Jax and I started to clip along some old logging roads that were on the way to our campsite, down the old mining road to the river. When we were coming up to where I was planning on parking, we were greeted by four dogs—the biggest being a Great Pyrenees crossed with maybe a small horse or perhaps some other enormous animal, and the smallest being the twin Chihuahua to the Taco Bell dog.
We came up on a guy digging around in his single cab ‘80s Ford pickup. We couldn’t turn around without going past him, so we unrolled the window and started visiting him, and let him know what we were up to.
His name was Gary, and he owned the land. He was as close as you could get to the stereotypical 1800s miner today. He had the hat and the clothes. He panned the river, and he lived in a tarp cabin he built.
Lucky for us, he took a fancy to Jax and the cold Barkerville Brewing Prospectors Pilsner we gave him—and let us pass, no problem.
Jax and I were visiting as we made our way up the walls of the canyon towards the falls. I was helping Jax over the big logs but, for the most part, he had his little walking stick and was just stoked to be out and about as usual.
That is, until he stuck his walking stick into an underground black hornet’s nest.
I was 10ft ahead of him when I heard him shriek: “DADDY BEES!” I instantly wheeled around. I could see the terror in his eyes, and I felt the burn of my first two stings. By then, I was in full sprint, running toward Jax, who had also joined the retreat. I scooped him up mid-stride and ran.
We had both been stung four times by now—Jax, once in the forehead. He was sobbing. This was the first sting he had ever experienced in “real life”—let alone four stings!
Keeping calm, I started to calm Jax down and make sure he had his airways. Once I realized he was going to be ok, I found some mud under and old spruce stump and put it on the stings to sooth them.
I did do a bit of video because once we had settled, it was pretty funny!
Like a trooper, Jax continued with me the rest of the way into the falls. The view of the waterfall made the trip in and hornet’s nest encounter well worth it.
We trundled out, still laughing about the hornets and we made jokes about how Jax kicked the nest to play a trick on dad! When we got out, Gary was so proud of Jax that he fixed Jax’s slingshot for him.
We gave Gary another Barkerville Brewing beverage as a farewell gift and headed back to the beautiful little campground.