Maverik convenience stores are giving away a $100 fuel card and an ice chest full of munchies. We're throwing in a tent, lantern and camping stove! Here's what we want: send us your outdoor adventure stories. Worst camping stories, memory-making family excursions, tales of how you got a scar or broken bone, great climbing or paddling achievements -- anything! We want to see a photo and/or read a story about your best adventure! Submit by 11:59 p.m. on May 23 and we'll randomly pick an entry to win on May 24, 2013.

We've had several stories entered in so far, here, check em out!



  • I think I was about 8 years old maybe 9. My parents took my two older brothers and I to Money Creek Campgrounds outside Skykomish, WA. We stayed for the week and had a number of incidences most of witch involved me. The day we arrived at camp my brothers and I raced down to the river while my parents set up camp. On our way to the river I went to jump over a large log and cut a big chunk out of my right knee. My oldest brother helped me back to camp, my mother freaked out, we hadn't been there longer than a half hour and I'm already bloody. After bandaging me up my dad took me down to where my brothers were swimming. I waded out a little down stream from them and filleted back the pad of my foot on a car hood under water. Mind you this was still day one... Now my dad carries me back to camp, and there I stayed. There was also a small incident where our hammock was tied to the bu mper of our van and my dad went into town breaking the rope from the tree dragging the hammock to town (no one was in the hammock).

The only thing that made the camping trip any fun was a family in the next camp over had a cute girl my age and I had the war wounds to impress her with.

Shasta Meyers
  • We were at Lake Roosevelt and having a great time and enjoying the beautiful weather on Labor Day Weekend. My husband decided to make a little stick man and hang it from our campsite. It wasn't 20 minutes later and a huge thunder and lightening storm struck with the loudest thunder and biggest hail I have ever experienced. We blamed it on his voodoo man! My mother is deathly scared of lightening and she seriously blamed my husband and was mad at him for quite some time. We ended up throwing voodoo man in the fire as soon as it was safe enough to come out of our tent. My parents brought their RV but my mom locked us out because she was so scared.
Cheryl Whitemarsh
Lisa Cross
  • We learned the hard way, always remember to take your tooth brush'es with you on your camping trips. HEHEHE.

Ok the real story, my husband and I took our 2 kids camping every summer up to Tucannon. One year the kids slept in the tent and my husband and i slept in our jeep. We had our cooler full of goodies on the ground just outside our passenger jeep door. We where woke up in the night by some noise just out side our Jeep Door. My husband peeked out and all I hear him say is HOLY SKUNKS LOL. yep them little stinkers got into our cooler took our food and left the their lovely smell behind. The smell was on our jeep and a few other items. We had to spend the rest of our weekend with the snitch and the 3 hour drive home smelling skunk... We have since learned to keep our food and coolers full of food locked in a car.

