INCIDENTS OF My TRAVELS to
NEVER SEEKING ADVENTURE YET ADVENTURE FINDS ME
Mild mists becomes a troubling downpour
Another night without a fire and in mere 50 degree weather we are getting chilled to the bone now. With the rain continuing we have adjusted to sleeping on our baggage to keep us off the damp ground. Our sleeping bags by now are sodden and heavy with the seeping waters, barely dry on the inside.
Sunset is now around seven these days and we do not want to spend battery charge on lanterns staying up longer into the darkness. No point, the wet misery is just as uncomfortable as the attempts to sleep.
But somehow sleep does finds me uncomfortably cocooned between these two men. But on this night it is short lived. A downpour is now upon us. Water seepage splatters inside the tent as the deluge hits the outside.
We try to make the best of it but the din is thunderous. Our bags no longer holding any hint of dryness, a new experience of dampness is upon us.
Then the clothes we are lying on get soaked. The added water rolling down the incline toward the already swollen creek is felt as it now loosens dirt below us, shifting under our weight. Muddy depressions under our bodies.
I still try to sleep through it but the other two have had it. Utter chaos with the roar of heavy water on nylon sheeting silencing their shouts
“I’m heading to the cabin.” yells Harry. Betraying what must have been in his mind for a few nights now.
“I’m with you.” Concedes Jim.
But I remain adamant and say no. I am sure I can sleep this through.
“Fine, have it your way!” Obviously irritated with me they both scramble out of the tent. Their flashlight beams disappearing into the denseness of the waterfall as they depart.
At last, I think to myself, all this room available. I now try to get myself as comfortable as possible to last the storm. No easy task, it is like trying to sleep in a half filled bath tub. I throw Jim’s sleeping bag below me thinking the added padding will lift me from the rush of water. I cover myself with Harry’s, the soaked heft adding a comfortable pressure on mine. Their weight lulls me. And for a moment this works as I start to doze off.
But the water level continues to rise and is now flowing around my head now. I wake again to keep myself above by turning onto my left side to prop myself against my arm and shoulder which now is inches deep in the flow. I then consider that if I fall asleep (still believing it possible at this point) my head might dip into the current. I might drown myself while deep in slumber. I consider keeping my head elevated using Jim’s precious hunting rifle. I did consider his warning for a moment but then propped it across two baggage piles and lay my head on the hard gun stock. Uncomfortable but effective, my head is above the flow now.
How long I have tried to sleep in this condition I cannot recall. A moment was an eternity. Dripping water on my face kept disturbing my slumber. But confident was I that I have found a solution to this dilemma. That is until I felt water welling up at my feet. Unsure if it was that the tent loosened in the mud and slipped closer to the creek or the creek swelled up enough to reach the base of the tent. In either case I was now being submerged in rising waters of the creek.
Too late and dark to fix the tent situation I conceded. I now needed to join the other two who have abandoned me earlier. I grab what I needed and look for my dim flashlight and start on my way.
I cross the swelled creek; at the deepest the waters are now to my knees as feel the current threatening to carry me away. I cross it with little effort. In this darkness I have trouble finding my landmarks toward that path that leads to the cabin. But I do, I have learned from the first night experience and Jim’s simple lessons what to look for, how to keep observations, even in the dark. I would not repeat the embarrassment of that first night again.
The trail slick with mud, I barely able to see through the downpour and fogged up glasses, I continually wipe them up as I proceed. Without them, being astigmatic, everything is a blur. With them on everything is similarly blurred right now. I continue on but before arriving to the destination I find with Jim and Harry. They have arrived at the cabin and started a fire. Feeling guilty about leaving me behind they decided to return and convince me to reconsider.
I inform them about the tent’s misfortune. It might be submerged or washed away now. No matter, we will address in the morning light, for now let us return to the cabin.
Arriving, the relief of being out of the elements is compounded by warm welcome provided by a started fire. We remove our wet clothes and place them by the heat to dry, finally dry properly. We eat a quick meal (stale crackers and sausage left in the cabin previously, us leaving a note that Waterfield and Associates will reimburse). With that we pass out from exhaustion. Not realizing how much such exposure took out of us we slept soundly. Even the snoring did not wake us.
About the Author
I have always ended up in unexpected places. So I present a collection of my tales told over the years. Places that due to circumstances I might never go on my own accord.