have to write about it to put it in its proper place in the past wet and muddy.
So this is because Best Friend invited me over to her house this afternoon after church to go have a nice tramp-about in the massive creek-ravine-foresty place that serves as her backyard. (After making me try a piece of her mother's homemade crispy-crust gluten-free pizza with no tomato sauce and pear and chicken and curry for toppings. My horizons have just been Salvador Dali'd.)
So we had a long hike. Got involved in a couple of beaver dams. (One of them had this awesome backwater mini-cave thing.) It started to rain after a while - spring in the Northwest, again - so Best Friend decided she wanted to practice her survival skills. She's a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy and also kind of a Boy Scout.
We barely survived the survival.
There was attempted fire-starting involved. A lot of it. On the creek-bank. In the rain. It involved three boxes of waterproof matches, one emergency blanket, one machete, three pencils used as kindling, one battery and one piece of steel wool, and, eventually, one tiny pan of oatmeal cooked with the water from the water bottles, having no salt or sugar and a handful of raisins mixed in. The oatmeal, being the culmination of Best Friend's two-hour struggle to keep a fire going in the rain, was so disgusting that we took a bite or two each and then chucked it into the creek for the benefit of the fish, in favor of chocolate energy-bars which we found in her backpack. (Don't worry, it was all-natural and I don't think it could hurt anything. Literally just oats, raisins and water.)
We were a sight by the time we got back to her house. Not normal levels of wet and muddy. Wet and muddy like we instantly chucked our clothes into the wash and found the thickest bathrobes in the house.* Wet and muddy like mud up to our faces. Wet and muddy like completely soaked hoodies. Wet and muddy like sloshy rainboots containing as much water as they contained feet. Wet and muddy like muddy underpants.**
*(And then cooked and ate crepes with butter and raspberry jam and drank tea and watched an episode of "The Avengers".)
** To be fair, this might have had something to do with the fact that clambering down a large, slippery-from-rain log in order to cross the creek tore a sizable hole in the bum of my jeans, but I don't think that makes the situation any better.