DAY 23 Lost and Found

6th May 2022

My alarm went off at 5am I snoozed it but let out the air in my bed and slowly began to pack up.
There were still snores coming from the other tents as I went for a wee. Wow what an amazing sunrise.

Hawkeye was just emerging as I dropped my tent.. see you guys I half whispered and headed for the trail.. It climbed but not to steeply ,I wasn’t really awake but was still puffing.

At last it began to turn down and fairly steeply but omg it was an old burn so most of the trees were down. It was more like a show jumping circuit over and over and then a triple  jump  over and over and around again as you went across another switchback and over and under and your heading steeply down god I was soon exhausted and I had only just began, at last I was down ,phew.
I headed along the trail just one huge tree in the  way I clambered over and carried on ..the trail heading  down. Just ahead was an amazing cairn some one was bored lol. I stopped to take off my shirt as I was hot from the show jumping.
Just ahead was a tent as i passed the owner appeared exo a kiwi nurse. 
I am having a lay in she said
I laughed and moved on and up, for the next two miles I was climbing going down climbing going down and then climbing again as I puffed up my last hill the boys ( Hawkeye and Dr Tom) appeared behind me shortly followed by Exo , god I’m slow.
From here on we played leapfrog  until we arrived at our first water source a smelly green pond  with cows weeing in it nice. We took one look and decided no.

The amazing Cairn

I moved on first, taking the next Alternate route it was a nice sandy route so I was able to get some pace further up I passed an old log cabin soon arriving at the next water source ,yet another stinking cow pond. Crap
Just here was Exo.
How far is a yard, she asked as that’s where the spring is.
So we walked back to the old Log Cabin and began searching.
At last we found it, It was covered with a heavy iron lid. I lifted it but it was dry, Fuck
Exo  dropped down and dug, but it was stinky too.
We walked back to the pond as  Hawkeye and Dr Tom appeared
We all looked at the green water.

The three took off as I stood and  stared at the pond. 
Nah i said to myself , hoisted my pack and set off after the boys.
I caught them on their break then fell in behind. We were all low on water and the next was in 5 miles time and it was getting hotter.
I followed the boys down the canyon ,we had a great pace until at the next break Hawkeye announces  “We are off trail and by about 2 miles”
Oh crap, Shall we go back I suggested!
We all decided to go on ,continue on the current trail but after 20 minutes we noticed that we were  getting further away from the trail.
We had a discussion  and decided the best option was to go down the next valley and then bushwhack to the trail.
I initially agreed and we set off  then stopped to take a break.
As we sat there I was getting a little stressed as I didn’t think I could do what they wanted to do as I know my limitations and I don’t yet have my trail legs or stamina.  I pondered  and pondered. 
“Guys I said I can’t do this I’m going to go back to that random trail and just follow it. I haven’t got  a clue where i am going and yours seems a much better plan but I can’t do  it.
Okay snail, we hear you.
We wished each other good luck and I turned and went back the way we had come. Back at the random trail I turned right and said fingers crossed.
Luckily for me it was fair flat as I headed down and down through canyon after canyon .
At 2 pm I took a break under a tree, bugger I bet the boys are on trail now Oh  well.
Back to the trail  all of a sudden 2 partridges or similar flew up scaring the shit out of me.
A little further a wild turkey  ran past followed by a second and still I continued down this mystery  trail the hours ticking by and the sun getting hotter and my water getting lower.
At 3.30 I stopped for another break. Fuck  I think I’ve fucked up here….. 
Back to the trail and  it’s getting  later. Then I see footprints in the sand and on my App I am getting closer to highway 12 but I am miles away from the trail.
I continue to follow the  footprints and then see horses. That’s a good sign. At last a building with  car.
I can’t climb the fence so I take two water bottles  and head towards the building and knock on the door.
A young lady answers the door.
I apologise to her and ask if she could top up my bottles.
She  grabs my bottles and disappears shouting Mum.
A few minutes later mum appears with my water. Tells me I’m on private land and trespassing .
I apologise saying that I’m lost.
She’s not happy  and tells me I’m still trespassing..
Again I say I am sorry and ask am I near the highway?
Yes your about a mile away but its all private land.
I thank her and head back to my pack. Its not going well I say to myself.

I pour one bottle into my bladder, hoist up my pack and head down the drive passing through another  ranch when suddenly a rancher appears  on his Gator. 
Hey you look like you could use a beer!
Omg yes please. I’d love one.
I then said  could I get some water and maybe could I pitch my tent in your back yard!!!
I think we can  do better than that. he replies
I get into the gator and we drive to the Ranch house, He invites me in .
“Make yourself at home”
He then disappears  and returns with beer and ice. He passes the iced water to me.
Oh that’s so good I top it up then enjoy my ale. 
Would you like to take a shower.
God yes.
I step in the water refreshing my bones and cleaning off the sweat and dirt..
I put on my clean shirt and went back to the kitchen.
Waiting for me was another beer. What an amazing person.
Okay snail come relax in the lounge I will cook dinner later you can sleep her too.
Really I couldn’t believe what he was saying omg omg Thank you so so much.
He gives me another beer, then announces dinner is ready.
Dinner was so good ,tasty, then he tells me off for not eating enough.

As we were eating the “Cow Dog” appeared he was huge and stopped baddies and critters from bothering the cattle. They also have sheep and alpacas  here too.

Great Hound

We chatted and drank beer before I needed sleep

My rescuer

Mileage 18


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