Monday, September 5, 2011

Earthquakes and Hurricanes and Bears, oh my!

Updatd 9/6

Sorry I’m not going to get my ‘IT’ Factor review up today. I’m only half way through the book I intended to review and I honestly don't think I'm going to be able to finish it. After reading the amazing DEMON HUNTING IN DIXIE and two friend’s self-published books -- let me tell ya, there’s some good stuff being put out there by indie authors -- this one pales horribly in comparison. I know. I've been brutally honest in my reviews so far. Some books I've liked and others I've had major issues with. However, Karma is a bitch and since I'm about to embark on the self-publishing journey I figure some of my more critical reviews may come back to bite me in the ass. And so from now on, if I can't recommend a debut book highly, I'm going to skip it and move on to another one. Plus, life is just too short to waste it on a bad book.

Instead today I’ll regale you with my adventures in the wilderness. Actually, it sounds like we missed most of the excitement while we were out there. As any of you know who’ve ever camped in Yellowstone, there is no cable (therefore no TV), spotty cell phone service, and we were so busy seeing the beautiful sights, amazing geysers, and getting up close and personal with the wildlife that we never bought a paper at the camp store. Evidently while we were communing with nature out west, Mother Nature was having a major hissy fit in the east.

Thanks to the fact that my husband packed every Virginia Tech t-shirt he owns, he happened to be wearing one when we passed some campers on a trail. They naturally asked if we were from Virginia. Why yes, we are, we replied. They asked if we’d heard about the earthquake. Earthquake? In Virginia? Evidently we’d had a dozy by East coast standards (5.8). Friends texted us that they’d gone by and checked out our house. Since a mine shaft hadn’t opened up and swallowed our house (don’t laugh – that kind of thing can happen in our neighborhood) we breathed a small sigh of relief. Small, because at the time we happened to be surrounded by exploding geysers and bubbling hot pools of scalding steam and water reminding us that we were standing in the caldera of the biggest super volcano on earth that could blow any time now.

The day before we’re supposed to fly home, my husband gets a voice mail (once we stumbled upon a pocket of cell service) and the airline says they’ve canceled our flight from Dulles to Richmond and rescheduled it for the next night. He calls them up and asks why. The lady says, Um because of the hurricane, you idiot. OK, she didn’t say ‘you idiot’ but I’m sure she was thinking it. When we explained our lack of technology in the wilds of Yellowstone, she enlightened us on the impending natural disaster racing up the east coast. Happy joy. First an earthquake and now a hurricane. What’s next, a plague of locusts? We get to Denver fully expecting our flight to Dulles to be cancelled. Surprise, surprise. Dulles is still open and our pilot says she’s going for it. I’m not so sure if this is a good thing. My husband likes to listen on the headphones to the pilots talk to the control towers as we fly, so he relays what they’re saying as we zoom across the country. Chicago asks where we’re headed and our pilot says Dulles. They say, Dallas? And she goes, no Dulles. They laugh and wish us good luck. Evidently we were the only flight heading east while everyone else is going west AWAY FROM THE HURRICANE! Actually, the flight was very smooth until the last 3000 feet or so before landing. Then things got a little scary and I figured we’d be little more than small pieces of metal strewn across Washington DC and a headline in the morning paper. But crazy though she was, the pilot landed us safe and sound.

It wasn’t until we were back home that we heard about the bear attack while we were out in Yellowstone. Scary to think we were there when it happened. Scarier still is that we learned that the momma grizzly and cubs we saw feeding on a dead bison in the river (from a safe overlook 400 yards away) was the same one who killed the hiker in July. Definitely puts us a notch or two lower on the food chain.

So that was what we missed while we were at Yellowstone. But honestly, it was the experience of a lifetime for me and the kids and I wouldn't have missed it for the world, even for an earthquake and a hurricane.

P.S. I also came back with a great idea for a new series, and no they have nothing to do with the wild west or natural parks or bears.


  1. I've always wanted to visit Yellowstone and I still do even with all the bear trouble lately. :)

  2. We (hubby and I) visited Yellowstone last year for the first time. I would LOVE to go back and take the kids! But I would not love your hurricanic flying experience....