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We Are Dipshits

Turns out, she wasn’t asking me if I was okay so much as she was telling herself that she really WAS okay, that there wasn’t any problem, that we were doing fine.

Corrie began to panic. Her panic probably raised her body temperature by a bit. She was surfing the crimson tide at the time, so she was probably already running hot. She began to feel nauseous. That made her panic even more. Right as I was coming out of my minor heat exhaustion, she began to go into hers.

Contemplating the Canyon
Contemplating the Canyon

When I’d told her I wasn’t doing so hot, she’d sped up, looking for the mule drivers that had been in front of us. She got to Skeleton Point, expecting to see them. They weren’t there. More panic.

I knew nothing of this at the time.

We kept slogging, and suddenly the mule drivers appeared on the trail behind us. I don’t know how or where we’d gotten ahead of them, but we had. Corrie abruptly told me, “I need to ask them for help, I think I have heat stroke, I can’t make it.” We let them catch up, and Corrie told them what she’d told me.

They said that they couldn’t give her a ride because the mules had pack saddles, not people saddles. They had about 3/4 of a Nalgene of water that they could give us, and the mule driver had an icy cherry gatorade that he gave us.

Sidenote: That icy gatorade is quite possibly the most orgasmic drink that I’ve ever had. At the first sip, my entire body perked up. It’s quite possible that people several hundred miles away heard a sudden “zzzzRRRRMMMM!!!!” as my cells powered themselves back up.

The mule drivers went ahead, and we returned to our slog. We went another few hundred yards and found the mule drivers waiting for us. I don’t remember the exchange, but they must have decided that Corrie really needed help.

One of the mule drivers disappeared and the other, Monty, hung out and talked with us. Turns out that Monty was a First Responder. Turns out that Monty and Eric were the only two rangers on that trail that day, and they had been on their way to the top. Turns out we’re damned lucky we ran into them.

Corrie was suffering from minor heat exhaustion. The mule drivers had a water cache hidden at Cedar Point, and Eric had gone to fetch some of the water. He brought back two gallons of water. We filled up my Camelbak with one of them, and they doused Corrie down with the other, lowering her body temperature via evaporation. This was enough to get us up to Cedar Point. They waited for us there and gave us enough water to refill my bag, and to fill up Corrie’s bag. They also filled one of our Nalgenes with Gookinaid. Gookinaid, which I hadn’t heard of before, is sort of like unsweetened gatorade with a bit of sodium bicarb to soothe the tummy. Gookinaid rocks hard-hard, especially when you’re dehydrated. It also contains electrolytes, preventing hyponatremia, with which Corrie and I have had prior experience. Fortunately, on that one, we were on the caregiver side rather than on the victim side.

Monty and Eric rode their asses off up the trail, having completely and utterly saved our lives. We took our sweet ass time hiking the remaining three miles out of the canyon, finally emerging out into civilization again ten miles and seven hours after leaving it. We’d brought eight liters of water with us for the trip. We’d consumed about twelve. We’d discovered that Emergen-C is not a good source of hiking electrolytes since the large dose of vitamin C does unfun things to an empty stomach. Most importantly, we’d discovered that we are dipshits and that the multitude of signs we’d seen most definitely applied to us too. And we learned that Monty and Eric rock the casbah, and that they most probably saved our lives, and that we can’t thank them enough.



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