Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Animals on the Trek

We spent the first night of the trek at a farm.  The people who owned the farm were gracious enough to let 100 people invade their property, put up tents, and make a general raucous.  As I walked down their long driveway to where we were congregated, I couldn't help but notice some of their animals.  I particularly like goats, ever since living in the Netherlands. 

I spent some time sitting with the goats.  I liked those animals at the farm.  The animal I did not like was the rooster, and I think I could be happy for the rest of my life if I never hear a rooster again.

You know I always thought that roosters crow in the morning, to celebrate the coming of the sun.  Our schedule said to get up at 5:55 am, eat breakfast, take down our tents, repack our handcarts with whatever we had used for the night, and then begin walking.  So when the rooster crowed the first time, even though it was clearly still completely dark outside, I thought that meant it was only a matter of time before I had to get up, and even though I felt exhausted I began preparing myself mentally.  You'll have to get up soon, and be cheerful.  You can do it."  But no one else was stirring, so I fell back asleep. For about half an hour, when the rooster crowed again. And so it went, him crowing, me thinking I had to get up soon, falling back asleep, and then him crowing again.  Until I finally started to go a little crazy and checked the time. It was 4:00 in the morning. I think he had started crowing sometime after 2 am.  And continued. all. night. long.  The rooster may easily be my least favorite animal.

Or wait, that may be coyotes.  Before the rooster started crowing, when I still thought I might get a good nights' sleep, I lay there with my head snug on my pillow and began drifting off into the peaceful world of slumber when my quiet was shattered by something eerie and bonechilling.  Have you ever heard coyotes at night?  It is not the beautifully haunting sound of wolves you might be imagining.  It sounds wild and fierce and makes you want to cry a little at your own vulnerability.  We heard them both nights and nothing on the trek was as horrible as the sound they made at night.

One of the boys on the trek wandered off the trail, and near into some farmers' farmland.  I scolded him to get back on the road, and he said, "but don't you hear it?" so I stopped and listened, and there was the tiniest, faintest, pitifullest meowing you ever heard.  He continued toward it and out of the  bushes came the sweetest, prettiest, tiniest little Calico cat imaginable.  Some of my girls later somehow captured it and one of them swore she was going to take it home for a pet.  She was fairly warned that it was a wild cat, probably had worms, and would need a lot of care for being so young.  We saw some other wild cats on our trip, but none so young or sweet as that one.

There were a few horses on the trek as well, for the trail guide to ride, and for other various reasons.  At one point the horse and rider came up alongside me, and I continued walking not worrying too much about the large beast at my side, until he slowly began edging  me off the road.  That was a moment of excitement until the rider noticed and began edging him away from me again.

AND while I don't think I got any mosquito bites, I got some sort of tiny little bites all around  my ankles.  Chiggers?  I pray not, but what else could it be?

Tune in soon to hear about more of my trek experience.


  1. I certainly hope you didn't get chigger would be quarantined in the TH like I was!

  2. Wow. I'm terrified of coyotes now.

    I want more TREK posts!

    I'm so jealous that you got to do a trek. How fun. My ward did one, but they didn't ask me to participate. Maybe some day. The stake does them every few years. I'm glad my stake allows short sleeves!! Although perhaps that isn't as authentic? I don't know.