This post is from Suzanne, who cannot hope to ever match Ty’s sense of humor or reproduce his witty repartee, but who has been requested to provide an update on his wilderness adventures. In his last post he provided a link to the homing device that allows all of us to track his position and follow along vicariously as he spends a week exploring the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.
I enjoyed watching his track advance farther and farther from civilization on Wednesday. (Kind of like, “Where’s Waldo?”) By clicking “satellite” view on the map I could see exactly where he was. The photo here, sent from his cell phone before he lost service, shows the rugged yet beautiful terrain through which he was hiking. When the GPS stopped transmitting late in the afternoon I knew that he had settled in for the evening.
The next day (Thursday), I became a bit concerned when I saw no movement by 11 a.m. Mountain Time. By noon I was trying to figure out if I should be worried. I recalled joking in past workshops about a time when we signed a trail log “in case we were eaten by a mountain lion.” I couldn’t help but hope those words would not turn out to be the ultimate irony as there are mountain lions in the area in which Ty is backpacking. I waited another hour and had just picked up the phone to text his daughter (You know, to write, “Should we be worried?”) when Ty called. Big relief.
It turns out the GPS simply did not resume sending out signals after being dormant all night. In fact, he had left camp early in the morning after a big surprise. There he was, fixing breakfast, when a man came scrambling down the hillside, looking quite relieved to find another human being. The man had become lost and had hiked all night with no tent and nothing but a jacket and shorts. He was covered in cuts and had dozens of cholla cactus thorns in his skin. Ty gave him water, broke camp, and accompanied him to the trailhead.
That’s where he was when I received the much-appreciated “I’m okay” phone call. At that point he made the decision to head to Tucson. Rain was predicted for the next 48 hours with the possibility of flash flooding. Why Tucson instead of Phoenix? Does the word “Superbowl” mean anything to you? When he flew into town Wednesday night, it was too late to hit the trail. He found a room on Hotwire for $54. That same room, thanks to the influx of football fans in Phoenix, is now going for $243!
He received an email from our good friend, Colonel “Crusty” Charles Cunis, concerned about the updated track from Ty’s GPS. It shows a direct line from the Superstition Mountains to his current location in Tucson. “It looks like you’re on a military installation,” Crusty wrote. “Were you airlifted?” You are 50% correct, Charlie. My Beloved Husband (MBH?) was not airlifted, but conducting evasive rain maneuvers by rental car, and is now ensconced in the Distinguished Visitors Quarters at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. Note the runway in the photo, with Ty’s location right where the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters are.
As you can see in this photo just received from MBH’s cell phone, the VIP quarters at Davis-Monthan are a far cry from the one-man tent he is supposed to be sleeping in while away from his lonely pack. In defense, Ty tells me that he spent last night in a normal BOQ room, but was kept awake by rowdy Air Force officers letting off steam one floor above his. He just transferred to this upgraded room in hopes of a better night’s sleep tonight. This is not the silence of the wilderness he went in search of, but I’m not sure whether to feel sorry for him or not!
The rains should pass by Saturday evening, and he will return to the mountains on Sunday, and we can resume tracking him once again. Big brother is watching you, Sweetheart, as are all of us who love you!