Update from the field: part three, radios don’t work between canyons, vehicles sometimes don’t start and falling into wild rose and sagebrush hurts.
the spring had a little water and a few birds but not a single lizard was to be found, sagebrush lizards were everywhere but at the spring. Thinking that getting a little further in would help I scaled the soft wall following a game trail and dropped into the middle where I found a sun bleached backbone lacking any other bits.
That’s when the flies found me.. And they never left. They didn’t bite or do anything obnoxious except for fight with each other and annoyingly buzz constantly. Why didn’t flies evolve quieter wings?
Again no lizards but attempting to reverse my tracks resulted in me falling sideways into a huge wild rose plant (ow) smacking myself in the face with a big pine branch that knocked me backward into a second rose bush (ow again) and then sliding down the hill getting my leg stuck in a dead sagebrush plant which stopped me from face planting into a third rose bush (ow ow ow). Eventually detangled from the vegetation and started the oh so long climb back up to the car.
Alas, the car was dead. The battery was dead and I found the radio not connecting with dispatch… So onto the busy road I would go. Packed up my gear, hit my spot need-assistance button, and started to ascend further towards the rapidly building thunderstorms in the hopes of picking up a signal and not getting run over by a speeding RV on a blind curve.
Two miles later and no close calls (though no one stopped to see if I was okay wandering up the busy road) I picked up a scratchy signal from the dispatch relay in the Sierras… No idea why I couldn’t pick up a signal for the one ten miles away. Eventually I managed to get enough info to dispatch and received word that help was on the way right as the ominous cloud passed overhead and started to rain.
I retreated back and an hour later a BLM and a USFS fire pickup truck turned the curve and pulled in behind me. Seconds later a third truck joined the group coming from the other direction… Apparently dispatch got concerned when they couldn’t raise me on the radio and sent people out looking.
The car being all battery dependent couldn’t be moved out of park into neutral (?!) so one of the trucks had to do some crazy brush breaking maneuvers to get in place to jump start my Chevy Tahoe. With a working car we all headed back to town and the fire fighters rushed off to a fire.
Long day… But I didn’t fall down a mine shaft, didn’t break my leg falling down the side of a wash, didn’t get run over on the dirt road or the main road and didn’t get hit my lightning… So it worked out in the end.