As some of you may know, I was once lost in the Idaho wilderness for three days. And by "lost" I don't mean "took a wrong turn, forgot where my campsite was." No, I mean "The National Guard used search helicopters and corpse-sniffing dogs to pull my skinny ass out from the top of a mountain." I was exhausted, starving, frozen, hallucinating, and all around very bad off. To this day I'm convinced that if I didn't have those three dogs with me (two are mine, one just followed us. Bet he regretted that.), I'd be dead. They all got steak. It's a great story that I keep threatening to write up. Maybe I will, one day. There's lots to tell, and it's a bit daunting, to be honest.
(A little bit of trivia for ya: That term "Three Dog Night" actually means that it's so cold outside you need three dogs around you to keep warm at night. I've lived that. Yes, I'm not too proud to admit that I've spooned with dogs in the woods. Hi, Googlers!)
I was a local news story for a few days - I think I even had a news countdown ... you know, "Lost Camper Watch - Day 2!" When I arrived at the hospital, there were news crews wanting interviews and everything.
Yep. My 15 minutes of fame. Sometimes they're like that, I suppose.
Anyway, that trip was actually a yearly camping get-together of friends where we basically sit around a campfire and do guy things. While drunk. And, because we're all geeky guys, comics, laptops, and collectible card games are involved. I bring my mandolin, just to be different. Of course, the rules for the trip all changed the year I got lost. Now, party-goers to these annual outings have the bonus feature of making fun of me.
(None of these people are me.)
I get to wear florescent orange road-construction T-shirts, GPS around my neck, am constantly barraged with "Hey, you think you can make it to the cooler without getting lost?" and never allowed to stray from camp. All in all, I get the business. And that makes me pretty much obligated to attend every year from now on.
I really don't mind; these guys rescued me. Plus I have fun with it - hiding and yelling for help and whatnot.
So, me and the dogs are just about to head off for the second re-union of my wilderness excursion. And I already got a taste of it when my boss called me into his office to ask if I could code a script to simplify some internal page testing:
"I understand you're off for that camping trip today?"
"Yep. I'll be taking a half day."
"So ... if you aren't here on Monday ... would you prefer the local Park Service or do you have some new drinking buddies in The National Guard?"
He's a riot.
(By the way - yes, I was lost in August. Yes, I was freezing. It gets damn cold at night when you're nearly 8,000 feet up and only wearing a T-shirt and shorts. I've honestly never been so cold at night.)
So, there'll be no new posts until Monday. Well, maybe a quickie on Sunday night if I've recovered. Assuming that I find my way out of the woods, that is. Har, har. It begins.
Oh! And just to have something fun to post - Here's one of my very first Photoshop mock-ups I made from an old comic ad shortly after my rescue. I sent this around to all the fellas who helped me out.
A few things to note:
1 - Being very new at Photoshop at the time and looking at it again now, this is a really crappy job. Even by my typically crappy Photoshop standards.
2 - I'm yelling "I see bugs!" in the last bit. That's an actual quote.
3 - "Pipp" was my Everquest character's name. I met most of the guys through the game and honestly, I think that's the only name some of them know me by to this day.
Told you we were geeks...
In case you're curious, Here's where I was lost .. and where I'm off to in an hour or so. The video was actually filmed from the very campsite that I tried so hard to find my way back to. It gives you a pretty good idea of the terrain I kept collapsing in. I tried to find an old article specifically about my particular adventure... but the Google, it does nothing.
Enjoy your weekend ... and wish me luck!
Forgot I had this ... Here's drawing my li'l sis (age 10 at the time) made of my exploits after hearing the story:
Click for Biggie. I think I'm yelling "Help!"
This is officially the cutest thing you'll see today. She even got the doggies right.