August 2023 Horrorscopes: How You’ll Die in a National Park
Even with the heat, summer’s still the perfect time to squeeze in a little exploring. Perhaps you’ll find your dream national park waiting for you to discover it, even if it’s in someone else’s horrorscopes! And, of course, what better way to kick the bucket than to be surrounded by Nature? Don’t forget your camping gear…and a map when your GPS fails!
Disclaimer: As always, these are mock “horrorscopes” and should not be considered as predictive or indicative of any specific person or persons, or their demise. The national parks are real, so disconnect from your devices and go play outside!
Leo (July 23—August 22). Leo’s the zodiac sign that will be the least likely to expire out in nature, as they like to take it easy when they are getting away from it all. The fairly recent trend of glamping is the path to the wild this pampered feline will take. After all, gorgeous sunsets and sweeping vistas are made all the better with a gourmet meal and a craft cocktail. Still, hauling all that food out to the middle of nowhere carries its own risks, and the Leo may just find their getaway ruined by an up-close-and-personal encounter with food poisoning. Trendsetter Leos may like to do all their party planning themselves, but perhaps this time it’ll be better for them to leave the trip planning to an experienced travel agent, or by scheduling a stay at an established glamping vacation site. Death by food poisoning is an unglamorous way to go, after all. Getting Lost in the Wilds: The posh Camp Jabulani in Hoedspruit, South Africa, will be the perfect place for pleasure-loving Leo to luxuriate in while soaking up all the nature. https://www.glamping.com/destination/africa/hoedspruit/maruleng/jabulani/
Virgo (August 23—September 22). Virgos always like to be doing something, so they’ll immediately book a visit to a historic lighthouse that’s set in a national park, especially one where visitors may be expected to work while there. They’ll love the rustic simplicity of a light station, as it will give always-switched-on Virgo a chance to unplug from their thoughts as well as from their devices. Still, history abounds with stories of keepers who have lost their minds as a result of such an intense work environment. While the life of a keeper is nowhere near as arduous as used to be, Virgos carry around a huge amount of mental and emotional weight that very few people see, so they should be careful about which lighthouse to sign up for. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Since the Virgo is typically well-organized, they’ll have no problem in submitting their application to be the summer caretaker at the Seguin Island Light Station (Maine) by the deadline. https://seguinisland.org/about-us/be-a-keeper/
Libra (September 23—October 22). The Libra adores everything about the water, but especially loves witnessing the sheer power of this elemental force. They won’t mind getting a little wet (okay, completely drenched) just for the opportunity to see such marine power in action. After all, Nature exists in perfect balance between destruction and sustenance—much like a Libra themselves. Sadly, the Libra may be so mesmerized by the experience that they won’t notice the deep scratch they got from the limestone rocks that line the coast. Until the infection sets in, by which time it may be too late for the afflicted Libra. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Libras will find the watery immersion they seek at Shete Boka National Park on the island of Curaçao. They’ll get to experience the wild waves that pummel the coastline, and peek into the quieter pocket bays that provide sanctuary for nesting sea turtles. https://www.shetebokapark.org/
Scorpio (October 23—November 21). Even a Scorpio needs to take a day off from spreading mayhem and chaos, and they’ll suddenly feel a rare urge to connect with something deeper. The scorpion may discover the sense of timelessness and peace in a national park that appears hostile on the surface, such as in an arid desert or high up in the craggy mountains. A day trip could extend into a week or even a month as they push further and further into the wilderness; an unforgiving place where even the Scorpio’s aptitude for survival is supremely tested. If they don’t survive—they ran out of food or water, most likely—they might have made the transition into another plane of existence, or maybe even shifted into a new physical body. Getting Lost in the Wilds: The Scorpio will be keen to explore the Badlands National Park in South Dakota, and they may be surprised by more than just the wide array of wildlife and plants that exist in the region. They’ll emerge from the park with a