  • My husband is from Bosnia, last year his english was not the best... so while camping last year with my parents we went jet skiing and pulled my husband on the tube... so of course my dad drives like a maniac to try to flip him off the tube, but my husband held on for his life! So later that night sitting around the campfire my husband begins to rub his legs in pain and tells my mom about how he has all these 'bras' on his legs... my mom thrown off says you have 'bras' on your legs? Then my family bust out laughing, him confused, and we begin to tell him what a bra is and he laughs and feels embarrassed and he shows us the 'bruises' on his legs! :) to this day my mom teases him about his 'bras' :)
  • I was all pre-packed with the motorhome for memorial weekend, and all we had to do was jump in and go. Then when we were about to leave I smelled gas. we investigated and there was a hole in the hose to the tank. And we couldn't get it fixed because no one in the tri-cities was able to fix it because of the memorial weekend. So we couldn't cancel with all the family and friends for the weekend. so we had to get out the old camping gear that we haven't seen or used for the past 5 years. So that night before we left we had to unpack the motorhome and to pack the trailer to leave at 7 in the morning and didn't get down with loading until 1 am. we leave late and when we got there, our spot that was supposed to be saved was all taken up, by another memory of the party going with his co-workers that he invited to come. We felt like we were intruding on our own vacation. So we were puttin g up the tent it starts hailing ice for minutes so we waited until it ended, and restarted and realize we had no rain cover for the tent. so lucky we borrowed a cheesy canopy from the next door neighbor. its a puzzle canopy not a very easy thing to put together. then once everything was set up and everything seemed to be doing better. then the ground was not level where we had the bbq that my husband did not clean out which had bees and spiders in it. also the ground was not level where the table was so the food kept rolling off the bbq. once that was fixed and when we were putting our daughter to bed and the airbed was a little low at the time. and by the time we went to bed the airbed was even more gone so when we got in it seems like we were in a recliner and then my daughter rolled over on me. then the neighbors played their music until 4 am and left it loud the whole night. the it starts to rain so hard that it drowned out the music and we could not sleep at all, then after the rain stopped i had to go to the bathroom, and when i got out i hit myself with the canopy, then the water just ran my legs and that wasn't the only thing that was flowing. thankfully none went inside the tent and by then there was no air in airbed. then i had to change my clothes and clean up. went back to the flat bed, first thing in the morning is to call the husband to bring new bed. then we had breakfast and we decided to go fishing and show dad that we could. we go to the lake and my daughter starts catching all the fish and i cant even catch one and my sister is taking pictures and rubbing it in that I couldn't catch any. later that day husband and praying he has the motorhome with it fixed, but of course he doesn't. he shows up with a patch kit for the mattress, I don't know how he thought we were going to repair it out in the middle of now where and we had to use soap and water to find the hole and it was very cold and it is hard to find the hole when the soap with hands creates bubbles anyways so we thought we found it and patched it up but guess what it wasn't it. so there was another night of sleeping on the ground. and the neighbors still playing music, and the guys that were supposed to save our spot decided to leave early but we decided to not move for just one night. and the my sister said while huddled around the fire that i like that song i like big butts and i can not lie so my daughter made fun of me the whole night, and that day we bought a new air mattress and that too went flat. while me and my husband were heading back to the tent i heard my daughter was going to throw up but when i got there it was too late, she was puking in the tent and then she laid in it because she was so tired and she was covered in it. so we decided to clean her up and my husband had to sleep in the car because there was not enough room in the tent for all three of us because of all the puke. i got up the next morning, we were packed and loaded by 9:30 and out of th e camp grounds and my daughter still had puke in her hair, I looked at my husband and said thank god that is over and we are not ever going camping with out the motorhome ever again. PS and two positive things happened my daughter didn't need her blanket and she learned how to ride a bike without training wheels.


  • A boy scouts tale: Mallad River Canyon, Hagerman Idaho. We left late one evening for our trip to hike up the canyon with all the “be prepared” you can imagine...matches, mirrors, and pop tarts. We never anticipated that extra batteries would be a good idea. The river be has large boulders that can be crossed with leap frog dexterity…if you have enough light to see where you are going. Halfway up our trail two of the lights batteries died. The third light was setting on a rock while a bag was frantically searched for batteries…and then we watched in horror as it slipped off the round boulder and disappeared into the water instantly. It would have been peaceful to sit in the river on the large boulder and listen to the coyote yips, white water rushing by, and mosquitoes humming—if there had been enough light to move from rock to rock. My friend decided to backtrack…but missed his footing and fell into the water. He was rescued with a hiking staff and a bit of elbow grease. In the quiet moments that followed the idea to build a fire for light was slowly murmured through the group. It burnt out quickly however when the only wood was the flotsam between the rocks. Then I took my 32 oz Maverick fountain drink cup and stabbed it on a stick. I ripped the sleeve off my flannel shirt and wadded it up in the cup and then doused the material with lighter fluid. A few matches and poof!...We hiked out of the river by torch light.


  • As a teen I would go on church campouts with my dad and his family. These campouts were always in the mountains. My step mom would always bring stuf to pull in that we would have to carry from our jeep and the sites were not next to the car. When i was 14 we were up near salmon la sac somewhere in the woods. They had an outhouse a ways from the creek where we camped. I was already creeped out by the woods at night thanks to "jason" As i went to the outhouse i was about 30 yards away And there was a bear not full grown itching his butt on a tree next to the outhouse I totally froze. That combination of fear and having to pee i didn't move. I don't know how long it was but after bear left i tiptoed to the pot Didn't make a sound and ran on tiptoes back to our tent when i was done . My dad didn't believe me until someone noticed paw marks on the outhouse. That was my last camping trip to the mountains and i wont go again


  • When I was 16 my sister and I decided we wanted to go camping. Of course my dad said no and we were left to figure it out on our own. We decided to drag our matress out into out back yrad and sleep under the stars that way. After a couple of hours, we noticed that slugs were out and became paranoid. Being 16 I thought it would be a good idea to pour salt all around the matress as if that would protect us. Well moring came and we cleaned up the yard and put our beds back inside. And there lied a outline of the bed because the salt killed the grass. I was in so much troupble but it was a really good night with my sister.
  • Melissa Dobler

