What happens in Vegas… Part 2

“It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way.” -Rollo May

Spoken in an old time radio announcer’s voice:

When last we left our “hero”, he had left his car to take a picture of the desert in the mountains near Lee Canyon. Of course he managed to get himself lost, and couldn’t find his way back to his car. As he became more and more agitated, he moved faster and less carefully until…..

Anyway, I quickly climbed down the mountain. I had to be at least 500 yards from the valley floor when I slipped and took the express elevator to the bottom, flat on my behind. Do you remember the movie “Romancing the Stone” and the muddy fall to the bottom of a mountain? Both Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas slip to the bottom and end up fine and dandy.

Romancing the Stone

Douglas lands on Turner

Aren’t movies wonderful? The reality is somewhat different. I hit the ground at incredible speed, my knees buckled, and I fell forward onto the rock floor on my face and head. I think I blacked out. When I came around, I had this incredible pain in my chest. I pushed myself up to a sitting position and found something embedded in my chest.


I landed on something similar to this.

Instinctively I reached towards my chest to determine what was wrong and damaged my hand on the spines. I had to use my car keys to pop the cactus ball out of my chest. So, now I’m at the bottom of the canyon and there is no stream or road. It’s nearly pitch black and I can’t see much as there isn’t any moonlight.

At this point I have a definite shift in perspective from a self reliant, confident man to a state perilously close to panic. I stopped thinking about being embarrassed to be lost, and started thinking that my name might be in the news in a few years. I could literally die out here.

I take stock of my situation. I’m very cold, bleeding from the chest and hand, completely lost, disoriented, in the dark, and already thirsty, but at least I”m not seriously injured. I stand up and I realize that I have no idea which mountain I fell down and therefore which direction I came from. I also realized one more important thing. I was wearing comfortable shorts on the way down the mountain. Somewhere along the way, they ripped almost completely up my backside. Luckily I was wearing some novelty boxer shorts, I think they were Super Mario Brothers (yes, I am a geek), and the pattern kept them from tearing. So, Mario literally saved my a$$.

I decide right then and there that I am not spending the night in that canyon. I’d like to pretend that this was a movie like decision where the hero has had enough and just won’t take it anymore. This was more like I’m cold, hungry, and afraid and don’t want to eaten by rabid wild animals. I check my cell phone and unsurprisingly it has no signal.

So, I start back up the mountain. The climb is exhausting, as to call me stocky would be charitable. So, I’m dragging my chubby butt up the mountain in the dark and I step into a crevice and twist my ankle pretty badly. I flopped down on Mario on the side of the mountain to check my ankle and it’s rapidly beginning to swell. It is at this time that my survival drive really kicks into overdrive and I begin to get extremely angry and determined to get through this. I hobbled over to one of the stubby pine trees and broke it off at the base. I stripped the branches off, shoved it into my armpit, and used it as a crutch to continue climbing. At this point I am no longer calling out in a manly way, I am screaming for help.

I’m in extreme pain, but at this point it doesn’t matter. I’m aware of me making pained noises and swearing, but I keep climbing. Every so often I stop, take a breath, and check my cell still without signal. I am hoping that as I climb upwards, I will find a road or get a cell signal. I’m not sure exactly how long I have climbed and I’m using those crappy pines as hand holds because the incline is steep enough that I don’t trust my balance.

I manage to make it to the top of the mountain. This is not good news as it means I have not run into a road, any kind of help, or a cell signal.

I can tell you that I have never felt so helpless as when I reached the highest point on the mountain and still had no signal…..

Will our “hero” survive in spite of himself? Part 3 continues here.

1 comment to What happens in Vegas… Part 2

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