Monday, December 23, 2013

159. Finding the Trail After You Lose It

This post is directly related to the previous post in regard to the comfort, safety and assurance that comes along with blazes. Though our AWOL AT Guides were excellent, they did not provide topographical maps. Thus, unfortunately, if one found oneself completely off the blazed trail, it could be very difficult to figure out how to get back. The few times this happened to us, we were able to find our way back pretty easily without incident, but the flood of relief was still pretty intense.

When Dumptruck and I flip-flopped at the ME/NH border and did Maine Southbound, we were feeling terribly separated from Grim and Whistle. We handled this the best way we could, by all of us having an app on our cell phone that allowed us to leave group-voice messages for each other. It's like a walkie-talkie. In this way, we could leave voice messages for each other that we could all hear at some point (when we had cell service). It was comforting to be able to hear each others' voices.

Below is a transcribed series of Voxer (the app) messages from early September.

Whistle Ralph, 9:19am:
So uh, I'm up on top of Moxie Bald right now, um, been here for a while because sadly it does not seem as though there is a way down in the Northward direction. Uh, I thought I saw a blaze, but it was... lichen... So it's lookin' like I'm gonna have to live here, which is unfortunate, because it's pretty cold. There's a lot of fire pits of the other lost people who've had to live here. So I just wanted to tell you guys that I love you, and I'm sorry that I'm going to die on this mountain. It's been cool. Uh... O.. kay.

Grim, 9:45am: Don't worry guys, she found her way down.

Whistle Ralph, 9:46am: And by "found" he means, "Grim texted me directions."

Dumptruck, 10:44am: I appreciate that returning from the direction you came was not an option for you. I like that you waited for texted directions to get down instead of going South to find your way back to the trail. But it's beautiful up there, isn't it? If you're going to get lost anywhere, the top of Moxie Bald is probably the best option.

Whistle Ralph, 4:22pm: Uh, some of us do not Southbound. Also, if you can remember, please bring my unitard when you come back to Katahdin. I have to summit in it. Thank you!

Clever Girl

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