Our obedience club holds its two annual TD/TDX tests on 600 Acres in the Cibola National Forest. Since the first test is in a week, I thought I should take Kip the Cardi up to the tracking area to get in a practice track. That’s a good plan, right? So I rounded up two other people who agreed that we would lay track for all the dogs. 7:00 AM start time — just sunrise, but Kip and I were there.
Now, much later, I can barely walk because I managed to get lost in the forest for four hours. Up hill, down dale (sometimes on my rear in the snow), over rocks. I really hurt! Fortunately I was dressed warmly, had on hiking boots, had water and my compass. The cell phone was in the car — THAT will not happen again. Kip was in the car because I was laying an X track for one of the members of the little practice group. I was laying the last leg down a wide arroyo — apparently it went over the forest service road and I did not realize I had crossed the road.
On the Google Map below, close the address box and move south Twice. The “A” marker is the junction of the Forest Service Road and Rt. 165. I believe the blue line on the south is the Pueblo border, and the squiggly gray line on the west is the road on which I finally found humans.
I left the fourth article, marked my map, and was walking out to the road — but as you’ve surmised, dear readers, the road was behind me. I walked all the way to the Sandia Indian Pueblo boundary looking for the damned road.
Since time was moving along, I decided to just save myself and get the car and dog later, so I set a course north to the main road to Placitas (Rt. 165) — it was really far away by then. About three miles south of the highway to my left I saw some homes and cars. I made my way to the barbed wire fence that separates this road from the forest service land and got there just as a yoga class was breaking up. I flagged down an older woman in a jeep and begged her to take me back to the forest service entrance (which was three miles east of where I found her). I got through the barbed wire with minimal damage. However, when I tried to climb into her car, my leg cramped and we had to wait for it to stop.
Her name is Norma and she is my hero. She took me all the way east to the forest entrance and then drove me the six miles south on the forest service road to my car. The people who were with me to lay track were not there — just their cars and barking dogs. So I sat on my tailgate and waited. They returned eventually, ready to call the Sheriff to come find me. I asked why the Weim hadn’t just followed my track and then continued on to find me. That was not a good question since he only found the first article on the track I laid, then the little mixed breed tried and found the second article — so I’m out a bandana and a glove. They’ll show up. Last year during a test we found a hammer that had been left out there five years before.
Then Kip and I did our 450 yard T track and came home. I’m going to buy a little fire starter kit at REI and keep it in my tracking fanny pack — and always take the cell phone. There is sometimes service from the tops of the ridges.
Now for the Aleve and a soak in Epsom salts — tomorrow is looking really baaaad. I wish I had a single level home!