A misadventure usually includes the following:
Quickly setting sun
Losing the trail
Losing the trail in the dark
Wild animal encounter.
Add 30mph wind to our exposed climbs at sunset and change wild animal to mountain lion and change losing the trail in the dark to simply being entirely turned around in the dark after running into and luckily chasing off said mountain lion....
Yes, this was a misadventure of epic proportions.
On the bright side I think I found Hance Cabin!!! I'll go find it again next week.
And on an even brighter side...sinking ship is AWESOME! Scree sloping route through prickly trees and hidden cacti, a boulder hopping playground, did I mention awesome up climbs with bits of exposure??
Love it love it love it!!!
Not for the weak kneed or faint of heart!!
so the route to sinking ship starts from Buggeln picnic area you head NW down into a ravine then up and out onto the rim....meh, so on our trek back I had this gut sinking feeling and refused to go into the ravine, so I checked my map and decided we could cut across closer to the road...so we headed due north into the thickest jumble of trees in that area...
As we were heading up hill, I was in the lead and saw something sparkle about 10 feet ahead in my flashlight, just after we passed it we heard the trees rustle to our left just behind us, we whirled around and our first reaction was to shout and charge it.
In that split second before we raised our hands and shouted at the seemingly harmless trees we saw it, a long, low to the ground tawny, dusty body, quick as lightning and more scared of us then we were of it.
I glimpsed it's face, a most beautiful, strong, feline face quickly followed by a long thick tail. Then it was gone and the rest of our night we were on edge, we ran our voices hoarse by shouting every few seconds and randomly kicking stumps or tossing sticks to "keep the lions at bay"
My hiking buddy seemed a bit more frightened than need be but seemed to relax when I whipped out my flare
and I explained that we need to stay in open meadows where we can see everything and keep our backs together and, oddly enough, follow the crickets. (Crickets will stop chirping no matter who or what steps near them so if they're chirping ahead of you there shouldn't be any large critters near it
Then I realized we were waaay "off course", I whipped out yee ol' map and we found our way to a ravine which actually turned out to be Hance Creek (yea, don't know how we managed that!!!) I turned around and followed it up almost directly to the road. ((Now that I think about it we weren't nearly as lost as it seemed, yay map skills!!))
I had managed to send a text off to my ranger friend so at least I had a back up, one of his texts got through that if he didn't hear from me within an hour he'd call dispatch and have someone sent out for me.
Luckily I am pretty good with my map or it could've gotten bad quick
As soon as we reached the Suby we hopped in locked her up and bolted back to the village at a responsible speed of course and I had two people call me almost immediately.
Ranger Robb was quick to inform me that the Hance and Buggeln area is the ultimate Mountain Lion corridor.
It is nne of the easiest and most common places for the big cats to exit the canyon and or leave the Rim. Their tracks are abundant and the local lion biologists have counted a total of 4 different animals in that area in the past MONTH!!!! (I only know that last part because I just finished speaking with our local Lion Biologist about this encounter.)