How to Get Lost in the Woods

On Friday, Sharron had asked if we could hike up to Hueblein tower on Saturday morning.  It’s a nice short little hike, so of course I was up for it.  Saturday morning came and we got up to the trail head at around 8:40.  We’d brought Parker along and we really looking forward to it as the tower would be open for us to tour.  The first 1/3 of the hike is the hardest as it’s a pretty steep climb.  After you complete that though, it’s a nice walk along the top of the ridge to the tower.  On our way up that first 1/3, we passed a nice old German lady coming down.  Once we’d reached the next 2/3 on the ridge, we passed her again, still coming down.  She said she was on a loop.  Huh.

We made it to the tower at around 9:40 and had a 20 minute wait for it to open.  It was very nice outside, so we sat and looked out at the Farmington valley and tried to find out house.  It was great.  We got to go in at around 9:55 and I headed up first.  I had a good time and even got some pictures at the top of the tower.  It was a little too hazy, but it was still fun.  Next it was Sharrons turn.  She reported that she liked it too and at around 10:30 we started back down.

At this point, Sharron suggested we try and find the trail that the old German lady had “looped” on.  Sharron doesn’t like to see the same stuff twice, so I figured, “Why not?”  The trial we’d come up on was marked yellow and we found another trailed marked light blue.  We took the light blue trail.  For a good long while, it sure seemed like we were headed in the right direction.  The big difference was that this trail was MUCH harder with more rocks and more of a “hiking” feel to it.  After about an hour, it became clear to us that we were not headed back to our car.  Our options were to keep going down, or to head back up to the tower.  Being out of shape, we did what any good lost hiker would do and headed down.  Another 30 minutes later and we decided we were in trouble.  We got the cell phone out and called our friend John to look up the trail map for us.  He was able to help some, but the there are MANY unmapped trails and we really had no idea where we were headed.

Around this time, we started conserving water.  We’d brought only 1 bottle for us and 1 for Parker.  We figured we needed to drink, but didn’t want to have none left either.  Also, since we were supposed to only be gone 1-2 hours, we had only had a banana each for breakfast.  The plan was to stop for something more hearty on the way home.  As luck would have it though, we found a blackberry bush with a bunch of ripe blackberrys, and made ourselves a nice snack.  :-)

After yet another 30 minutes we finally encountered a trail that looked more used AND a sign that pointed in one direction to Hueblein tower.  We figured the other direction would take us away from the tower and to a parking lot of some kind.  We called our friend John again and told him and his wife Pat where we were and that we’d probably need a ride.  Our hiking had taken us to the reservoir which I had seen from the top of the tower.  It started to sink in how far we had come as it was a LONG way from the tower.  John and Pat knew where the resevoir was and jumped in their car to come get us.  At around 1:00 we finally found the water treatment facility with it’s associated parking lot.  A mountain biker rode by us and we asked him where the main road was.  He said straight ahead and took off again.  As we rounded the corner, of course there was a fork in the road.  Which was straight?

At the fork there was a park bench and a water fountain, so we decided to stay there.  DId I mention that at around 12 or 12:30 that it started thunder storming?  Oh yeah, it was pleasant.  I called Pat and John again to tell them where we were and they said they could find us.  I think they picked us up at about 1:30.

They gave us a ride back to our car.  To give you some perspective, it took us about 15 minutes to drive back to our car.  Ick.  Here’s a map of the area we were in.  The reservoir is not on the map, but if you were to go off the bottom right of it, that’s where it is.  As I said, we started out on yellow and changed to blue.  Not sure what trail we took to get to the reservoir, but here’s a map of the reservoir area.  On the right side of the map is Reservoir 6.  Of the trails coming into the area from the right, I think we were on one of the two to the far right.

When we got home, we stripped off our soaking wet clothing, dried Parker, and went to bed.  We’d picked up a feast at McDonald’s, so we ate that and then pretended the world didn’t exist for the rest of the day.

2 Responses to “How to Get Lost in the Woods”

  • Phones and actual blackberries, very useful things!!! Glad you guys are ok, what an adventure!!

  • holy crap!! I’m glad you guys were able to get back to civilization! you could’ve called me, if you’d wanted, but I’m glad John and Pat were able to get there QUICKLY! whew!

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