I was having drinks with friends recently when the conversation turned to our summer vacations. We had just returned from a restful week at the beach, but our friends had a more adventurous trip in mind.
“We’re going to hike Mt. Whitney,” my friend’s husband announced, as if it was the most luxurious holiday every considered.
Mt. Whitney, if you aren’t aware, is the tallest peak in the contiguous United States (yes, I just Googled it). Climbing to the summit requires a permit, oxygen, overnight camping equipment, and essentials to fend off bears & large rodents who want to eat your food. It also requires something I had never heard of.
“You have to bring back everything you take up, including your own poop IN A BAG,” said my friend’s wife, with the appropriate amount of horror.
“IN A BAG,” her husband repeated, with the glee of a Boy Scout.
She was understandably NOT excited about the trip, but she was doing it for her husband (for which I hope she will be rewarded with a week at a resort and expensive jewelry).
I have a similar debate with my own spouse every year when we plan our summer vacation. He insists that he prefers the mountains and would rather spend the week hiking and fishing. I don’t get it because he seems perfectly happy getting drunk on the beach with ME, but we still have the yearly fight. I’ve caved a few times and gone on those outdoorsy trips, but I always require a hotel room.
Then I bought him a tent for Christmas.
Don’t ask me why. He wanted it & I never know WHAT to buy for him so I got the stupid tent. Now I know there’s some awful campout looming in my future where I’ll lie awake listening for bears and anxiously scan the woods while peeing behind a bush.
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
So why are men so hell bent on it? What is it in their DNA that makes them want to sleep on the ground, eat burned wieners and of all things, poop in a bag?
Well, things didn’t turn out as planned for my friends on Mt. Whitney after all. Bad weather set in on their second day and park rangers warned them that conditions could turn deadly. They had to turn back before reaching the top but they still came out of it with some beautiful pictures and wonderful stories.
And as for the poop bags…they went unused for the most part. There simply wasn’t enough time on the mountain for my friend’s wife to have the pleasure. Then I asked how it had fared for him.
He beamed and said, “Oh yeah, I took a big grizzly bear $#*% on the side of the mountain and packed it out!”
Maybe Mt. Whitney wasn’t conquered, but his bowels certainly were and I call that a small victory.