Friday, October 9, 2009

Can't Get There From Here

It's only a moment in time but usually is noted by some type of occurrence.

Oprah refers to this as an ... "Ah-ha" moment.

Many others of less notoriety will pass it off with a mention of ..... 'Well now, don't that just knock your hat in the creek?'

Most of my moments will be parallel to some type of utterance of swear words usually not fit for printing here....and more than likely there are a minimum number of witnesses to the specific point in time.

This time of year used to always have me planning on being in the woods chasing the elusive white tail deer. Having to find my small pack of essentials that go with me into the wild outdoors is one of the first items I check to see is still intact. Mainly the stuff that will assist in getting me into and out of the woods.

One particular year, I was hunting on a parcel of land near my home. Driving less than an hour is considered local for me so this place was really close.

This property is better known as the Big Thicket and is made up of several different tracts of land that total right at 100,000 acres. The acreage of this section was near about 25,000 acres, but I was only interested in a small part that consisted of lets say 1/2 mile square.

I knew the road that I drive in on ran north and south...cause that's what my compass told me.

Never argue with your compass.

Venturing off the road heading west to the small creek that wound through the thicket was my intent for this days hunt. Packing in my folding stool for sitting along the creek, hoping to see some type of native game that lives here. Every time I make a day hunt, I always try to discover a little bit more of the area so that I can say I hunted smart. This day would prove to be an eventful day.

As I skirted an area that looked really 'deer-ish' to me, I stumbled upon an old tree stand. Made a mental note to where it was and continued on with it to my left. About an hour later, I spotted another old tree stand just to the right of my line of sight.

My ah-ha moment was moving towards the idea that this area must be a great place to sit and wait for the deer to cross. Looking for a game trail to focus on, that the deer use to travel from point A to point B on, made sense to me.

While searching for a game trail, I was drawn closer to the second tree stand...only to realize that this was the SAME stand I had found an hour earlier.

You guessed it. I had walked in a circle for an hour. I made a mental note to have my legs measured when I got back eliminate this the next time. Obviously, one of my legs is lazy and doesn't keep up the same pace as the other....

"Oh crap!" ... that's my ah-ha moment. I am freaking lost....I ain't never walked in a circle before, not without wanting to....

Remember earlier when I said to never...NEVER argue with your compass. I had never actually gotten to the point where I was confused and doubting my location...until that day. This was before the handheld GPS units were affordable.

If I remember right, it was even before the home computer craze took off.

It was right about now, I took a reading, heading east to the road. Hopefully, when I find the road, I will not have to flip a coin to see whether to go left or right to find my truck. Trucks are never where you leave them in the Big Thicket....not like you would think they should be.

I should tell you that this area of the Big Thicket is in close proximity to an old straight as an arrow dirt road that many locals refer to as....Ghost Road.

With that knowledge in the back of my mind and my personal experience as a teenager spending many different nights on that ghost road chasing the 'light'.....kind of spurred me to get to the truck before dark.

You ever heard of it being bad luck carrying two compasses....?

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