“Poor Decisions Make for Better Stories”
While walking in the yard at the hostel, we looked up and noticed this beauty. Usually it would be left alone after the initial temptation to chunk a rock at it, but this time it had to be deal with swiftly and with out predigest. These foul tempered Bald Faced Hornets had constructed there home right over the hostel’s hiking trail and beautiful blue hammock. One of our guests had complained the day before about being stung by a bee and now we had found the culprits !!
Our initial plan of attack was the obvious chunking of rocks and dead tree branches at the nest. We quickly learned that this was no ordinary nest, it had be crafted by the finest Bald Faced architects. Perfectly placed and able to withstand glancing blows. It was a mini version of the fabled Death Star !!
“Just another day at the Hostel”
After we tested the defenses with several glancing blows followed by us running full speed in the opposite direction, it became obvious that we needed a solid plan of attack. Round 1 had gone the the Bald Faced Bastards, but mind was working in Wiley Coyote mode formulating new attacks for day 2 !!
“Sleep did not come easy for me, I heard the laughter of a thousand tiny hornets as they celebrated their victory in their great celebration chamber.”
At 3am I could take it no more and put Operation Flaming Sock into action. I constructed a 40 foot pole out of 2 pieces of PVC pipe and 3 pieces of house trim lashed together with 4 bungee cords and blue electrical tape. Now bear in mind this was fashioned at 3am in the dark with the voices of a thousand hornets in my head, but I had to stop the voices !! I tested my newly created weapon of mass destruction … it was much heavier than I had hoped for and flexed greatly, but it still passed the 3am test. All that was left was to tip my masterpiece with a gasoline soaked sock.
I followed a strict protocol for safety … three pairs of jeans, two sweat shirts, thick wool socks with the inner layer of pants tucked in, two pairs of gloved, a bee keepers hat and jacket, a head lamp, and a pair of Salomon running shoes for a quick get away.
“What could possible go wrong ?”
As I approached the sleeping beasts, I was filled with confidence and illusions of grandeur. I got into position, lit the flaming sock of death, and charged !! Once again, just as with my rock chunking, my aim was off and my flaming sock struck the tree and not the lair of the beasts. The sock fell to the ground and the hornets swarmed into their defensive battle stations. I dropped the pole and started to run, but then I noticed that the pole had caught on fire. I picked up the stick and thrusted once again … pay dirt, the nest was a blaze !! Then the attacks started, the enemy had found me and they were pissed, I started running down the mountain surrounded by hornets. One had gotten inside of the netting on the top of my bee keepers hat and while trying to dispatch it I knocked off my head lamp, now I was running blind though the trees on the side of a mountain. I became disoriented and ran faster, finally the attacks stopped and I was in the clear. I ended running far from where I thought I was running, I had passed directly under the nest and I believe this is what caused the attacks to stop. The complete confusion and horror of the person who lit your home on fire in the dark with a flaming sock stick, that you were attacking was now charging you at full speed in the dark 😉
The next morning I awoke to find, not the total destruction that I had envisioned, but instead the rebuilding of the burned and battered nest. This was going to take some serious thought, so while I was thinking I stated chunking rock again. I learned two valuable lessons … 1) their defensive pattern was much larger now, and 2) I would never make as a baseball pitcher !! I went deep into Wiley Coyote’s playbook and came out with a brilliant catapult design that would bend the tree over, then launch the crippled nest into the stratosphere. Ropes were fashioned and the Operation Launch was put into action.
The first rope was flung into the tree with a rock attached with great precision. Success, stage 1 was complete, now all that was left was to attach the second rope and then bend the tree over in preparation for launch. When pulling the rope taught the rock fell off and the hornets swarmed ending all hopes for Operation Launch. I was devastated, but not beaten, I waited until dark and attacked with a can of long range RAID. It turns out that long range for RAID is about 10 feet when spraying up hill. I was dangerously close to the enemy and poorly protected, but I was desperate for a victory. To my surprise they didn’t swarm, they just sat there and bathed in the steady stream of death. Not only did the RAID kill the hornets it caused the nest to fall to the ground. Not very a dramatic conclusion to the situation, but very effective.
“And so it ended, no bands playing, no parades, just a guy standing in the dark with an empty can of RAID in his hand“