Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Where's Ryan?!

Yes, I've heard the calls. I know many of you are wondering, what happened to the Green Tortuga? Why the lack of posts?

I'll get to that.... Let me first finish describing my hike through Eglin AFB. I spent my last night there, which I already told you about. The next morning, I was woken by a series of aircraft seemingly coming in for a landing nearby. I suspect I must have been in the flight path for one of the runways.

These weren't just any planes, however. No, these planes included fighter jets and bizarre planes with all sorts of weird things sticking out of them. I don't have a clue what kind of planes they were, which I guess means that technically speaking, it would make them UFOS--Unidentified Flying Objects. Yes, folks, I saw UFOs!

I have little doubt that there are people who could identify them, but the important thing to note is that I could not.

As I broke down camp, the first of the rain began. Very sad, but I stayed upbeat knowing that I'd be hiking into Crestview that day and planned to get a hotel anyhow. No matter how wet I got, I'd have a dry hotel room this night.

The hike out was uneventful. The rained increased throughout the morning and started to slacken by afternoon. I tromped into Crestview and checked into the Super 8. I stopped at Wendys for lunch, and picked up all sorts of terrible food for dinner at a nearby mini mart.

The next day, I felt rather unwell, which I suspected may have been due to my indulgance the night before eating Krispy Kreme donuts, sugary sodas, and other unnutricious foods.

I also expected Amanda to drive in that afternoon at some point, so I was tempted to take a zero day until I was feeling better. Ultimately, though, I got myself at the door and started hiking without my pack. I planned with Amanda to have her look for me on the trail--all a road walk along US 90 for the day--and to pick me up in Holt. So I leave my full pack behind and hiked with just my fanny pack.

The trail headed into downtown Crestview, which wasn't especially inspiring despite its historic status, then followed US 90 westward.

I called Amanda from a payphone in Milligan, hoping to update her on my progress and make sure she made her flight into Florida okay, but it went immediately to her voicemail. I left a message and pushed on.

In Holt, I tried calling again, but it went immediately to her voicemail. Not knowing where she was or when she'd be around to pick me up, I decided to hitchhike back to the motel Crestview. I left a voicemail saying as much, and if she didn't see me on the east end of Holt trying to hitch a ride back into Crestview, it's because I already got a ride.

This would be my first time trying to hitch a ride on my thru-hike. =) I wasn't actually looking forward to it--I'd rather have just had Amanda swing by and pick me up.

I was out there, on the side of the road for all of about five minutes before I got a ride--from Amanda!

She hadn't been checking her voicemail because she didn't know where her cell phone was. I grabbed a cold drink from the ice chest, where I found her cell phone. She must have been seriously tired to store her cell in the ice chest. *shaking head*

Even more amusing, she seemed surprised when she checked her voicemail that the cell phone was cold. "And do you know why?" I asked her. "Because you stored it in the ICE chest!" =)

We went back to the Super 8 and called it a day.

So why the long delay in posts? Lots of reasons. Busy working on Atlas Quest during the nights, for instance. And I was absolutely determined to get some photos from the hike online which is a heck of a lot of work in its own right. I did get photos up through my arrival at Gold Head Branch SP, however, so be sure to check them out at http://www.ryansatotalgoober/adventures/2008/

The text is copied from this blog (slightly edited for spelling and grammar), so if you're a faithful reader, only the photos will be new.

In other news, just this morning I discovered a photo of me in the latest issue of Washington Trails magazine. For those of you who are WTA members or happen to see the March issue, I'm on page 18, at the far right, with the goofy hat on my head. =) It was taken during my week working on the Pacific Crest Trail at Mount Adams. Well, the actual photo was taken in our campsite, but during that trip, which is also written up on the Ryan's a Total Goober website. (Check the 2007 directory, however, for that trip.)

I'm even wearing the same pants, camp shoes, and fleece jacket that I'm using on this thru-hike. =) Different hat, though.


Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are alive, well, and with Amanda.

All is good. :)

DC Stones

PS - No photos of that cute dog that followed you?

Anonymous said...

Photos of the dog that broke Ryan's Heart can be found here:

-Amanda from Seattle

Anonymous said...

have a happy Easter ryan..........

i couldn't get the link to open, i will find another one that works. just wanted you to know.

thanks for the posts.

Anonymous said...

ooooooooppps forgot to sign the above..........


Anonymous said...

Hey Ryan!

Great snake pics! Yes that one is a Florida cottonmouth and the one you are trying to "grab" is an eastern coral snake. Both are venomous but will only bite if you try to hug them.

The other snake photo is of a nonvenomous water snake but I am not 100% sure which it is of about three.

The berries are American beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). Don't eat. :)

Anonymous said...

I just need to know if you are going to be at Springer on time. SMILE! Are you on schedule????

I've taken the day off and reassigned all of my interpreting work to other contractors. OFF TO SPRINGER I go....

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ok. This is uncanny!

You stated how strange it was that Amanda stored her cell phone in the ice chest. And woulnd't you know it. Your Atlas Quest widget has a picture or a huge BBQ-style cow next to a truck, with the title saying "Stranger things have happened".

I really am starting to think you plan your Atlas Quest widget thingie to correspond with your posts. lol!

Hike on!
~Twinville Trekkers