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What happens in Vegas.... Part 1

This article isn’t about the User Conference which was held in Vegas a few years ago. This is about me and my life and death struggle against my own stupidity.

Some have found this story hard to believe, but I swear it is true. This was my first trip to Vegas, so I decided to stay over for a week and enjoy some of what Vegas has to offer.

However, I don’t drink or gamble. I don’t have any spiritual issues with it, but it just doesn’t interest me. Instead I went went on an ATV ride around the rim of the Grand Canyon, a similar trip to the Valley of Fire, drove out and toured Hoover Dam, and other fun stuff.

However, little did I know that a simple car trip to Lee Canyon and the mountains outside of Vegas would be the most memorable part of the trip. I had a few hours to kill in the evening after the conference was over and I decided to take a drive to the top of Mount Charleston and around Lee Canyon.

Lee Canyon

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Anyway, on the way up to the top, I passed a scenic overlook and intended to take some pictures there of the sunset on my way back down. When I got to the top, I was surprised at how cold it was up there. I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and the temp went from 100 degrees when I left Vegas to well below 70 at the top of the mountain.

When I got back to the scenic overlook there had been a violent crime out there and the police had it roped off. I went back up the mountain until I got to a place where there was a wide shoulder and I could park. I grabbed my camera, cell phone (which wasn’t working well in the mountains), and climbed up the shoulder to get a picture. Now, keep in mind the mountain is covered with these 6 foot tall pine trees. They’re all water deprived, wind tortured, and look like they’re suffering from radiation poisoning. I kept climbing, hoping to get to a crest, so I could take a picture.

Now, as someone from the midwest, I remember news stories over the years about motorists who did something stupid in dangerous environments. You’d hear something like, “Tuesday, hikers found the remains of a guy from Michigan who was reported lost 2 years ago. In skeletal hands were found a cell phone, camera, and a an identification book for desert rattlesnakes. Authorities have no idea why he left his vehicle in the desert.” I, like my friends, would ask, “who could be stupid enough to do that?”

Well folks, I am that dumb. I tried to walk in a straight line, but there were no landmarks other than identical scrubby pines. After a few minutes of climbing/walking I realized I wasn’t going to find a clearing so I turned around and headed back. Of course, I never found my way back. I remember exactly how I felt.

10 minutes in…
I still thought I would find my way back to my car.
20 minutes…
I knew I was lost and was extremely angry with myself for being so stupid. I wasn’t worried yet and didn’t call for help for fear of looking stupid. I got myself into this, and I could get myself out.
60 minutes…
It’s getting dark and my anger is rapidly turning to fear. At this point, I am trying to talk myself out of being afraid. I’m a man, and I can handle myself. However, I had already visited the Natural History Museum and had seen the stuffed Mountain Lions which inhabit those mountains. Around this time, I start yelling (in a manly way) for help. The roads don’t typically go over the tops of the mountains, but between them. So, I begin to climb down the down the mountain in the hopes of finding the highway.

Then I fell….

Will our hero survive the fall? Part 2 Continues Here

5 comments to What happens in Vegas…. Part 1

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