Monday, January 9, 2012

Lost in the Desert

"One wrong turn and you could be out here for days" She said
I kept trying to get Her to turn around. She was going off trail. Ruff! Wag wag! Stop! I circled her feet a few times, ran in front of Her, stopped, ran behind Her, and stopped. I kept looking over my shoulder. But She wasn’t paying attention.  She was looking at me, but She wasn’t seeing me. She didn’t see the signs, or the markers.  She was looking at other things. Footprints, bicycle tracks, scraggly pine and prickly pear. And holes. She keeps thinking “Snakes”.   They are not snake holes, I could tell her. It is too cold for snakes. December in Sedona is almost snake free. Snakes don’t like 40 degrees and She doesn’t like snakes.
But She is not listening to me or seeing me.  She sees a horse hoof print and now She stops. She misses her horses.  It took that hoof print to make Her look around. “I didn’t see this on the way out” She says out loud. “Hmmmm, I better pay attention. The trail marker should be right around here” Nope. You passed it a MILE ago!  We keep walking. She has a silly soft hat on. That’s good. Because she is going to be sunburned.

Now I stay close, She doesn’t have to tell me. There are no people out here, in the desert.  But if there were, She thinks “They could be hiding in the brush, waiting to grab me!”  She is more alert now and walks faster.  My girl. She is now TALLER and STRONGER and BRIGHTER. Ha! She is angry? Yes.  And FOCUSED. This feels like hunting time or chasing time. Wag, wag, wag, Let’s go!  Out in front of Her. I come to a paved road. Let’s Go!

“We are lost Charlie. What the heck? Did a miss a sign?” She asks me and herself. Yes! I tried to tell you! She takes the bag off her back and shoulders. Yippee! My treats are in there! And water bowl!  She uncaps the last water bottle. It is half full. She takes a small drink and pours the rest in my bowl. No! Don’t! I can go longer than you without water! This is my girl. She thinks of my comfort and needs. She treats me like I am a “people”. I love her.
She pulls out and unfolds a big piece of paper. She’s always reading paper. “Oh no!” Yup. I tried to tell you.  She is thinking, thinking, thinking words “Time, water, sunlight, paved road?”  She folds her paper and puts it away. Picks up my bowl and starts walking. Walking TALL and STRONG. But now She has a before-fear smell. “No wonder they call it Deadman’s Pass. One wrong turn and you could be out here for days” She says “Thank goodness we brought water” She says.
This was a long walk. We walked until the sun started to go down. We walked through the desert for 5 hours. We see the trail head and her car. “We made it Charlie. Just in time”

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