Monday, October 16, 2006

The Story of How My Roommate And I Almost Became Forest People And Other Amusing Tales, Or, Escape From The Were-Deer

I am what you would call a "hiking fiend." Meaning that a few days ago, I got the idea in my little noggin to go on a hike, so I Googled some things, and the prospects before me so caught my attention that I had to go hiking THE VERY NEXT DAY, and every day after that I possibly could. Am I obsessed? Yes. Are you surprised? Of course not.

So it won't surprise you that I went on another hike today, this time with my roommate Audrey. I picked a longer trail this time, because Audrey is obsessed with fitness, and I want to be obsessed with fitness. I figured six miles would be a good length, so I decided on the Cold Mountain trail.

Well and good. We went, found the parking spot easily, and began the hike. The views were absolutely stunning. We took picture after picture after picture, and ran around through the thistle looking for more views (and also maybe there was a little chasing of some kind of small furry animal that I decided was a chipmunk). We reached the peak of Cold Mountain and started back down through the woods, figuring this was the easy part and we'd be done soon.

Oh how foolish we were. First of all, we had counted on some switchbacks going down, the same as on the other side of the mountain that we'd ascended. No dice. Actually, we descended for only a little bit before the trail started climbing again. And climbing. And climbing. And climbing some more until I cursed the woman who bore me for bringing me into existence only to end my days by climbing some interminable mountain peak that I didn't even remember being on the hike synopsis.

Actually, come to think of it, that should have been my first clue.

Well, finally it tipped off and we started going back down. Quickly. Pretty much straight down the mountain. I have blisters on the front of my toes from the strain of the descent. Steel-hearted mountain goats with football cleats would have found another way around, I'm certain. Although I hope they would have come out from the trees and nibbled shyly at my fingers while I stroked their long, tufty fur. But maybe I've been reading too many fairytales.

Anyway, at some point, I entered into that stage of just not caring. I didn't care if I went too fast and lost my footing and went stumbling down the mountain. AT LEAST I WOULD BE OFF OF IT. When it began to grow dark, I realized that the trail was taking far, far, FAR too long to just be six miles. We'd been walking for days. We had mistakenly begun the trail that never ends, AND WE WOULD DIE, ALONE, IN A MOUNTAIN GOAT-LESS WILDERNESS.

Finally, FINALLY we saw an old woman hiking toward us. She told us that 60 E was near and went on her way.

That should have been my second clue. We did not park off of 60 E. We turned down a road and then another, gravel road and traveled for miles to get to the parking lot where my car and heat and salvation were located.

We came out on 60 E. There was no car. AND I HAD NO IDEA WHERE WE WERE.

So we called people. We called my mom to look up a map and at least tell us where in God's great universe we were, so at least we could walk in the right direction. Finally Jaela answered, and I basically told her to get onto 60 E. and drive until she found us. And she did. And she found us. And we were saved. And then we had a little (a lot) of difficulty finding my car, but we did and drove down the mountain and kissed the sweet sweet ground of Buena Vista.

I still have no idea exactly what went wrong, though.


Blogger Baltazar said...

I allways found it gets spooky when you get away from alarming

12:13 AM  
Blogger GreenLantern said...

You might not wanna kiss the ground near the Stop In, though.

Espcially after a Friday night.

But it's up to you.

12:31 AM  
Blogger juxtaposer said...

Um. Why?

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I checked the payouts for the life insurance we have on you. It turns out we get more money if you are eaten by a bear than if you are devoured by a wolf. So, if surrounded by wolves and bears, run towards the bear. :-)

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

hmmm... "Curse the woman who bore you" (?) and then call me up begging me to google maps and mapquest and other such stuff to try to tell you where you were, when it was rather obvious that you NEED TO KNOW WHERE YOU ARE in order for these search engines to work.... Anyone else see a problem here?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Petey Konrad said...

(this is Pete Konneker, bytheway... in case you didn't catch that)
You might have gone off onto a logging trail... or something like that. We did that once. It's really hard to tell where the trail is going sometimes, and you can be on some random side trail to nowhere before you know it... and I do mean NO where... scary stuff... especially in the rain... Stupid scout masters... ; )

11:24 AM  

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