Survival in the Forest

But first, the fae and the swans, or maybe she’s more of a mermaid.

Well, we went on a 6 mile hike on a walk in the forest in 95-degree weather, not so smartly leaving the water in the car. My son thought it would be a short jaunt. It wasn’t. And the heat index was 105. We got turned around on the winding trails that traversed high hills and some of the trails were closed when we reached them. We finally had to take a taped-off trail and hope that we could get through that way because hiking back the way we came was not an option.

I’ve had heat exhaustion when I was on a map course at one of the summer camps I attended in AROTC when I was 18, and once you’ve had it, you’re more susceptible. I’d had to be carried out of the hot, muggy forest to a waiting ambulance to join several other cadets who had suffered the same fate.

Some years later, I was paving a brick patio in the Texas heat, not hungry, not drinking enough water. I didn’t feel well, so the next day, I just walked out to the barn to read the electric meter, no problem, walked back into the house and thought the kitchen island counter was tilting over. I grabbed for it and realized I had nearly blacked out. Waves of nausea hit me. My vision blurred. My head pounded and I had a severe headache. Somehow I managed to get some water and hugged the hall wall to reach my bedroom and lie down. I was sick for three days, drinking water, barely eating, feeling horrible. Heat exhaustion/heat stroke are dangerous!

And I was experiencing some of the same thing on our quest to find the center. So we took a chance to go up the stairs on the taped off trail, found two trees had fallen across the path, but people had cut through one and the other was easy to climb through.

We finally made it to the boardwalk and they have seating at various intervals. My son went ahead to get our water. I waited, but was feeling fine and got up from the bench to make it to the next one, rest, go ahead again, but that time my vision started to blur and I returned to the 2nd bench. I desperately needed water. I waited until my vision cleared and made it to the third bench, not wanting my son to have to walk so far back, but I knew he would have had water before he returned. But at that point, the boardwalk split into 3 trails, and I knew I couldn’t take one of them. I would miss him and put myself and him in more peril. I didn’t have my phone. He had his, so I didn’t need mine, right?

I’ve watched tons of survival programs and what are some of the key points to remember: Bring water, food, phone, and let people know where you’re going.

People knew we were out there. We had to pay to visit the forest. His wife knew, but she was at work.

I worried about my son. What if he passed out and couldn’t tell anyone he’d left me behind? What if he didn’t get help soon enough for himself? We’d met people on the trails sporadically and during that last bit of hiking when it had gotten so bad, we hadn’t met anyone.

Anyway, a word to the wise, you never know if a short jaunt could end up being a near emergency case that wouldn’t have been at all, if we just had taken water with us.

Did we have fun? You bet! Saw a beautiful hawk flying through the woods a couple of times. The forest is beautiful. And it was a wonderful hike. A survival adventure. Now I can write about it in my stories from a real life–don’t do this–perspective!

I have 80 pages left to proof on the book, so I’m going to do that, or at least whittle down some more of it, and then we’re having lunch and going to a movie–Free Guy.

Have a great day! I’m sticking to the cool today and drinking tons of water!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”
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