    Well. This was my fault but my boyfriend and I were camping on his grandfathers land up by goldendale, We were gathering tree knots cause they burn really well and I found this smaller tree that fell over with a tree knot so I was trying to think of a way to get it out so i picked up the tree and tried to hit it against this other tree in hope the knot might come out. well when I did that I realized when it was to late I hit a tick tree..... So we walked back to camp and I started ripping off my clothes and freaking out. Found two ticks on me. I am positive I have learned my lesson :p

  • Its not quite an "adventure" but since the car accident its been quite an adventure learning how to walk again and work on getting my arm straightened back out and muscle function back up. I was hit by a drunk driver last year 4/22/2012 I was driving home from Moses Lake,Wa to here in Othello,Wa and the other driver was taking a hit off her weed pipe and was in my lane of travel on my rumble strips and attempted to get back in her lane once she saw my headlights and didn't make it and hit me head-on she receive lacerations and I received a broken pelvis, right leg broken, left foot broken, crack in my skull, right elbow broken, and right broken hip, lacerations to my vagina (lol sorry but it sounds funny) and a ruptured bladder. I spent three weeks in Providence Sacred Heart and then about two months in a care facility until I was able to come home, I have a 4 year old daughter th at was taken away from me her father said I was unfit to care for her because I would never walk again but he lied to the judge and when I walked in the court room the judge sided with me an I got my daughter back and while be in the care facility my grandma passed away whom I was very close with so I can honestly say worst "adventure" ever but I got some gnarly scars out of it
  • Well i grew up on the hood canal in western Washington, growing up in a community right on the water of course we had a boat we did all the normal stuff in the summer time tubing, skiing, fishing ect. but my dad and my uncles were huge into crabbing. One day were were cruising we happened to see a crab pot way to far off shore to be touching the bottom so we pulled up to it to see if it was any of our neighbors. The address on the float said it was from Seattle and by the looks of the rope it ha been well traveled, that means this crab pot had adventured its way through the Puget Sound and was in my hands now. we pulled the crab pot in and kept it. another way we could tell it was floating through was that the bait was bone dry not a piece left on it. anyways after pulling the pot up and getting it into the boat there had been red stinging jelly fish tenticals on the rope fro it floating so long and passing through jellyfish while making its journey. Me being a young kid and not thinking much about the warming sensation starting in my hands i let it slide and we continued on. we got back to shore and between the time we got back to the docks an picked up the crab pot me being a young boy i happened to have adjusted the position of my genitalia. by the time i was on that dock i was running to the bathroom and screaming at the top of my lungs due to the fact the red jelly fish tenticales has transferred from my hands on to my balls. I was having an absolute meltdown. At that time my parents did not know what to do and nor did i so i just had to suffer through the pain.
  • My dad has told everyone this story over the past decade and a half since this incident happened all our family neighbors,friends, my girlfriend absolutely everyone i could think of he has mentioned this story to.

    Last September i get this call from my dad and like always we catch up and see how each other are doing but y father saved it to the end of our conversation, he tells me "Michael, I'm sorry for making fun of you all these years for the day you stung yourself in the nuts with the jellyfish tenticale, because today i did it myself but worse." As he described it him and my uncle were pulling in crab pots and he had even noticed the tenticales on the line when he pulled it up but had forgot about them because of the load of crab the had pulled in. On his way back to the docks just as i had done my dad decided to make a quick adjustment to himself...and then he wiped his forehead just under his eyebrow with his hand as well on their way back. my dad said he had never felt a such pain in his life plus he had his eye swollen up because of were he had wiped his eyebrow. even though he had made fun of me for the same problem for years i accepted his apology because he felt the same pain i felt 15 years ago

