Tuesday, August 18, 2009
True Story of the Best Worst Vacation Ever Part 3/6
Now, let me try to explain to you the layout of the land. If you can imagine a big bowl-shaped ridge- almost like a toilet bowl. You have the toilet-seat which would be the upper ridge level and then you have the actual bowl part at the bottom, which is where we were. Now, in this bowl part, imaging little tiny mountains (literal mountains, not what you might find in an actual toilet because, well that's just gross). Each of these little mountains went straight up and straight down and in order to get to where we needed to be, we had to hike up and down every one of them. We decided our best course of action was to climb to the very top of the ridge, as opposed to staying in the bottom of the bowl. Once we finished trekking each of these mini mountains, we finally made it to the base of the ridge. I am not going lie to you. As we climbed that ridge, every part of me wanted to give up. It was almost like rock climbing with no pulley. The altitude made it hard to breathe. My glutes burned. My brain was all "I really should have trained more on the stairmaster!" and my legs were all "I hate you." I had not worn adequate foot protection and my boots rubbed blisters upon actual blisters. My feet bled, my toes threatened to cut me in my sleep and my heels concurred that I should sleep with one eye open. I was in so much physical pain that at one point I sat down, fell back and declared they would just have to carry by dead body out of there because I was done.
When we'd finally made it to the top of the ridge, we could see the town of Durango, CO. It was a glorious site and was only thirteen (13!) miles away. Now, all we had to do was get there...by foot, preferably before dark. We had been walking for about an hour or so, when we heard the first gun shot. We yelled and screamed, but there was silence. We waited until we heard it again. This time, Marty shot his own pistol to signal to the others. We saw no one and didn't know if they were hunters or day hikers or the entire cast of "Deliverance", but we didn't care. We wanted out. The next thing I remember is hearing our names being called and you guys- it was one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life. It didn't even matter to us that the voices were coming from down below. Like, from where we just came from, below. As fast as we could go, we hobbled all the way back down that ridge to the nearing voices until finally we saw the riders on horseback. It was Search and Rescue.
I still remember how awesome it felt to be rescued. More specifically, I can remember the Snickers bar and water that was provided to us. Now our only problem was getting back out. Surely we weren't too far away, right? Wrong. It was getting late, but we had to be close enough that we'd still get out by dark, right? WRONG. We had gotten five miles from where we needed to be. Five miles back up and down the little toilet bowl mountains to the other side. We had to move fast because if it turned dark, we'd be stuck for a second night and I was not down for that. I just wasn't. Thus began our death march.