Friday, August 7, 2009

Hiking in the dark?

There are times in your life that you make stupid decisions. Well, I managed to do that during one of my hiking trips.

Over the weekend K and I decided it would be a great weekend to go on a hike. After weeks and weeks of 106 degree weather it was finally down in the 90's, which seemed like the 80's compared to that.

So we hoped in the car, took a drive and ended up in a little town called Watonga. There is a big pond lake there and some nice hiking trails.

We got there late in the afternoon, and decided to explore. After circling the pond lake we found some trails and decided it wouldn't be a big deal to take a small hike. We hop on the trails and come up to a map. We see this location called "Inspiration Point" and feel as though we should go get some inspiration.

We take a look at the route and head on our way. Little did we know that this was going to be a long hike. The map didn't give distances and believe me maps can be deceiving. As we are hiking we are having a great time cracking jokes and checking out the scenery. The woody areas were gorgeous and the trails were a ton of fun. After about 4 miles, a little over an hour and climbing up a few hills we find "Inspiration Point."

See the sun setting? We thought it would be a great idea to see a bit of the sunset and hoped to gain some inspiration. It was a fabulous idea, until we look at the map and realize there was no short cut back to the beginning of the trail like we thought. No, instead we have to hike the entire 4 miles or so back the way came. I felt cheated. Here is our last view of the spot as the sun was going down.

So why was this a big deal? No, it wasn't because of the extra exercise it was because the sun was setting, most of the trail was through the woods and we didn't have a flashlight. We also didn't have cell phone signal (not that we could tell anyone where we were because we really didn't know ourselves), and the light from our phones didn't do much good.

Once we came to this conclusion we decided to walk as fast as we could down the rocks of the hills before the sun disappeared. At least we wouldn't have to go down large rocky hills in the dark. As we made it down the hill the sun was still peaking through and we entered the woods. The only protection we had was a stick that K picked up on the way down the hill.

It was a lot darker in the woods as we tried to keep our eyes on the dirt trail. A little ways in we then heard something no hiker ever wants to hear day or night ... coyotes. Not just one, but it was few hollowing and causing a commotion. At this point we are almost running through the woods, but can only go so fast due to roots, rocks and other things on the trail.

As we get farther into the woods it sounds like the coyotes are getting closer and we are both freaking out at this point. Then, we suddenly hear something move in the woods next to us. We both stop and try our best to see the impossible. Instead of standing there for too long we took off faster than before. My heart was racing at this point and then we finally made it to the edge of the woods. The light was barely peaking through and we can no longer see the trail.

We follow what seems to be the trail and found the white rocky area that we could actually somewhat see. The sun is almost gone at this point and I step off a giant rock and hurt my ankle. I'm now somewhat limping and suddenly realize we were lost.

So here we are in the wildlife, listening as the coyotes get closer and lost. We start to back track and eventually find the first trail we took. We finally made it to the beginning just short of a heart attack. By the time we got there it was pitch black and all the campers were snuggling in their tents. Our trip to "Inspiration Point" took us a little over an hour, our trip back took us just over 30 minutes.

I guess the inspiration we were seeking was to make it back to the beginning without dying.

From this hiking trip on I decided I will never hike without a flashlight again. I don't care if we start at 10 a.m., a flashlight will be with me.


Lil' Woman said...

Damn girl, that sounds scary.
That happened to me walking down from a bush party once.

Moonjava said...

Oh wow, I'd be totally freaking out, and probably screaming my head off, especially if I heard coyotes!

*blushes* I yelped during the HP movie...and I had already guessed what was coming next...:P

New England Girl said...

OHMYGOD! I would have died. Or I suddenly would have decided that we were camping on Inspiration Point, 'cause this girl doesn't walk in the woods at night!
I am glad you made it out okay though! And I think the flashlight rule from now on is completely acceptable. :)

Jessica said...

Oh my god, that was remiscent of those movies where characters get lost in the woods, and then they get killed by some lunatic named Jason. You should really take care next time. If this happened to me, I would have been paranoid every single second. I'm afriad of the dark, especially when I'm in the middle of nowhere, not knowing how to escape.

Trixie said...

Haha, we joked about Jason coming out to get us several times during this whole ordeal. Glad I'm not the only one who thought of that.

Tamela said...

Thank goodness you girls made it back okay. I can only imagine how terrifying that was. I would be having a melt down!

Kristen said...

wow that would freak me out, but it totally sounds like something that I would do! Glad you made it back safely, minus the ankle!

Lisa said...

Oh my gosh, I'd completely freak out if I were in that situation. Glad you make it back safely! :) The photos from Inspiration Point are really pretty though. :)

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