    Thomas Vasquez

    July 4th, 2012 my roommates and I went on a camping trip to Jubilee Lake in Oregon. Before hand we had bought some fireworks and somehow decided to take a few mortar shells, Piccolo Pete's, an acid reducer pill bottle and a short fuse and make them into one big firework. We buried this conference of fireworks about 8 inches deep in dirt, packed it and lit the fuse... The explosion was as the picture indicates and the bang was loud enough to echo through the forest/campground and draw not only the camp host but eventually the on duty Forest Ranger to our location. The first to arrive was the camp host. We didn't deny it happened we just apologized and said we wouldn't do it again, (we were out of materials) and the camp host threatened to banish us from the campground due to "beligerant behavior" when I insisted his repetitious twenty minute long lecture had made it's point and t hat we not only understood his point but would immediately comply. His wife began to confront us in a demeaning manner with an even poorer attitude than the husband and required the same explanation as to our compliance and apology which added her own ten minute lecture. At that point the host could sense the annoyance I was beginning to display and disappeared. Shortly after, the Park Ranger arrived stating the host called him to handle a "beligerant camp go-er". I provided the same explanation of events, compliance and apology to the Ranger which threatened me with imprisonment if it were to happen again. The Ranger eventually left, the camp host hovered and the fishermen (who had witnessed the whole thing) next to us commented "I'm surprised the host and his wife can walk apart given it seems they both share the same stick up their ass." We chuckled and went on about our day. This photo was taken with my girlfriend's camera at super fast speed and luckily didn't end up being used against us.

    Katie Ewen


  • My husband and I were newly married in September of 2012 when we decided to go camping at Wallowa Lake, OR. The day we were scheduled to go home we had planned to do the Ice Lake Hike, starting in the morning and then finishing up late afternoon so we could drive back to the Tri-Cities. Well, the little, not so accurate map we had received from the camp host did not exactly set us up for what was in store for us. As we started up on our hike we were both in good spirits. We were enjoying the wilderness, the scenery and time together. As time went on though and the scenery turned into straight up the side of the mountain switchbacks full of boulders the mood, or should I say my mood turned somber. As we continued to hike we kept passing other hikers that had superb hiking gear like appropriate hiking shoes versus our beat up tennis shoes, REI backpacks to our beat up Nike ones an d tents to our, oh wait we weren't carrying a tent. This got us thinking and looking back at the map and we realized this was a hike that was 8 miles up and 8 miles back down! Yes a total of a whopping 16 miles in tough terrain. My husband and I thought it was a total of 8 miles. Many people had the tents strapped to their backs because they knew it was the S-M-A-R-T thing to do and camp once you made it to Ice Lake! Still, my husband and I were determined to make it to Ice Lake and we did. We even jumped in the freezing water. At the time though I thought of it as more of an ice bath to soothe my aching muscles. We spent about an hour resting and eating lunch and decided we needed to head back. We barely made the hike back down by nightfall and we had even taken some wrong turns on our way out that was kind of scary, but we did ride home together and we are still married so I can't say it was a terrible trip. We still like to joke about it today and we get lots of weird looks when we tell people we hiked to Ice Lake and back down in one day, but that is kind of our style, so in the picture we might be smiling, but that was probably only a third of the way up the mountain. However, that hike the greatest marriage counseling and one of our best memories :) Let's just say we would love to be more appropriately prepared for our next adventure! Thank You!
  • Clayton Ewen

    Our honeymoon in Fiji was also quite an adventure!

  • The year Bluewood was built my father was an electrician at the site. My family MOVED to The Blues for that ENTIRE SUMMER! I was like 11 or 12 (born in '68), a completely devastating thing to do to a kid my age to say the least which explains why I can't recall the exact year... Anyway, my family had an eclectic collection of pets as well as camping partners and that summer was an adventure in duck chasing and dog hunting like no one has ever seen.We had a duck, his name was Jasper. No, we did not steal him from Columbia Park, I can't recall how we came upon him but he was NOT an Easter gift I swear. When we moved to a camp site that summer we included our duck Jasper and our cockapoo Nuggs. Immediately Jasper fell in love with the Touche River. We had blocked off a section so he could not get swept down river but one day it broke loose. Jasper was rapidly floating down stream and Nuggs was running down the walk path next to the river barking like her puppies had just been eaten by a bear. And of course, my 12 or 13 year old sister and I were screaming and running as fast as we could to save poor Jasper from forever drifting away.Yes, we caught up with Jasper. But shortly before we left at the end of the summer Nuggs came up missing. She had come into heat unbeknownst to us and took off. We were heartbroken to leave the mountains leaving her behind. We left numerous hand made posters with campers and in Dayton with our number on them in case anyone saw her. About 2 weeks later we got a call, she had been spotted and caught! But when she went into labor in my closet we had to rush her to the Vet and come to find out her puppies were not compatible with her body size and we lost them all. Within a few weeks Nuggs ran into the road and was hit by a car. We lost her too.This was by far the worst year of my entire life and therefore the worst camping trip ever.
  • Living in a campground right now. Still wanna go camping. Love going out to the middle of nowhere. Sober living has its advantages.
  • Raquel Walther


