The summer of ’93 stays in my memories. I was around 16 years old and the freedom of having a driver’s license tempted the young man in me into gallivanting the countryside. There was only one problem; I was still a member of “The Boy Scouts of America”. Yeah, I said it. Diggems was a boy scout.

Well, before I could toss away that snazzy “neckerchief” and distance myself from the responibilty of helping senile old women cross the street; my parents made me go on one last camping trip with my – soon to be former – troop.

To some kids the thought of camping is a fascinating one. To a hormone riddled 16 year old such as myself, there could have been no worse torture than hanging out in the woods with a bunch of guys learning how to tie knots. Bottom line, it was a horrible time.

Now, here I am at 32. I’m starting to develop a better appreciation for the little things in life. You know, trees, blue skies, grassy fields and internet porn… the usual. The other day a few friends of mine invited me on a one day excursion into the great outdoors. At first I was hesitant. Flashbacks of my zit covered mug spraying insect repellent on my already cheesy face made me shudder. The real fear didn’t kick in until I sat down and really thought about who I was going with. I would be the only black man with three white guys. Now granted these individuals are very close friends of mine. I have no doubt in my mind that these young men would do everything in their power to ensure my safety, but there a few things that would make most black men pause and re-evaluate their situation. Here’s a list of my immediate concerns:

  • White people love animals including mountain lions, bears, and rattle snakes. Black people pretty much hate anything that moves when concerning the wild.
  • White people love to take the unbeaten path and explore the world around them. Black people aren’t trying to get lost for shit. You’ll never see a news report about a black person lost on a mountain.
  • White people swear that nature loves them. Black people treat Mother Nature like we treat the police. We don’t bother it and hopefully it will leave us the hell alone.

I expressed these concerns to my friends. Their response was, “You worry too much”.

So we’re standing at the parks visitors’ center when one of the park rangers tells us that there is a bear on the loose. He then proceeds to tell us that the park will be closed the next day and the road will be shut down. In other words we would be trapped in the park until late in the afternoon the next day. Did I mention that we would be alone? I looked into my friend’s eyes and I swear on everything I love, this information only made them more excited. I think the only reason they didn’t do a little dance in front of me was out of respect for the sheer look of terrors that plastered my face. Somehow they convinced me that everything was going to be alright and we started our hike into the park.

I know what you’re thinking, “Diggs, did you lose your damn mind?”

And the answer to that is yes! YES I had lost my damn mind. I officially became that black guy who is the first person to die in horror movies.

I have to admit it though, the hike was fun. It was some of the most beautiful, majestic, jaw dropping scenery I’ve seen in a long time. The rest of the evening was just as great. We found a cool camp spot, set up the tent and built a fire. Aside from the occasional fit of paranoia from the random noises that nature makes, nothing bad happened.

The next day we walked to check out one of the park’s waterfalls, packed our stuff and headed back home. The negro foreign exchange program was a glowing success. No negro’s were harmed in the making of this blog and the “cr*cker to n*gga relationship coalition” is at an all time high.

For our next project we plan to explore the inner working of Tijuana and the magical fun of swine flu.


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