I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Getting Lost

Becoming lost really is relative. One day, several years ago, during moose hunting season, I decided to walk along a ridge above a small creek. There was a game trail along this ridge and there was a foot or so of snow on the ground so I was wearing my snowshoes. Since it was hunting season, I was also carrying my 30.06.

Cutting across the landscape are some size-lines. They are man-made lines cut arrow-straight through and over any and all terrain. Some of them go on for miles and miles, and some start and stop after covering much shorter distances. If any of them parallel another, it is purely by accident. I don't know what their purpose is, but I believe they were an aid in making topographical maps.

Near my home is one heading roughly east and west. About a half mile to the west is another that crosses the first at near ninety degrees. My goal on this day was to hike around this ridge until I encountered that first size-line and then head on home, going out of my way by maybe a mile from our normal trail.

Needless to say, I missed the size-line and continued walking on, ending up on the second size-line. Having never approached the size-line from this direction before, and being just a mite stubborn, I walked much, much further than I should have, and I did find a small herd of moose - perfect for shooting. No, I didn't shoot one. I had already been walking for maybe a couple hours (did I mention I was stubborn), but I wasn't stupid (not much), I had no desire to hike an entire moose out that far on foot. My shot would probably bring my husband and two sons as fast as they could get there, but it just might take all night to get the entire moose home.

Still not finding the landmarks I was looking for, I decided there was nothing for it but to turn around and follow my trail back to the beginning. Yeah, I was an idiot; I should have come to this decision long ago.

Needless to say, my rifle was getting heavier by the mile and my arms were starting to feel like they were going to fall off. I was SO so so glad to run into my men as they were trying to hack their way along my trail with a snowmachine, some miles before I made it entirely back to my starting point. And thanks to their trail, I could now take my original target trail back to the house.

I'm sure my husband acquired several gray hairs that day, just as I'm sure my boys did a little more growing up - fear of losing a wife and mom to the wilderness of Alaska would do that to a person, but I was too exhausted to notice much by then. I gave them all a hug and handed over the tonnage that was my rifle, and trudged on for home, leaving them to get the machine turned around and follow.

To this day, I have never lived it down. I wasn't quite lost; I did have my own trail to follow back, but my family didn't think of that. Needless to say, I try very hard not to be so stubborn.