I found the campground Friday evening with a minimum of trouble, and before the sun went down. Dinner was very welcome and extremely good. Nice mellow time around the campfire, complete with guitar and harmonica.
Went on a nature hike Saturday with 5 others. Really a beautiful place, and the guy who led us is an expert on birds so he was able to identify the calls of several species. I never knew there were so many different varieties of warbler. We saw deer, wild turkeys and people rapelling off cliffsides.
It was a fairly strenuous walk and went on for about 3 hours. My body has inefficient oxygen exchange, so prolonged exertion leaves me way out of breath. I was fine until really just the last leg of the walk, where I found myself gasping. Fortunately, I recovered without anyone noticing and asking if I was okay. However, my right leg has been on fire ever since then, from the hip all the way down to mid-calf. I've had to adjust to a different sleeping position because it's the only one that doesn't hurt. Took 4 Advil upon returning, followed by a brief nap. Too many people going in and out, slamming the squeaky doors to really sleep, but it did help.
Pleasant afternoon and evening. Very quiet all around because there was NO cell phone service or internet available. The place isn't terribly far from home, really just 2 counties, but once you get about 25-30 miles from town, cell service disappears. Our lodge had a pay phone but it didn't work. That is, until 2:30 or 3:00 am Sunday, when the damn thing rang twice, waking us up. Having to make myself fall asleep 3 different times did not make me a "happy camper" at breakfast. But gradually things got better.
The Tire was low as I left home and still looked low even after I put air in it. Saturday it looked even lower but still driveable; this morning it was flat as a pancake. A team of 4 guys got the tire changed, so that was OK.
When I got back in cell range I played all the messages Carl had left. We had agreed that I'd call the restaurant since he works early hours, and hopefully be able to pick him up. When I called, I got a manager, who asked if I was Carl's wife, and then proceeded to tell me that Carl had called out today, being too upset to work because he hadn't heard from me and thought I was missing.
I called home and when Carl picked up the phone, I yelled "I'M NOT DEAD!" and proceeded to explain that I was out in the wilderness where there were no phones available, and that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would have gone to work! He got defensive, but once I got home, we were happy enough to see each other so that all was forgiven.
I am SO gonna crash tonight.
Sunday, April 20, 2008