Monday, August 9, 2010

Into the Wild

We're getting ready to go on our summer vacation in a few weeks. Yes, I know everyone else has already done that. We homeschoolers just wait for the rest of you to go back to school so we don't have to elbow you out of the way to get to the good spots!

Many parents take their kids to Lego Land or Disneyland, maybe a zoo or a few museums, but not us. We'll be camping out on one of the world's largest active volcanoes.

(That would be Yellowstone - I didn't know that about the active volcano thing either until recently.)

This seemed like a good idea once upon a time.

Until I heard that the place is pretty much teeming with bears.

I, for one am terrified of bears. Apparently not everyone is. But I am.

"Oh, don't worry," my brother Chad says to me, "I'm sure they're more afraid of you than you are of them."

Yeah, except I don't think so. In fact, I highly doubt that any creature under the sun has ever been afraid of me.

I don't see any fear in the little bugs that scurry across my floor while I stand on a chair yelling for one of my children to come kill it for me, and it is unlikely that the 300 pound flesh-eating bears of Yellowstone are losing any sleep over me coming to visit.

I don't usually listen to the news, so my husband who does will tell me any current event that he thinks I would find interesting. For some reason, he decided not to tell me about the vicious bear attack outside Yellowstone a few weeks ago.

Not that I'm thinking about backing out of this whole adventure. We've been planning and looking forward to it for a few years now. I'm just sort of thinking maybe we should stay in the camper and play UNO the whole time.

I went to the Yellowstone website, which says, in essence, "Oh don't worry about the bears! You're way more likely to be gored or killed by a bison or an elk!"

Thanks, I feel so much better.

It goes on to say something like this, "And do remember to hold your children's hands around the geysers so they don't fall through the thin crust of earth into the boiling water."

Boy, this just keeps getting better all the time.

The educator in me wanted to get some books about Yellowstone so I did a little search at the library. The titles that started coming up looked something like this:

My Horrifying Encounter with a Grizzly

The Deadliest Fire

The Earthquake that Smushed 28 Campers

I'm beginning to suspect that maybe I'm just not a wilderness kind of girl. I mean, I generally like animals - at the zoo. When they're behind bars.

I recognize that life is fragile and danger is all around us (In fact, we've had a couple of escaped murderers in our area the past couple of weeks), but Lego Land is starting to look better all the time...

The only other thing that causes us just a teensy bit of concern over our Great American Road Trip is that it is A LOT of time on the road. Our kids will be crammed together in a pretty small backseat for hours and hours. And we're not taking a DVD player.

This one actually doesn't worry me as much. I mean, we never had DVD players when we were kids and our parents drove us across the country. We had to invent our own creative ways to drive our parents crazy entertain ourselves.

In fact, I'm fairly confident that my brother still holds many wonderful memories of when I resorted to reading the dictionary aloud to him on one of our trips to Nebraska.

But I haven't completely failed to plan. I did get a Radio Theater Program of the entire Chronicles of Narnia series.

And, I reassured my kids, they'll have plenty of schoolwork to keep them busy in the car.

At this information, Grace leveled a serious look at me.

"You know," she countered, "Most kids don't have their teacher go on vacation with them."

Yes, I thought to myself, and most kids' parents don't take them to a place where they might be mauled, gored, boiled alive, or smushed by landslides.

I just smiled at her and said, "Aren't you a lucky one."

Oh, and I just heard today that our escaped murderers are hiding out in Yellowstone.

Maybe the bears will chase them away.


stephanie said...

i wanna come! how fun.

although, i must admit the whole traveling with 3 kids and no DVD player does sound quite frightening to me...

debby94 said...

The good news is they caught one of the escaped murderers that was in Yellowstone. You'll only have to worry about one now instead of two! Also, we saw a bear while in Colorado. It was right in front of the house our family rented, getting into the garbage that should have been taken away. It was really cute! My sister-in-law went out & waved her arms & it took off. Remember...wave your arms! You are in charge!! I love your sense of humor Angie. I miss you sooo much. I had a dream last night that we were back in high school & it was our first day. I kept following you around because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to find my first class. You took off & left me :( Have fun & be safe!!!

Sara said...

You seriously brought the biggest smile to my face today. I can hardly wait to hear how the trip goes ...

happy day,