"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nature is Scary

I live surrounded by mountains. They're beautiful but dangerous. Every year people get killed there doing all the seasonal mountain sports--hiking, rafting, skiing, snowboarding. One year a mother and daughter just disappeared while hiking. Several years later their bodies were found. Sometimes someone will disappear and never be found. That happened to a little boy on a hike with a Scout troop. No one ever knew what happened to him. It's the saddest thing to hear about these things.

See my two boys over there? They hiked Angel's Peak, one of the supposedly most dangerous hikes at Zions, where hikers are killed each year. In fact there had been a death there already that summer, and there was another one after our visit. I was scared, and they laughed at my fears. (As you can see.)

I was talking to my mom about this and she said, "The same thing happens here (Minnesota), only it's on the water since we have all the lakes. Boating accidents, drownings while swimming--every year we hear of several deaths out on the lakes."

When my son was in Namibia, he looked out upon the wilderness just off the road and thought about parking the car and heading out. Not that he would, since he's under strict obligation to not go "exploring". He asked his African companion, "What would happen if I took off out there and just started walking?"

His companion laughed and said, "You would never get back alive." Instead, he just took a picture of this giraffe by the road.

What kind of dangerous environment do you face where you live?


  1. Since I live in a pretty safe city, I haven't been too worried. People do get robbed here and there, but there are hardly any killings. And I'm too far from wilderness to have the same problems as you do in the mountains. I bet getting hit by a car is my biggest worry. No environmental dangers here.

  2. Oh Karen, Corsica is one big mountain that then drops off into the sea, the roads are narrow, winding and always by the cliff. Everytime we drive out of town my heart is always in my mouth, there are jagged rocks below.
    That said it is still beautiful and maybe when I get used to it I can relax

  3. Is that boy barefoot?!!!??? He hiked that barefoot? Is he crazy? Must be.

    As for me, there is a bridge that I take everyday to get out of the small cul-de-sac town were I live. Cars drive way to fast, cutting off all the big trucks struggling to make it up the steep incline. There is no shoulder, there are wrecks regularly, and the drop off the bridge is REALLY FAR. It is scary everytime I drive it, but it is a really cool view. Maybe I should focus more on driving and less on the view.

  4. Gosh your sons are fearless!!! Bless them!! They take after mum - obviously!!!:-)

    I face the daily madness of the minority but very visible inconsiderate cyclists who think it's ok to jump red lights, ignore pedestrians and their crossings and think walkers should get out of their speeding way.

    Yay - a giraffe!! Take care

  5. Yeah, there is something about being a certain age and the rose colored glasses haven't cracked, yet. I was 18, when my broke, but some can go into their 30's before a death of a loved one or friends, hits home and reroutes their behavior~

    You have two, typical daredevil son~ I think we all take risks and walk on the edge, just edges don't drop off quite as far.....

    Great post; makes one ponder a bit~

  6. I live in a D.C. suburb, so I'm in close proximity to the most dangerous creatures imaginable: politicians. ;)

  7. Those boys look like men! The suburbs where I live are pretty tame, but we used to live in the mtns of CO, where we couldn't let the cat out for fear the mountains lions would eat him for lunch!

  8. Susan, Men?? No way, they are my babies.

    Linda G, you are too funny!

    Ellie, I used to be just like them, worrying my mom, now it's my turn to worry.

    Kitty, cyclists hit by cars, pedestrians hit by cyclists, it's the circle of life.

    Jane, That bridge sounds so scary! I think I'd figure another way across, or around.

    Joanna, Still it must be a beautiful place :)

    Theresa, Being hit by a car is probably the biggest danger for all of us.

  9. When I did my first solo canoe trip in the BWCA, people asked me if I was scared of wild animals and degenerate men. I just responded that I would be more afraid to walk in a city. Wilderness is in the eyes of the beholder.

  10. Some people are surprised that I feel safe living in Jerusalem, but I do. I go out alone at night. My daughter does, too, and I don't worry - much. But she doesn't climb dangerous mountains! ~Miriam

  11. I live in a very low crime area, BUT, I live on the ridgeline of a steep and high hill. I have a deep and heavy swimming pool in my back yard that is just about the slope. We have earthquakes here all the time. I really don't want to slide down the hill, but it could happen someday...


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