I’m not going to do this story justice. I’m sure it was one of those things that “you had to be there”. Plus I’m not the best story teller. But here goes…
We spent one day in Zion biking to a series of small trails throughout the park. We did the Weeping Rock Trail. We hiked to a little waterfall. Then we got to the end of the trail where the River Walk Trail turns into The Narrows. That’s the trail we had set out to tackle when we got up in the morning. The Narrows!
By the time we made it to the River Walk it was mid morning. We instantly saw the sign that stated The Narrows were closed due to flash flooding and that SURPRISE! The River Walk trail is the most popular “hike” in all of Zion. I was bummed about the Narrows. Mark was bummed about the buses of people arriving. The kids were cranky and ready for a snack.
So we decided to see if the crowds would clear out so that we could at least explore the river walk. We parked our bikes and there they were. The squirrels. We’d seen warnings on the buses and the signs around so we knew that they were a problem. We just didn’t know how persistent they were.
I unpacked our applesauce pouches and clementines knowing that those would be slightly more safe than the kids beloved “crackers” that I had stashed away. As soon as I handed Wilson a pouch there was fuzzy Mr. Squirrel 3 feet, then 2 feet, then one foot from him. I quickly stomped towards the squirrel. It just sat there and looked at me like “Oh yea, lady? What are you really going to do to me?” In the squirrels defense there were many other people taking photos with?! the squirrels practically on their laps. I won’t get side tracked here but what State or Country doesn’t have squirrels that makes people want to take pictures of/with them? Its a freaking squirrel. Not a bear or a coyote. I don’t get it.
So Wilson sucked down his apple sauce while I was entertaining the wildlife with my stomp dancing. He sweetly turned and asked me for a “Cwacker, pwease Mama!” How could I deny him. Mark and Jane were sitting right next to him so I thought he’d be fine. I handed him two little crackers. One for each hand. He put one in his mouth and within 2 seconds a squirrel was standing up inches from him ready to rip the other one from his hand. Or rip his hand off, as I feared.
I stomped, stomped, stomped and the squirrel didn’t move a millimeter. I started kicking at it. That squirrel didn’t care. I called for Mark. He stomped over. The squirrel didn’t move. He started kicking at it….thats when THUD! Mark kicked the squirrel. Pretty hard. He hadn’t meant to but the dang thing would’t get away from our baby! There was an audible gasp from the crowd comprised mostly of Japanese tourists. Then there were the glares and stares. Followed by the “He just kicked that squirrel!” mummers. Me being the non animal lover that I am was laughing hysterically. Mark was apologizing to the group and insisting that he “didn’t mean to actually kick it!” We decided to get out of there and hit the trail.
After getting about a quarter of the way down the over populated River Walk hike we decided it wasn’t for us. It could have been a walk along a river in any park or town. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that we were the most hated people on the trail. We hopped on our bikes and went and found a lovely waterfall which we had all to ourselves, without a single squirrel around and peacefully ate our lunch!