Don't worry—it's just a BB gun. The only thing it harmed while in my possession was the cat food bowl on the table across the lawn.
How did last Friday morning turn into BB gun target practice? Since Tristan had left earlier to go to the dentist, we were left without our leader and didn't know what to do with ourselves. Luckily, Katie brought a BB gun. Suddenly, our purpose was clear—that purpose being, "Shoot the cat food bowl." Later, we added, "shoot the beer bottles and cans." Katie, Dan, Ryan, Lihan, Lee Anne, and I passed the gun around as we waited for Tristan to return and give us another purpose that didn't involve shooting things.
And he did by setting us to work on a vegan-friendly lunch. We gathered around the central island in the kitchen to chop vegetables, including onion, peppers, and zucchini (some freshly picked from his family's farm), and open cans of tomato sauce and beans that Tristan would combine to form a mass of thick, mega-hot, beany awesomeness. That's Tristan's formula for success: vegetables, tomato sauce, and beans, seasoned with chile flakes and other substances that give a mouth-burning sensation. I've eaten his veg-and-bean mish mashes before and they're always delicious.
Lee Anne made a refreshing super-chunky guacamole/avocado and tomato salad. I couldn't tell you the last time I ate that healthily.
I rescinded my healthy eating by buying this can of Treet from Family Dollar on our way to Shenandoah National Park. And you know what I'm going to do with it: make Treet musubis! Because it was cheaper than the Spam! Yup, there's probably something wrong about that, as though buying canned meat from a semi-dollar store wasn't wrong enough already. (I know Treet is subpar to Spam, but I must discover this for myself as part of my processed meat palate training.)
Tristan directed us to "Super Secret Location" (it has a real name; we're just not revealing it) in the Shenandoah National Park in Syria where the main attraction was a natural rock slide and pool. ...After enduring 45 minute uphill climb over rocks and dirt and a run in with a snake or two. I didn't take photos of the actual climb because I was too distracted by the sensation that my lungs would explode, but it was probably beautiful and full of trees and dirt and stuff like that.
Of course, it couldn't have been as beautiful as the towering rock slide, which marked the end of my underlying feelings of lung explodee.
This is how you conquer the rock slide:
Sit at the top-most part where the rock doesn't dip. Numb your butt in the nearly-freezing water. Feel a hint of the pain that will soon engulf your entire body.
Push off. Let the water carry you. Don't try to stop or else you'll probably sprain something.
Splosh. Enjoy the sensation of your brain, and possibly your heart, freezing. Rush towards the edge of the pool and scurry up the rock for another go.
I couldn't do it—the water was so cold that just dipping my feet into the pool gave me a headache. That was enough fun for me. Yet another thing I can add to my list of "Reasons Why I Am a Disappointment." I was the only one unable to face the wrath of the swimming hole, but I'm just happy that I made it up there without collapsing on the trail.
Going back down was less painful than going up. I even took the time to divert the energy not sucked up by my heaving lungs to take this photo of a bunch of rocks in a shaded stream. Which is way more awesome than I'm purposefully making it sound. Yay nature!
I don't mean to bore you with all this non-food stuff. Part 2 will be all about the food.