Saturday, June 30, 2007

Oops, I Did It Again!

The story "Strange Bed Fellows" was about me falling. Well I have had a few instances of me going “arse over kettle” as they say on the rock. I’m not sure what would be the cause of this; if I’m just clumsy or just not paying attention to where I am going.

While employed with Jasper Park Lodge as Public Area Houseman, I used a pick-up truck to do most of our guest calls at night. After 11 pm we were allowed to park our pick-up in the front of the main doors of the Lodge in the Bus Zone. Between the Bus Zone and the main doors was an “island” of sorts of mainly bushes. There were also a couple of pathways between the bushes. Where these were located was not where I thought they were on this particular night.

At approximately midnight I received a call and hurried to my vehicle as we only allow 15 minutes per call. Coming out the front doors of the Lodge from a brightly lit lobby to virtual total darkness, I walked across the “island” into what I thought was the pathway. It was not. I fell like a tree into a pile of thorn bushes.

It was very painful to try and get up as everywhere I touched there were thorns. I finally got up and I had thorns imbedded in just about every inch of skin except for my face, which I protected as I fell using my hands. I passed my call to someone else and went back to my staff accommodation and changed uniforms. That helped a little but I spent about two weeks picking thorns from my body.

Probably the biggest scare I ever received involved this next incident. It was very dark and I was walking to go to one of the many housekeeping closets on the JPL property. I am not even sure what I was actually looking for but I will certainly remember this.

I was walking in an area that was very dark. There were some cabins and I was crossing the grassy area in front of them. All of a sudden I heard people shouting. At first I was not sure if they were shouting to me so I kept walking. The more I walked the more these people shouted until their shouts became screams. I finally turned my head to see what their problem was but continued to walk. Next thing I remember was falling and while in mid air realized I had tripped over a lying bull elk!

Landing on the other side I rolled for a bit as at that point I thought I was going to be killed by an angry elk. I stopped rolling and landed on my butt in a sitting position. There I sat face to face with an elk which I had just fallen over. The elk did not appear angry, more amused than anything. Surprisingly as this was the “mating” season. He was probably thinking “another stupid human”. My heart was beating out of my chest as I sat there as I did not know how I should get up. When I saw that the elk showed no interest in me, I slowly moved to my feet and slowly backed away. I could not run as my legs were wobbly and didn’t want to work. I made it back to the main Lodge where I discovered I had to go home immediately.

That evening luckily for me there was no movement from the elk. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about me. I had to go home to change my clothes, for I had “pooped” myself!

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