Sunday morning the Island King took the Youngest Island Boy out for a short hunt.
The Oldest, our friend Shawn, and I decided to take a walk down to the creek and then meet the Island King back at camp.
Our plan was to be gone about 15 minutes, come back to the camp, meet up with the Island King and the Youngest and then hike back down there and do some real exploring.
So, off we go, on a well cleared trail to a place I'm familiar with.
Shouldn't have any problems.
The trail is on a bluff above the creek and the Oldest and Buddy the Beagle got a little ahead of us. Before we knew it they had scrambled down the bluff and were standing down at the edge of the creek.
We followed them down and saw this
We're Golden. I love the irony of things like that.
Right about then the Oldest says "Hey there's a snake!"
Sure enough, there was a water moccasin laying in the creek next to a log.
Now I know that we were in his yard but I'm a little on the psycho side when it comes to snakes and I didn't care that we were in his territory - I wanted to shoot him.
In fact, I've always wanted to shoot a snake. I almost think that would be very cathartic for me.
So I asked Shawn for his gun - ready to shoot the snake and hopefully rid myself of this snake fear I have.
Unfortunately, Shawn was in the boat when we had the whole snake misunderstanding incident and apparently he's not over that yet.
He refused to give me his gun but did say he would shoot it for me.
Which is NOT the same and I have to tell you I was really disappointed.
Snake lovers out there will be glad to know that he missed and the snake swam off - free to live another day.
We were on a deer trail just above the creek so we walked along for a little longer and then decided to climb back up the bluff and go back to camp.
Up the bluff we go, fully expecting the trail we'd been on before we climbed down to the creek to be right in front of us.
But the trail was nowhere to be found.
And, we had no machete, compass or GPS - which meant just plowing through the vines and bushes as we went, hoping we were headed in the right direction.
We walked uphill for a ways thinking we'd find the trail.
Which we didn't.
After a while we found a relatively good sized deer trail heading back down to the creek and being tired of literally fighting our way through fallen trees, vines and thorns we followed it.
Until it ran into a mess of downed trees and thorn vines.
Which we couldn't get through.
So back up and around we went.
We passed on old soda bottle laying on the ground and after 10 minutes of the hardest bushwacking we'd done so far we passed the bottle again.
The Oldest pointed the bottle out and Shawn decided that we might have gone in a circle but probably not - so the Oldest and I continue following him through the woods.
Even with my complete lack of directional ability I started to feel like we were walking in a circle and wasn't at all surprised when 10 minutes later we came up on the bottle. For the third time.
We'd been bushwacking for over an hour by now so we sat down to rest a minute and while we were sitting there Shawn mentioned his phone.
Phone? He has a phone?
Well good grief. Pull up our gps location, get on google earth and figure out how to get us back to camp.
I knew bad news was coming when I saw this face
He needs an app for that and because we're sitting in the middle of the woods he doesn't have good reception and the app won't download.
It was at that moment I realized that I've been lost so many times that absolutely nothing surprises me in those situations. Of course the phone can't help us.
But, the Oldest said "Call my Dad and have him shoot off his shotgun a couple of times so we'll know which way to go."
Best idea I've heard since we left for our 15 minute walk - an hour and a half ago.
Shawn calls him and tells him we're lost and to fire off a round or two so we can follow the sound.
We hear the shots but they are on the other side of the woods we've been circling.
Not good news.
Shawn says "Well I guess we're just going to have to bulldoze through to the creek."
I've done some serious bushwacking but I've always had a machete to help clear a path. Bulldozing, I found out, is a different beast and much harder - not something I want to do again.
In, over, under, and through vines and fallen trees we went until we got to the creek.
Which seemed like a much better path than any we'd been on so we took off our shoes and walked in the creek.
Which was fun. At one point I felt like Pocahontas but that only lasted a minute because I realized that Pocahontas probably wouldn't get lost a mile from her camp.
Shawn, the Oldest, and I were happy to walk through the creek but Buddy the Beagle doesn't like to get wet.
He finally realized he had no choice but he wasn't happy about it.
We had to navigate through some of this but that was nothing compared to what we'd been plowing through on dry land.
Two and a half hours after we left camp we made it back to the trail from the creek up to our property.
The Island King and the Youngest were waiting for us and he just shook his head while the Youngest teased us about getting lost.
After we got back Shawn tried to shift blame onto me for the whole getting lost thing so I asked the Oldest what he thought.
"Mom, you took us off the trail, which got us lost but then Uncle Shawn led us around in circles for an hour so I'd say it was a 50/50 thing."
I'll take that. It's not like I've never been lost and have a reputation to protect.