Saturday, October 25, 2008

our long, but adventure filled night.

well, we had quite the adventure yesterday.

meet the key players...
army ranger/hunter (fyi - this picture was taken with my hand out the window behind me not even close to looking at the screen.)

loving wife

not a hunting hound dog


and topographical map

james worked hard all week, and decided this was the weekend he was going to begin his deer hunting season. he studied the guides and learned all georgia's rules. certain days are both sex days, you can get 12 deer (yes 12!) total. 2 buck, 10 doe. certain counties are always both sex, and so on. much different than home.

anyways, so you can hunt anywhere in the national forest. when ma was here and we took a drive he started scoping out the perfect spot. he asked me if i wanted to come with him last night, just to walk a bit and see if we could find the perfect place.

it was raining, but i decided i'd like to get out, and it'd more than likely be fun! we didn't have power for a lot of the day, so i was itching to do something.

just call us the next generation of newlywed hunters. (yes, my grandma was proposed to, and spent her honeymoon hunting, ah love.)

so off we went. in the truck, leaving maggs at home, because what good is he?

we drove around for awhile, me checking the georgia hunting guide to see what time sunset was. (6:42pm) we had about an hour to search.

the two places he would of liked to have hunted we found out the trails were actually driveways, and they made it very clear that there were to be no trespassers!

so he decided to trek into the national forest.

we were on a little two track, just enough room for the truck to brush the tree branches back on both sides. it was also the bumpiest ride i had ever been on. (not good for a pregnant lady with a small bladder)

i rode most of the way like this...

james knows most of these trails pretty well, it's basically what he does all day, marching or driving through here. so i wasn't too worried, plus his land nav skills are quite impressive. what we didn't expect was to find a tree similar to this one, covering the trail we needed to take.

so back to the topographical map we went. looking for some other way around. by this time it is beyond sunset, still raining, and only getting colder. (we are in the mountains after all)

we find another way out, james gets out of the truck to make sure the path is clear and we can get over to garrett farms (our destination) it looked clear so off we drove. little did he know, on my side of the truck it was a lot more of a marshland than his side. (of course the only side he checked)

so we drove on, and soon enough we were stuck. spinning tires, 4 wheel drive no help at all. we could see garrett farms across from us, it was so frustrating!

of course he had unloaded his tool box out of the truck to haul drywall, so we had no ratchet straps, no tools, only an ice scraper. which turns out, isn't a whole lot of help when you are stuck in the mud.

another thing you should know is that there is very limited cell phone service. at the spot where we were stuck we had none, but where did? oh yea, garrett farms.

now you are probably wondering why we didn't just walk over there. well, we tried, but it turns out that creek we were planning to drive through, was more like a small river. we had no flashlight, so we couldn't see where would be a good place to cross, and didn't feel like soaking our feet.

so we start walking. trying to find service, my night vision failing me miserably (no help when you keep checking your phone for one measly bar.)

we finally find a spot after a 20 minute walk from the truck. we stand there and phone adam. he has a truck, he just passed EIB (expert infantry badge) so surely his land nav skills are up to par, he can rescue us!

unfortunately he hadn't gotten back from benning yet. he was about 45 minutes away. (this was 5 til 7:00) he said he'd come get us though, just stay put (since we had service) james sent him a 6 digit grid, and we sat in the dark, hoping he'd find us.

before i go on you should know these two things...
1. i have been around many different people lately who have brought up the movie "deliverance" apparently it was filmed close to here, and everyone is talking about it.
2. i was a bystander when this exchange went on.
erica - "did you know there are bears out here?!"
beccca - "well what kind of bears?"
erica - "i don't know! A BEAR'S A BEAR!"

the entire time, that was all i could think about. freaking myself out. it's still raining, we have no flashlight, and all we can do is stand there in that same freaking spot with one bar of service.

at least i had my camera to keep things fun. i think cameras are a must at times like these...

(that was taken without being able to see where the lens was pointed, and ruined our night vision for a good 15 minutes.)

at one point we hear what sounds like a stump being knocked over at the top of the hill we are standing below. i freak out, james tells me to squat and stay still, and eventually tells me it was nothing. all the while holding his knife at the ready, unbeknownst to me. he tells me later, in the safety of our home, that more than likely it was a bear burrowing in for the night.
oh lovely! apparently he heard it rustling the rest of the time we were standing there. me clueless the entire time.

we stood out there for 3 hours until there were finally signs of headlights. too bad they were on the trail below us. adam must have taken the wrong split in the road. all we could do was stand there and watch him drive by. it was the most disheartening sight.

we tried calling, but of course he had no service where he was. we did finally get through, and told him to turn around and go back to the split. we left our little safe spot on the trail, and headed down. still no sign of him, and just as we were about to turn and try and find another spot with cell service we saw his lights. took off towards the split and jumped out with flailing arms, and chattering teeth.

the lifesaver brought us blankets, sweatshirts, coffee and hot chocolate. it was the best!

i told him he could keep his EIB, even though he failed to come to our coordinates. he definitely made up for it in the good friend category. (he had been gone 3 weeks, and erica had dinner waiting for him, but he had to pass to come find us!)

we ended up getting home around 12:30. what a long night.

oh yes, i did not forget the other key player, the dog. the whole time we were out there james was worried about me, and i was worried about maggs. sure he was home, more than likely in our nice warm bed, but i was afraid he was confused. it was night time, and we weren't there. james thought i was crazy, but then we walked in the house. maggs didn't come greet us, but we heard him crying. i figured he had just woken up, and wasn't sure if it was us or a stranger in the house. so i called his name, and he cried louder. turns out he shut himself in the pantry/laundry room all night! at least he had food, and the whole garbage, which thankfully he didn't eat too much of.

what a night!

and james is back out this morning.
i hope it was worth it babe!

another link from aunt nancy because they are great entries...
another safe season, and the deer hunters.


Erin said...

What an adventure! I would've been so freaked out, too, in the middle of the woods at night, but I love that you took pictures the whole time. You'll definitely look back on that story and laugh for a long time.

vande2 said...

In all the years I've known Luke, I don't think I've ever been asked if I wanted to come along. ;) I'd say your truck needs a few more leaves if you're going for a camo effect; I'm not sure if it's the fold or what, but that boy on the hunting guide is frightening; and you definitely look more cheerful about the whole experience than James. :) Maybe it was knowing that a bear was sleeping nearby, while you were happily oblivious, ya think? ;)

Crystal said...

Wow, Shel! :o) That was a great story! What great descriptions! :o) I was smiling, and I know if I'd been there I would have found the whole thing to be quite funny! Thanks for sharing. :o)

momv said...

i don't recall ever being asked either...and can just imagine what james was thinking, you with your camera documenting the adventure and him thinking she really doesn't have a clue??? i would not have gotten out of that truck!!! mom <>< +

Jessica said...

Wow. What a crazy adventure. I'm glad it all turned out okay!!

danny and courtney said...

haha what a hilarious adventure! it cracks me up how you were so oblivious and in your camera happy little world and james was holding a knife preparing to fight a bear! soo cute, haha i'm glad all went well and everyone was safe!

Vanessa said...

I still love you mervy...<3

krista/ralf said...

my favorite is the thought of him covering his eyes and waving the knife behind him................


The Farm said...

Where were all your brothers and dad with their geocaching when you needed them??!!??

krista/ralf said...

gross prune.

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