Before going flying with one of the other pilots, we always do a crew brief. It’s a briefing to discuss the flight and what we’ll be doing, and what we’ll do if things don’t go as planned. I’m sure all of you have some sort of checklists of what if’s when you go out and hike. I always tell the person…if you don’t feel comfortable with what we are doing or planning on doing, just speak up and let me know and we’ll find a different way to get it done. Today, that came up during a hike with my wife and 3 yr old Son.
We were hiking the canal system here on Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, Ga. My Son and I have done this one before and it’s a great hike!
Today we saw a couple of river otters and a lot of alligators, which gets me to the “uncomfortable” part.
I’m an Apache Attack Helicopter pilot…manly man..laugh in the face of danger…etc etc. My wife on the other hand is smart. She thought the first gator 100 ft away was neat. The river otters AWESOME!, the other 4 alligators 10 ft away down in the water, uncomfortable. The loud splashing in the swamp on the other side of the enbankment, scary as heck! She said, let’s get out of here and I quickly thought about our situation and turned around.
This applies to all kinds of hikes. I’m an explorer and see nothing wrong with ME climbing a slippery waterfall, I’m insured to the nines. However, I’m not going to put them in a situation that gets them scared. Push them a little to gain confidence, but not scare them.
Scaring people does one or two things:
1. Gets them or you hurt or killed.
2. Makes them not want to go hiking/climbing again.
A long post for two points but I’ll blame the coffee for the rambling. Here are some other posts on the subject. Hiking With Children[/url][/color]
After a year of hiking around the alligators I wish I had a video camera. It would have become quite a documentary of the wildlife in this one area. Every week there’s something new to discover and I’ve not made at least 30 trips to this area on the base. For weeks I’ll go with no gator sitings but will see otter, beaver, coyotes, deer, boar, fox, then suddenly 12 gators will be out the next week.
What pains me more is watching another documentary “Lords of the Everglades” tonight and wishing I had done it first.
I only hike on foot around the Gators, with kids or my wife we’re in the truck.