new sense of purpose or even spirituality—almost as if they were called to a mission while on their journey through the park. https://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21). Sagittarius has a (fire) bucket list of volcanoes around the world they want to visit. Even if the volcano is dormant, they’ll pay the site a visit in hopes of communing with whatever sort of fire deity still holding court there. Volcanic rocks, frozen in geographical time, also hold a strong lure for this fire sign. The archer is just as fascinated by the devastation left behind by a volcanic eruption, and they’ll consider themselves lucky if their prayers and offerings to the resident deities awaken the volatile spirit of the volcano. They’ll be lingering so long as a result of their communion, they probably won’t make it out ahead of the lava flow, or they’ll asphyxiate on the spewing ash and fumes. Getting Lost in the Wilds: What was supposed to be a weekend jaunt to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park may also end up being extended once the Sagittarius discovers the delights of the Volcano Hotel, located within the park itself. They’ll switch out their pup tent for one of the hotel’s charming rooms with a view of the crater, and they may check in and never leave. https://hawaiivolcanohouse.com/
Capricorn (December 22—January 19). Like the Sagittarius, Capricorn has their own park bucket list, but one more geared towards preserving the accomplishments of notable civilizations of the past. One key area on Capricorn’s systematic checklist list are national parks that hold the jewels of the once thriving Maya civilization. Armed not only with their list, but also a compass and a map, they’ll be found taking their efficient weekend trips through the countries that make up the previous Maya region. As practical as a Capricorn is, they’ll secretly be dreaming of discovering a long lost Maya ruin. What they may find instead, however, is a previously unknown species of venomous snake. Good thing Capricorn brought their snake kit. Or did they? Getting Lost in the Wilds: Capricorns will probably kick off their journey at one of the largest Maya cities, Tikal, located in Guatemala’s Tikal National Park. https://mcd.gob.gt/tikal/
Aquarius (January 20—February 18). Aquarius doesn’t really practice the art of day-tripping, unless you count the fact that they rarely spend more than a couple of days in one location, that is. This airy sign is always on the move, and generally through pretty rarefied locations. Not even higher altitudes slow this sign down, and they tend to be experienced mountaineers and skiers. Still, no amount of expertise and training can fully protect the Aquarius from the vagaries of Nature, and they run the risk of perishing in a rockslide or an avalanche high atop a snowy mountain. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Aquarius is always looking for a new challenge, and they’ll find it in New Zealand’s Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park. They’ll happily traipse around from hut to hut, with plenty of mountains to scale, including the country’s highest, Aoraki/Mount Cook. There might be a shortage of places to stay in the park (many of the bunk huts are listed as first come, first serve) but that certainly won’t deter our adventurous Aquarius, who always has their camping gear handy. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/aoraki-mount-cook-national-park/?tab-id=50578
Pisces (February 19—March 20). Like the Sagittarian, Pisces is another sign that embraces the spirituality of nature. Instead of a potentially very irritable fire deity, they’ll seek guidance from a more gentle water spirit. They’ll choose national parks that are protected marine habitats, preferring to stay on an island or a peninsula surrounded by this protected wildlife habitat. Although dreamy and sensitive Pisces has an unusual rapport with wildlife, they may be so enamored with the natural environment they’ll want to stay there forever—probably as a ghost when they can’t find the path they forged that will take them back to where they set up camp. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Pisces will be completely enchanted by the magical and varied marine environment of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve off the western coast of Canada. This reserve area has it all…bird watching, hiking, kayaking, artist residencies (yes, really), and Haida cultural sites. https://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/bc/gwaiihaanas
