When Dave and I were staying in Olympic National Park, we roasted a lot of marshmallows. I feel like it’s required on a camping trip, and I wasn’t about to skirt an honored American tradition. The problem was, unlike the forests I’m used to in Michigan, the rainforest of the Pacific Northwest didn’t offer any quality roasting sticks. We’re resourceful, so we made it work, but with varying degrees of success.
One night, I was looking around our campsite for a nice specimen. I didn’t spot anything, and I was feeling impatient, so I just grabbed something that looked about the right size. I brought it back to the campfire and stuck a marshmallow on the end. The stick seemed a little extra pokey, but it was dark and I was focused on the important task of roasting. It takes a lot of care to get it just right and then accidentally set the whole thing on fire.
At one point, I went to adjust the stick in my hand and noticed that what I thought were just sharp knobs were actually really sharp thorns. Like, really sharp. I didn’t stop roasting, obviously, but I tried to be very careful. I stabbed myself with a thorn approximately thirteen seconds later.
It got stuck, because rain forests have really intense plants. I pulled out most of it, but I could feel the sting of that choice for a week. The marshmallows tasted great though.