How I Almost Died Chasing Peter Pan

“To die would be an awfully big adventure.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

We were supposed to be climbing the mountain, but somehow wondered off trail.  Since Colin and I were planning a photoshoot, location scouting didn’t seem like a bad idea.  The luscious undergrowth scraped at our ankles as we raced across the forest. We jumped up onto stumps and boulders, even considered climbing a few trees. It was like a city kid’s dream but to us – it was almost like reliving childhood memories.  For him it was the Oregon Coast while for me it was walnut orchards in Central California.

Somewhere along the afternoon, we came across a rather large mound/formation within the mountain. Naturally, it needed to be conquered! He got to the top first, with me not far behind.  The  summit was rather interestingly slopped and it took a bit to go from one end to the other, which actually brought us above the tree canopy.

Wow! Definitely almost like a scene from Jurassic Park. Birds flying overhead, almost no sign of civilization, the steady hum of unseen insects…  Being able to rest our hands on the tops of trees as if they were merely bushes. It was as if we were on a little island in the middle of a jungle, the green spreading up the face of the mountain. Fail. I can’t even describe how amazing the view was.

Unfortunately, as the saying goes, what comes up must go down. Colin somehow gracefully managed to slide his way to the bottom. I, however, clung fearfully to a large rock the size of my torso. When almost underneath it, the rock shifted.

“Colin, this feels loose!” I shouted while desperately reaching a nearby branch.

He looked over. “Yeah, that branch won’t do much good. You might want to grab on to the rock right there.”

“I can’t, that’s actually what’s loose. OMG, I’m stuck! How do I get out of here!?”

Colin climbed back up as he carefully instructed how to lift myself up and away from the rock. Once safe, we sat on either side of it and he gave the rock a little shove. It trembled precariously over the edge.

“Oh, that’s really bad.”

“Should we just push it down?” I asked.

“Might be a good idea.”

I truly expected to put some good effort into getting that thing to fall but it gave way so quickly that I screamed in shock. It squashed all the little green buds, tumbling and crackling as it went.

A split second of awe and silence followed the tremendous -BOOM- at the end.

But not for long.

“I could have died” I shouted, “I had all my body weight on that!!!”

“But you didn’t.”

“But -”

“Almost dying would have been if the rock had fallen on you.”

“It could have! I was holding on to it from underneath!”

“It’s getting late, we need to get home for dinner.”

Fine, I couldn’t get him to agree and honestly it wasn’t really worth arguing. The good thing was that I hadn’t fallen down with the rock. No need for search and rescue. No need to alarm and scandalize the situation. No one was hurt, not a scratch. Ok, well maybe one or two…  or five. Fine. Life is good.

A couple days later, Colin dressed up as Peter Pan and once again we ran across the French forest. This time we were more careful. It wouldn’t do to break my camera!




5 thoughts on “How I Almost Died Chasing Peter Pan

  1. I get Peter Pan on the Oregon coast, but climbing walnut trees in the Central Valley. 🙂 Okay, I confess to climbing black walnut trees as a kid in the foothills above Sacramento and being Tarzan. (grin) Glad you survived… –Curt


    1. Being Tarzan must have been loads of fun.
      Fine…fine, walnut trees are no comparison to a full fledged forest, but that orchard desires some credit! My childhood friends and I didn’t just spend ten summers chasing butterflies, our bare feet digging into the soft moss. Sometimes we’d catch birds, mice, fish or even those weird trilobite looking things to try and keep as pets. We built forts, had message trees … pretty much lived out there in our epic hundred acre woods.


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