  • During our fist day i notices pine cones constantly falling from the trees, at first it didn't phase me. But then i noticed that there were chipmunks in the tree literally throwing them down. I told my husband and kids that the chipmunks were throwing pine cone and they didn't believe me until when we were around the fire, a pine cone hit my husband in the head, LOL. It was so funny. He looked up and there the chipmunk was throwing them down at him and the fire pit. Later that night we heard rustling around outside our tent, i looked out and it was a skunk. I yelled, there's a skunk! And my husband (trying to be manly) said ill go out there and scare him away. Obviously my husband is not a wilderness man, i had to tell him to leave it alone or he will get sprayed. He tried to insure me that its ok, that if it sprayed him it wouldn't be bad. I had to explain what happens when you get sprayed and if he got sprayed he was not allowed in my car, i would have to strap him to the roof, lol. He didn't think that was funny, so he left the skunk alone.
    We camped for two days and we loved it. My husband and i are planning to go camping again this summer for vacation but for a whole week and of course once in awhile on weekends. We also plan on letting other part of our family and some friends experience the fun of camping with us. Also we are going to explore other camping sites (we'll see how well that will go since we loved the last place we camped).
  • My family went camping when I was about 7 years old with a family friend for the 4th of July. It was such a beautiful night with the stars filling the sky and we decided to light off some fireworks. We kept our distance from where my das friend was placing the large fireworks and not expecting him to be stupid and pacing it on a rock but as soon as he lit it it fell off the rock back towards my direction and it launched and just barely missed my head. Scared the shit out of me and my mom. I dont think I have ever seen more bright fireworks since LOL Thankfully I was not hurt but I never forgot that year! So fun and so scary at the same time. I wanted to light more but mom called it quits after that so we enjoyed sparklers and a bon fire and their friend was not allowed to touch fireworks for the remander of the camping trip. Aww Memories :D
  • Last summer I went camping with my two children, my sister and her two children and my Aunt. The first night, my three year old daughter cried uncontrollably and I'm sure we kept the entire campground up until midnight because of her incessant crying. The other kids couldn't fall asleep because of my daughter and they were in and out of the camper, letting in biting flies, which were in the camper all night, biting us while we tried to sleep. Later that night, my son got the stomach flu and threw up in his bed. The next day, I caught the stomach flu bug and and ended up throwing up all night. I had carpooled with my sister, so I couldn't drive myself home. I had to call my ex-husband, who I had recently split up with, to come and pick me and the kids up so that we could go home. I had to stop on the way home and throw up on the side of the road. It was a horrible experience!
  • Best Snipe Hunting Story (yet)!
  • Last year I gave my grandchildren sleeping bags and a tent for their birthdays (They were 3 and 5 - wanted to start them early on the great outdoor adventure of camping).

    Yep, we had the food, stove, food, snacks, bug spray, bags, tents, cards, and flashlights. We even the camping dog on a leash.

    We weren't prepared for our last minute realization that these kids needed the tradition of the "snipe hunt".

    We explained that we needed to go snipe hunting and that we needed some "gear". It was a little impromptu and they obliged: my granddaughter was armed with a pillowcase and flashlight and in place of the pot/pan combo my grandson had kitchen tongs he clicked together.

    My daughter, g'kids and I set off...."here Snipe, here Snipe".....we heard rustling in the bushes...then we heard this "plawp" sound (pretty sure it was finger popping of a human mouth).....and my grandson says "woah! I think it laid an egg"! Hilarious. That snipe kept rustling around in the bushes and "laying egg's"!

    It was not so funny when my BF jumped out of the bushes and scared the be-geezus out of my grand-kids. Well - my granddaughter thought it was funny and wanted to keep going. My grandson - he stormed off and was extremely mad at us grown ups for pulling such a thing. "There is NO SUCH THING". He reminds us often.

    My first experience with a snipe "laying an egg".

