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Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

By Jesse Utz 

Hero in the woods and other stories at camp

Jess Shut Up


Well, we just returned from our annual campout at the “Plantation.” A year ago I wrote about the huckleberry expedition and the devastation of the storm that went up the San Poil Valley. The remnants of the storm are still there in the forms of trees broken off half way up and logs still lying around after their fall, but for the most part a full recovery has been made.

It was a hot trip this year, between 90 and 100 degrees most of the time. The shade brought much needed relief and that is where most of the berry picking was done. Squirrels and chipmunks where abundant this year, including a squirrel we named Spot that was the camp host and mascot. I think she was sad to see us leave, via the thrown pine cones at Brad and Nickel.

By the way, I’m not the hardcore woodsman that I thought I was. Karrie wanted to feed the animals, and I said No! But within 20 minutes I was hiding almonds around the camp for the little guy. We also had a mouse that liked to sleep under the Oliver’s tent. Or not sleep; it was apparently after a hidden snack. I spotted two Grey Jays on a walk one morning, beautiful and playful birds. There were geese this year on the lake, first time I’ve seen geese sharing habitat with the loons. No elk this year, although the sign was there. The second night there, a bear strolled through the campground, or so we were told, and on another night Nickle could hear what she thought was a bear breathing outside her tent. It turned out to be three whitetail deer examining our goods.

We had the privilege of spending time with friends this year. Phil and Linda Hansen along with Sadi, their black lab, joined us this year. And yes, Karrie and Phil obviously cheated at pinochle. (Right Linda?) I did get some good advice from Phil while in the plantation one afternoon: “Picking huckleberries is like hunting.” He is right, and it makes picking these elusive little purple creatures a lot more manly.

We also had other visitors from the Coulee drop in. Gary Haven and boys, Travis and Taylor, Toni Seylor, Rocky, Dakota, Hailey, Allisa, Dakota and the Stine family all stopped by at one time or another. A lot of fun times were had, and I could write about a lot of them but I promised I would not. But I will tell two. Sorry, Gary.

Gary had not been there 20 minutes before the camp host advised him he was in trouble. So it appears that Gary’s reputation is state wide. Good news though, Gary still has all of his trucks. (Winks at Gary, ask him about it.)

There was a hero among us. Taylor Haven, Boy Scout, was playing a very hilarious game with us one night, when our Princess started choking on, ironically, a Laffy Taffy. While the rest of us thought she was just laughing really hard, Taylor jumped up and gave her the Heimlich maneuver. He saved her life. Thank you, Taylor, for your quick thinking and jumping to action. We would give you a merit badge for heroism if we had one.

It is always hard breaking camp but it always has to be done. See you all in camp next year.

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