So yesterday I was walking from Longview to Kalama, WA when a guy pulls over on the side of the road (Orlando) and starts talking my ear off. We had a good time chatting for a little bit and before he drove off he handed me a large can of pepper spray. Now when I say a large can I don't mean something that will fit in your purse... not one of those little cans that hangs off your key ring. I'm talking about a MASSIVE can of pepper spray. He said that I might need it to protect me from bears and/or people. On the can it said "law enforcement strength". I told him thank you, put the can in a side pocket of my pack and continued on. A few miles later I was in Carol, Wa where Orlando happened to be waiting for me with a huge walking stick to "fight off dogs". This guy was super serious about my safety! We walked into a local convenient store where he introduced me to the owners and people who worked there. I hung out for a little bit, charging my cell phone when a gentleman walked in who claimed to be a "big revival pastor". He "activated me" (not sure what that means) and handed me a can of bear spray, saying that the Lord told him to do so.
I got back on the road, a little freaked out thinking maybe this is a sign that I'm going to get attacked by something. Whatever it is, its going to take 2 cans of spray and a stick to defeat it. I ended up making it past Kalama and pitched my tent a few miles north of Woodland. I found a small clearing surrounded by blackberry bushes thinking it was the perfect spot for LeeRoy given he eats blackberry bush leaves. I got in my tent and started pulling out my sleeping bag from my pack when....... my eyes started burning and I was coughing like something was in my lungs. I rubbed my eyes and they burned even more and THEN the light bulb went off, its got to be the pepper spray! I moved my pack to see where the spray was and immediately got blasted with a face full of pepper spray all over me, my bag and the entire inside of the tent. I was doing everything I could to unzip my tent, not being able to see anything. I finally got it unzipped and dove out of my tent straight into the blackberry bushes. I was coughing so hard that I just started to vomit everywhere. I honestly thought I was going to die! After about 20 minutes of coughing and vomiting, It began to subside enough for me to catch a breath. I laid there in the bushes and I have to confess I have never said the "f word" so many times in my entire life.
I finally pulled myself together and got up to try to clean the spray off. Lucky it was raining and I stood there letting the rain hit my face, hopefully rinsing it out of my eyes. I grabbed my bag of wet wipes and cleaned my hands, opened my tent and let it air out a good hour and half before I went back in.
On a brighter note, I finally got to bed thinking this will make for a great blog post!