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Saturday, March 23, 2013

How Many Men Does it Take to Rescue One Woman?

     Last summer I had a week to myself when my daughter was away at Girl Scout Camp and my son was going to day camp at the YMCA.  I spent a lot of time with my camera that week.  I also finally got to a county park that I wanted to go to for a long time.  It was one of the few local parks I had never explored.

     It was a very warm Friday morning when I got to the parking lot at this particular park.  It has three trails.  There is only one trail head at the parking lot.  It's the main trail that loops around inside the park for about 2 miles.  The largest trail loops off of this trail for about 3 miles.  There is also a dead end trail that spurs off the larger loop trail.

The map of the park

     My plan was to just walk the loop of the mail trail.  So, I grabbed my camera and began walking.  I figured I'd be in the park about an hour or so and then go grab some lunch before heading home.  Yeah, that was the plan.

    Two hours later I am lost.  Yes, LOST in a county park that has marked trails.  At some point I took the wrong trail and ended up a lot further into the park than I had intended.  I was getting light headed and I was very hot.  I did not have my water bottle with me because I didn't think I'd need it.  And, my cellphone battery was almost dead.

     So, I sat down on a log and looked up the county parks department and called them.  I just needed a ranger to come and fish me out and bring me some water.  Really, that's all I needed.  It's really all I asked for.

This was the only other creature I saw in the park.

     Well, the parks department called 911 and they called me.  Um, OK   I was talking to them when the park ranger found me.  They wanted me to leave my phone on, but as I said, it was almost dead and the park ranger was there so, I said goodbye.

     The park ranger gave me a bottle of water and sat with me while I drank it.  Great, now he'll help me find my way out and all will be good.  Of course I got a little mini lecture about walking through the woods in the summer without water, but hey, he was right.

     Then we heard shouting.  Wait, what?  There was no one else in the park, hence the reason I called the parks department.  Next thing I know here comes another ranger, two EMT's and a fireman.  So, now I have 5 men to escort me out of the park.  Really?

Honestly, the trail markers are NOT as clear as they seem here.

     Of course there is discussion on how to get out of the park.  Should we stay on the trail or bushwhack?  It would be easier walk if we stayed on the trail.  But, she (meaning me) really needs to get out of the heat.  Bushwhacking it was.

     After walking about another 15 minutes I needed to stop again.  They gave me another bottle of water and I sit down to drink it.  Now, we hear a helicopter.  I'm thinking there's an accident on the highway that's not too far away.  Then, I hear them discussing it.  The helicopter is for me!  What?

     Ok, let's look at this rationally.  I am one person that just needed some water and someone to show me where I needed to go to get back to my van.  It is towards the end of June so the trees are THICK with leaves.  While we could hear the helicopter, we could not see it.  So, how were they supposed to see me?  I'm not that overweight!

Maybe if I'd stood in one of those little patches of light, 
the helicopter could have seen me.

     And, yet it gets even better.  Since we bushwhacked we did not come out at the parking lot but one of the gravel roads that runs along side the park.  There waiting for us was yet another two EMT's with the biggest ATV I've ever seen.  It could have easily seated 8 people.  There was also another park ranger.

They drove me down a road that was only about a football field in length to a waiting ambulance and two more firemen.  Have you lost count yet?  That is 10 men on the ground and at least two in the air that have come to the aid of a woman who was just too stupid to follow marked trails and bring a water bottle with her into the woods on a summer day.

The trail marker at the parking lot.  
The one that got me lost was similar to this one.

     After about a half hour in the ambulance so they could monitor my vitals and pour more water down my throat they took me back to my van.  I'm sure that made an impression on the people getting out of their car to go hiking in the park when an ambulance pulled up and let someone get out so she could get into her vehicle.

     I wonder what they would have thought if they'd gotten there when the helicopter was hovering over the park?  I've not been back to that park yet.  And, in my defense, the ranger that first found me said I was about the 6th person that month he had to rescue from that park.  Maybe they need to rethink the trail markers?



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12 comments:

  1. OMG. That is so funny and embarrassing. You totally should have faked pass out and had one of the those cute EMT's carry you. Most EMT's and Firefighters are hotties! I freaking get lost in the mall. I feel ya! Great post.

    -Ellen

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    1. LOL! actually I usually do not get lost no matter where I am. I'll lose my car in a parking lot, but this is the first time I've ever really been lost. It's not a fun feeling, but I love that the whole thing gave me a good story to tell. :-)

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  2. I guess it's better than no one coming! Plus it makes a good story ;)

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    1. It actually was quite comical. I joked with them, that they must've all been having a really boring day.

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  3. Now that's a story! Oh, man, I would have been so embarrassed, too. All those people there to 'save' you!

    I get lost on trails all the time, for some reason, I can never follow the markers. I do usually bring water, though :)

    Well, no matter what, good thing you got help.

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    1. I was embarrassed, but it's still funny.

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  4. Looking back, would you still have admitted to being lost or just accepted the water with a, "Nope, not me."?
    Awesome writing of your story!

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    1. LOL! Yeah, I would still admit it, it was the fastest way back to my van. Thank you for the complement.

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  5. Wow, that's really kind of scary, actually. I mean, the part that it took an entire team -- including a helicopter -- to find you is funny, but having no water and a dying cell phone -- yikes! I do love the pictures, though. :-)

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    1. Yeah, I was a little scared until the help came. But, it's one of those things that I can look back on and laugh at now.

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  6. Agh, I would've died of embarrassment! And yet, it sounds exactly like something I would do...

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