I love the power of editing. It’s amazing how you can create an episode about hiking into the Cascade mountains with an athletic forager and make it seem like we were a solid group of three strong individuals traipsing through the woods together on a beautiful sunny day in Washington State. When in reality, I was 15 minutes behind Daniel and Langdon: sweating through my shirt, carrying a 20 lb backpack strapped to my upper torso, hallucinating from lack of oxygen, and grasping at any sort of plant growth I could find to pull my body up that seemingly endless mountain of torture that hated me. It was very kind of Daniel to edit me into certain frames after I had stopped crying and fixed my hair.
And then I fell down the mountain. And not just once either. Humans arent supposed to walk at a vertical slant directly up a slippery land mass covered with ash and loose, dry pine needles, while trying to film and protect two cameras. And apparently they arent supposed to stabilize themselves (ie. not fall to their death) by grabbing hold of black, burnt trees and then slap at their face repeatedly to fend off the hordes of mosquitoes creating a halo around their head. With each smack I added more and more ash to my face before I was completely covered. It was like God was playing a mean joke. Very mean, though I can appreciate the humor.
Then there was Daniel. Daniel was the happiest Ive ever seen him… frolicking in the outdoors amidst a mountain of morels. While I was like a monkey trying to figure out how to use a computer. And not one of those really smart monkeys who wears clothes.
To recap the trip so far: Ive gotten seasick on a row boat, shrimp boat, sea urchin boat, and driving in the car reading directions; I am a picky eater and vegetarian; I cry when I see animals die, or animals waiting to die, and now apparently I suck at hiking up mountains. Im not saying that Im the worst person to bring on a 6 month documentary adventure, but the only way I could be less fit for the job would be if I were, say, blind.
But here’s what I have got: I keep trying. I still muscle my way onto boats, I still try to read directions in the car, and yesterday I filmed while a gentleman dissected a 2 inch, jet black, disgusting waterbug and ate the meat… and I tried that too. I may not be the most athletic, or the most non-emotional… but Im giving it a fair shot. The day after our hike into the Cascades, everything hurt. Except for my pride. Because I made it up and down that mountain…and didnt die or get lost.