Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Perdita Felicien: wherein the portager lurches over a seemingly innocuous fallen tree at great speed expecting to clear it with ease only to catch a lace, a pant cuff or similar on a branch. A Jesus or Earth Mother Dive may follow.
The Tonya Harding: where in order to maintain balance or momentum the portager propels lower leg forward into rock, log or both, at about shin level.
The Armadillo: wherein the clear line through the bush becomes suddenly a Car Wash, the portager curls head toward chest, tucks arms in, leans forward and stomps aggressively through obstructing branches. A move heralded by judges for its audacity in placing skin preservation ahead of the need to see where you're going.
The Birth Canal: when carrying a canoe, the portager attempts to pass between two trees separated by a distance less than the boat's beam at the midthwart. Athletes are scored based on the speed at which they perform the maneuver and the creativity applied in the process of wiggling through.
Dinglethwacking: ropes or nylon webbing connected to the canoe's front and back that allow the portager to control the canoe are called dingle straps. Holding them taught while going through a Car Wash would seem to be an excellent way of fending off bent branches, but in fact, it merely extends the branches' arc, making the results of their release that much more spectacular.
Car Wash: undergrowth along a river, either where nature is reclaiming a trail or engulfing a river tends to be strong, right to the ground. Branches grow horizontally seeking sunlight, creating a gate effect between trees similar to what you find in a drive-through carwash, but they don't so much buff as flagellate.
Jesus Dive: where losing balance or footing, the portager falls in some direction (extra points for backwards) and reaches out a limb to break the fall only for said limb to contact the pointy end of a stick. Twenty points for palm of hand. Extra points for broken skin.
Mother Earth Dive: similar to the Jesus Dive, but, hands restrained by portaging straps, the portager kisses the earth - with gusto. Ten points for each five seconds of prostration.
The Boomerang: when attempting the Car Wash or Armadillo, the portager is propelled backwards by the strength of the branches.
The Twistoff: when carrying the canoe, the portager attempts to execute a turn only to find the bow of the canoe has gone past a tree. Extra points if your head makes a sound when the canoe hits it.