    Chad Everett
    • Every year since I was just a wee lil boy of 18 we have camped at Maupin, OR and floated the Deschutes white water rapids. This year will mark 21 years with friends and family. We have had groups as small as 3 and as large as 28. I look forward to this event every year because I get to spend quality time with my two boys and close family and friends. We make sure to make the trip as much fun for the adults and the children, beer pong for the adult and soda pong for the kids......I think the older teens cheated and forgot the pop.....they were properly punished the lil "pukes" anyhow camping gear is always welcome and needed we go through a lot and share what we have with who may be less fortunate. This years trip is July 20th woohoo

    Richard Schuyler

    • First ever camping trip with friends and no family we drove almost two hours into the mountains in my little Chevy classic! We forgot so many things that we ended up not being able too cook or sleep comfortable but! We remembered the booze haha!!!!

    • Growing up my parents never took my sister and I fishing. About two years ago I decided to purchase a fishing license and found a nice secluded area to fish. One of the first times I went out I saw a huge small-mouth bass swimming near me. I lured the fish as if I was playing cat and mouse. The fish grabbed the bait and I reeled in the fish. The bass was strong and broke the line as I got it on the land. There was no way I was going to allow myself to lose that catch, so I jumped on in after it, wrestled with it and carried it back with me to my car. I drove up to my friends Starbucks where they work with mud all over me and with the stenchy smell of the fish to yell, "I CAUGHT ONE!" Haha.

    • I am known as "bear bait" in my family. My first encounter was with my family at McCall Id.. I was 8 years old and a bear swam all the way across Cascade Lake and chased us all right up to the cabin door. After that at the headwaters of Cathrine Creek outside La Grande Or. a bear watched our camp for 4 days and on the 5th it chased me for a hundred yards while I was riding a motorcycle! Then a friend of mine took a picture of me eating huckleberries by Meacham Or. and when she developed the pics there was a bear behind me only 50ft away! (Didn't even know it was there....) 3 years ago I saw a huge black bear on my way to my hunting spot. And last but not least..While hunting with my 12 year old last year we came around a bend in the trail and a black bear was 10 feet away standing on his back legs, peaking at me from behind a tree! I yelled "Git bear, GIT!" and he took off thankfully.. Needless to say my .357 is always on my hip when I'm in the woods because it's time to go get some morel mushrooms... Oh and my cougar encounters? That's another story....

    • My family and I decided to take a 3 month motor home trip across the United States. We had all four of us crammed into a 21 foot motor home we refer to as "Stinky" We had quite the trip from my sister throwing a brush at me and it going through the window during the first leg o of our trip. So needless to say we had duck tape on the window for the remaning 2.5 months. We got lost in New Jersey and had someone run out to the street and steal our gold spray painted hubcaps off the motor home as we waited for the light to change. In Arizona while traveling up a rather large hill a tire fell off Stinky. My dad had to hitch hike back to a town, as we didn't have cell phones back then, while the rest of us waited on the side of a road in the Arizona weather for a couple hours. So in the end all though we saw some great sites we refer to the trip as the "Trip from Hell."

    • In July 2012 approximately 30 friends gathered for a their yearly camping trip at a free camp ground outside of Roslyn, WA. It was just a regular camping trip with your standard food like Korean Short ribs and fried rice, stuffed jalapenos with shrimp, breakfast of steak, eggs and breakfast burritos. We had the DJ hooked up to a generator and gallons of Crown Royal. Our camping "rave" went into the wee hours and people from around the camp ground came and joined us.This is an annual event and this year is going to be epic. DJ and all!

