Wednesday, July 2, 2008

three

We ascended a ridge to the south and descended into a draw with a tiny creek winding to the east again. By the time we decided things weren't going any better on the search for fishable water, we had gone another half a mile or more back and forth.
Ryan issued his opinion, "Get us back to Posey using the most direct course you can." He wasn't happy about the course of events that had lead us here, and that made two of us, really.
Oh. By the way, I very rarely lose my sense of direction, but I was about to find out that I had done just that.
As I took out my GPS to check my reckonings, I was horrified to see that the direction in my mind was in complete opposition to the arrow on the machine. Seeing as I hadn't been too happy with the compass readings earlier in the day, I recalibrated and found the first result to agree with the second.
Wrestling with my senses, recent bad readings and eventual vindication of the GPS, and my own pride in my mountaineering skills, I looked at my friend as he kicked around impatiently, wrestling with his frustration at not finding the pond.
I was way turned around, and would have headed off into the wilderness for a ways before figuring it out, had I not this danged electronica in my hand.
After looking around at the sky, treesigns and in my mind going through the route we had followed in getting where we were, I decided to follow the little machine's advice.
The way straight back to Posey from where we ended up was even worse, though considerably shorter than the way we had come. Deadfall was everywhere, and the ridges were mostly north-facing and heavily wooded.
After scratching my legs up more than I have in years and near twisting my ankle, even in loggers, we eventually came to the steep slope just west of Posey, with the lake twinkling at the bottom. Halfway down the incline was a barbed wire fence, four feet high and fairly tight. Ryan sighted a junction with cedar posts a wee bit easier to scale than stretched wire.
Our spirits were a little bit higher, and since the end of this misadventure was in sight, we spoke jauntily, if with too much hubris, "Yeah, better mark this corner with the GPS, for the next time we're in exactly this same spot, having gone to the same place, following the same crazy course" and much chatter to the same point.
Ryan made it over the wire and stretcher posts with only three rips in his pants and a couple of white-knuckle moments, but as I was reconnoitering the situation and looking for a better way out, he noticed a place just past the posts where I might get under the wire with only small indignity and less ripping.
"Ah. This is much more my speed" I said as crouched down, undid my backpack's waistbelt, and rolled through. "We'd better remember this place for the next time we're here." Ha, ha, ha...

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