Aries (March 20—April 19). If Aries does venture off the urban beaten path into a national park, they’ll probably pick a site that pushes them outside their comfort zone even more. And they’ll definitely go on a deep dive. Like, really deep. Like hundreds of feet below the Earth’s surface deep. Yep, Aries will get their climbing gear and other supplies together and go spelunking, claustrophobia be damned! Still, this might be the first time Aries will ever be scared of something. And, probably, the last time, after they start exploring an area that keeps getting smaller…and narrower…and smaller…and narrower. (Breathe, Aries, just breathe.) Getting Lost in the Wilds: One thing’s for sure about Aries…they like to go big or go home. So their national park hotspot will be, of course, the Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. And, of course, competitive Aries will challenge themselves to see how far they can go into the cave in record time. Until, of course, the above happens, and they never make it out of the cave alive. (I told you to breathe, not panic, remember?) https://www.nps.gov/maca/index.htm
Taurus (April 20—May 20). Taurus definitely appreciates traditions, especially traditions that hold families together. And, to a Taurus, nonhuman pet animals, wildlife, and nature in general are all part of one big family unit. They’re the zodiac sign that can recognize individual migratory return visitors to their bird feeder every year. This loyal bull will cherish a visit to a national park in a country that’s been associated with a family in pop culture for years. Yes, Taurus, we get the reference. No need to start singing. Oh, okay, you’re singing it anyway. Go ahead, then. Just don’t blame me after you get tossed off the mountain by a fellow hiker who is tired of the hills being alive with the sound of music for the tenth thousandth time. I’ll make sure they play the entire selection of musical numbers at your closed-casket funeral, don’t worry. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Yes, you guessed it too. The national park that Taurus and their entire supporting cast of coerced family members will be singing their way through is the Nationalpark* Hohe Tauern in Austria. https://hohetauern.at/en/
Gemini (May 21—June 20). Gemini’s next stop on their neverending world tour of national and state parks will be the ecologically diverse country of Vietnam…a country that ranges from alpine to tropical will be doubly exciting for the mutable Gemini. Gemini will also appreciate the mercurial climate there, but as they may forget to bring a coat when they venture into cooler regions, they may succumb to hypothermia, especially as they prefer camping out-of-doors. This sign likes to travel light, after all. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Intuitive Gemini will appreciate the fact that as soon as I saw the description for the Ba Bể National Park, I was like “That’s it! That’s where Gemini’s gotta visit next!”. I mean, a waterfall called the Silver Waterfall, a pond called the Fairy Pond, and a cave system AND a murky lake where anything could be concealed underneath the surface? Yep, it’s got Gemini written all over it, for sure. Don’t forget to send me a postcard, okay? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba_B%E1%BB%83_National_Park and https://rsis.ramsar.org/ris/1938
Cancer (June 21—July 22). Sometimes Cancers get a reputation for being moody, but perhaps they’re just being atmospheric and mysterious. As such, this sign might be drawn to a national park in equally mysterious and brooding Scotland. They’ll pick a spot where they can have a lovely ramble among the trees, flowers, and lochs (and drizzle!) of Scotland’s wilds before settling in for a nice tea. It’s also a safe bet that the fate of the Cancer will be just as mysterious as their destination. They’ve seemingly disappeared off the face of the planet. Perhaps they were stolen by fairies? It’s anyone’s guess, as their remains were never found. Getting Lost in the Wilds: Just in case the indecisive Cancer can’t make up their minds, they’ll head off for a national park that has a bit of everything: hiking, skiing, historic sites, castles, art, museums, and lots more. This makes the Cairngorms National Park Cancer’s top pick for a place to spend a day…or longer. Or a place to forget the world altogether. https://cairngorms.co.uk/ and https://theweewhitedug.com/scotland/highlands/walks-in-the-cairngorms-national-park/
*Not a typo. It’s really how it’s listed on the park website.
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“Bringer of Nightmares and Storms.” Horror writer Willow Croft is usually lurking deep in the shadows of her writer cave, surrounded by formerly feral (but still fierce!) cats for company. Visit her here: http://willowcroft.blog, or check out her other services here: https://kirsten-lee-barger.mailchimpsites.com/.