What State Are We In Today?

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We’re once again back on the road in our RV, exploring the backroads (and toll roads) of this fine country! And, after our Jet Blue nightmare last month, being back in our RV is heaven!

We’ve been to a beach town in Massachusetts and tubing in upstate New York…and we haven’t had any accidents, blow-outs, or emergency room trips! Yea!!

We’ve been faithfully logging our experiences (and photos!) here: http://www.wirelesstrips.com

Now, don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten that I promised to tell you about when Max and I got lost on our land in Western Maine the week before last!

It was past dinnertime and I wanted to show Max the beautiful stream on our neighbor’s property, deep in the piney woods. We set off at dusk, telling Richard we wouldn’t be gone long. We just needed to go down the old farm road (which is completely overgrown with sticks and raspberry bushes), into the woods, and back again. How hard could it be? As we left, Percy started barking incessantly. Huh? We’d gone walking the night before and left him behind and he’d been just fine. What was his problem tonight? I thought, “Uh oh. I wonder if he knows something is going to happen…”

I dismissed the thought and we kept walking, gingerly stepping over soft, rotten logs, while dodging the thorny raspberry vines. It didn’t take me long to realize that my choice of woodsy clothing, white jeans, white shirt, and white tennis shoes, wasn’t my greatest decision of the day.

We walked down the road for a bit and then turned right next to a beautiful, huge boulder that had perfectly symmetrical, wavy stripes on it, hundreds of them. We stopped to admire it before we stepped into the brush. Max followed close behind while I held back the sticker bushes aside as best I could.

The sun was setting as we got to the woods. The neighbor’s property was not harvested for wood years ago, like ours, so he has huge, towering pines. The pines block out the sunlight and, hence, the weeds and raspberry bushes have a very hard time growing. So, when you step into the deep woods. there are huge trees, a few fallen trees, and a pine needle carpet (some of you may remember that description from last week’s 24-hour short story contest!).

Once you get into the forest, you walk straight and find the stream within minutes. It’s from three to six feet wide in places and has huge boulders in it and alongside it. It was quiet in the woods and we could hear some night birds starting to call to each other. The stream was running low, a moderate trickle. It was kind of creepy and I got shivers up my spine but kept a smile on my face for Max. We followed the stream for a few minutes, but it was getting dark pretty fast and we really needed to head back.

We turned around and could easily see where the old forest ended and the new forest (our land) began. We stepped out of the dark woods and stopped. We could either turn right and head back to the road. Or, we could just walk straight, through the raspberry bushes, toward the mountain. I “knew” the RV was directly between us and the mountain. We decided to take the shortcut and we stepped into the bushes. I knew we’d find the road in just a minute or two because it cuts all the way across that particular expanse of brush. So, we walked, and we walked, and we walked. It had been way more than a a minute or two and I was started to get concerned. Had we stepped right through the road and not realized it? It is pretty overgrown after all. I then perked up my ears. We could simply follow the sound of the RV generator! Uh oh. I couldn’t hear it. Hadn’t it been on when we left? No problem. I’d just pull my cell phone out, call Richard and tell him to turn it on. I pulled out my cell phone – no signal. Oh no…

I told Max, “Okay, Honey, it’s getting dark and we need to walk a little faster, okay?”

He said, “Okay, Mom.”

But, it was hard. The raspberry bushes were covered, as I said, in thorns and they were far higher than Max’s head, so he was having a hard time, too. And, there were stones on the ground that you had to step gently over, so as not to break an ankle (that was a big worry for me, breaking an ankle and being stuck out there with Max after dark!), and there were old, rotten logs that we had to climb over.

At one point, we came to the old stone wall that passes through the property. It was laid by farmers back in the civil war days. Ah ha! That wall goes right up to the driveway! I said, “We’re back, Max! We just have to follow this wall to the driveway.”

Max was happy. He had picked up on the fact that we might be lost and, while he looked a bit nervous, he was a trooper! Not one whine or sniffle came from that boy!

We climbed onto the wall and followed it to the left. We’d gone about 10 feet and…it abuptly ended. Dang! (Actually, a much worse word passed through my mind but I managed to bite my tongue.)

I was starting to get really nervous by this time. While we kept heading toward the mountain, I knew we could easily pass too far to the left of our property and then we’d be pretty darned lost…and it would be dark by then. We’d then have to climb the mountain to see if we could see the RV from up there. Or, we’d just have to park our butts in the brush and wait for someone to find us. The more my mind pondered the possibilities, the more my heart pounded. So, I did what any normal-minded person would do at that moment. I screamed “RICHARD!”

I waited. No response. I screamed again, “RICHARD!!!”

Silence.

I forced a smile and said, “Okay, Max. We really need to hurry now if we’re going to get back before dark.” Max was still stoic, just bravely and seriously saying “Okay” and “Alright” in response to my commands. I was getting really thirsty, and knew he probably was, too. But, he didn’t utter one complaint.

We plowed forward. I was no longer mindful of the thorns. I just kept going, faster now, using my body to keep them from snapping back onto Max. I didn’t even feel the pain of their pricks anymore. We kept walking and my heart was pounding in my ears. When I heard my heart pounding, I suddenly realized how frightened I really was, and that scared me even more! I was just about in a full-blown panic when, just a few minutes later, we stumbled into a clearing. My eyes lit up and I laughed while pointing down and to my left. “Look, Max!”

There it was! That cool rock with the symmetrical, wavy lines! And we were back on the road! At that very second, I heard Richard’s voice boom, “ANGIE!”

“We’re right here!” I responded. We were only a few steps from the cleared area of our property and Richard was standing at the edge, holding Mason and looking very worried.

I asked, “Did you hear me yelling?”

He replied, “No, but I thought I heard something so we came outside.”

As we climbed up onto the clearing, I noticed my knees were still shaking. We walked back to the RV and climbed inside. Under the ceiling light, Richard noticed I was bleeding. I looked down. I had bloody scratches all over my arms. I hadn’t felt a thing. My eyes drifted further down. My white shirt, white jeans, and white shoes were no longer white. They were smeared with brown and green from dirt and leaves and red from the raspberries I’d undoubtedly smashed in our frantic pursuit of civilization. My entire outfit was ruined. I inspected Max. He was fine. No scratches and not even any ticks!

Percy had long since stopped barking and just sat there looking at me as if to say, “I told you so, dummy.”

I sat down, hugged Max, and told him how brave he’d been and what a big boy he was. He stepped back and gave me this week’s Maxism. He smiled, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “We had an adventure, didn’t we, Mom?!”

So, what lessons did we learn?

1. Never go exploring at dusk.
6. Listen to Percy!
2. Carry water with you at all times.
3. Go back the way you came.
4. Keep the generator going.
and
5. Don’t wear all white if you’re going to get lost!

Hugs to all!

Ang

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