    • Summer of 2010, My trip took myself, my son Willy, and my gf Krissy to the Klickitat Valley. Way down in the valley, NW of Goldendale are a couple state parks: Stinson Flat, and Leidi Park Campground. This is a popular park for sportsmen, because of the Klickitat River and the Steelhead contained within. I'm not much of a "park" camper myself, so I loaded up my arms and walked with my family down the mile-long "mosquito alley". Toting hundreds of pounds of gear and sweating profusely, the mosquitoes smelled me a mile off... When you take your family, there's always way too much gear... So a mile back from the campground, just past a bend in the river is a high rock outcrop, a ten foot cliff to the river and lots of trees and grass. Very secluded, just the way I like it. There's no streaking allowed in state parks;) So anyway, after two or three trips back to the "man van", I had all the gear and about fifty mosquito bites. With camp set up, we enjoyed the day, fishing, playing in the water, and exploring. It wasn't long before we encountered our first rattlesnake. Scared the crap out of me, must have been four feet long, curled up by a tree just off the trail. Big rock + snake = all clear. Or so I thought... I encountered two more that day. The first caught me with my pants down, literally! I had just bent over a log just outside our camp, when I heard the distinctive "rattle"! I jumped up from my squat and, after replacing my shorts, located the source of the sound. It was a little over two feet and had a nice rattle. I found a good stick close by and captured/killed the bastard. It was a mile and a half back to the toilets and I wasn't going that far, so it had to be the snake. So I skinned him and set his skin out to dry, wrapped around a tree limb and held together with fish hooks. There are some nice rainbows in that river, and right off the cliff is a deep spot and a bend, where I always get bites. So, we're fishing off the cliff, enjoying the sun and each other, when I saw another snake at the bottom of the cliff on the bank, near the water. There was no rattle on this one, and I already had the bug, so I climbed down the cliff face and chased after it into the tall grass. Listening for it to rustle the grass so I could catch him, I followed it up to a tree. The snake climbed the tree. I couldn't believe it. I managed to hold it still on a branch with a stick and reached out to grab it behind the head. When I did, it reared back and exposed it's fangs! Holy shit! It did have a rattle, just a single nub. I went cold. I was standing there in the tall grass in nothing but shorts and flip flops, holding a treed rattlesnake in my hand. Ok, this is life/death; The park is at least twenty miles from medical attention and it was a mile back to the van. No cell service. I did what anybody would do. I carried back to camp, the long way around the cliff. He got skinned to. He was half as long as the last one and twice as thick. Here's a pic of the snake, and one of the rattle, I still have. The ex girlfriend made off with the skins. I'm planning to return this 4th of July for another outdoor adventure, with my brother, I was just reunited with after eight years, this year; my son, fiancé, step kids, John the preacher, Vinny the botanist, and my bf Matt, who's ex wife is my fiancé's sister. He's bringing his boys, they're now my nephews! We're going to catch lots of fish and kill many snakes! My brother Corey (Kona Gold on Facebook) had heart surgery when he was fourteen and is on Social Security. He now has his son, after fourteen years without him, cause his mom flaked off for some guy. Anyway, Corey's broke, so am I since I'm laid off. I have a tent and bags and stuff, but not big enough for Nanette and I, and our four kids, with Corey, his pregnant woman, Monique, and his son Jared. If I won this contest, I could give it to My brother for his family. I'm looking forward to spending quality time with my family and friends.
      I don't know if it took the second picture. If not holler at me and I'll bring the rattle down to the station;)
      Rock On! -BLD

    • My boyfriend and I went camping and we took my son. We were playing tag, and my boyfriend and I collided and I ripped my knees on my jeans. We decided tag wasn't a great idea, so we went for a hike. My son fell and my boyfriend and I reached to help him at the same time. He chipped his tooth. On the way back home, my son said he had to go potty. So, being over an hour from home, we stopped and decided to let him pee on the side of the road. He didn't *just* need to per. He began pooping. Standing up. Like a horse. It was a hilarious camping trip. Nothing went right and he had fun anyways :)

    • Dave and I. And his friend Tom went on a weekend trip to Summerland, up over Mt. Rainier (you have to get reservations months in advance). We to camp for a couple of nights and it was a 3 mile hike to the camp site. We get to the ranger station and they check everything over there let us know that there have been bear sitings so to make sure we keep our trash and food out of reach. We start our backpack hike, it was a sort of a strenuous hike for Dave as he took everything bu the kitchen sink (to make sure. I would be comfortable). As we are about a half mile away to the destination we decide to stop for a quick snack break. About 15 minutes into it a park ranger comes and checks our pass...well... Seems we were a day early... As you can see by Dave's pack.. He wasn't about to trek back down then come back the next day. As we were sitting there a fellow hiker starts running down. The path hollering that there is a bear that came about two feet from there and said it was heading our way. The ranger was still there and when the bear showed up he proceeded to let us k ow to make all kinds of noise and to throw pebbles at its rump. Well it was a brown bear they figured it to be about a year old . With all of us hollering it ran off the bath and to the bushes off the hike path... Whew. Crisis averted... We decided to head back down to the nearest campsite and camp over night there, we had a spectacular view of mount rainier. It was definitely an adventure

    • We got custody of my 4 year old Great Nephew. He has never been camping or boating before we took him to Maloney Mountain for some marshmallow roasting. He had a great time! The only thing we forgot, nothing really important, just the tent! So we made the best of it and started a fire, did some hiking and roasted marshmallows then we headed home at dark. Nothing will ruin his first time in the mountains, next time Uncle Jason will remember the tent!