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Nick looked up from his tired feet, they had left the trail fourty minutes ago, but had not made much progress.
Nick yelled, “Hey Miles you're wearing more Patagonia than everyone at South put together.”
Miles looked himself over, and said, “Fair enough, at least I got most of this thrift shopping.”
They had planned on camping two valleys away from the battered gravel road that they had parked on that morning. They had been running low on water, finding no stream in the first valley to filter water from. Nick felt thirsty, his lips became parched, with no sign of water nearby.
“Crack!” Nick was torn from his thoughts of dehydration when Will broke a stick as he pushed through a wall of wild rhododendron.
He looked up just in time to see Will disappear as the dirt crumbled beneath him, leaving a cloud of dust in his place.This was immediately followed by a thud and a splash
Miles exclaimed, “Oh s***!” and he stepped forward for a better look.
Nick’s thoughts immediately went to Will crumpled at the bottom of some unseen drop, with broken bones, and no way of rescuing him.
Then Will called out, “Hey! I found water.”
Nick breathed a sigh of relief, then said to Miles, “Now what do we do?”
Miles yelled down to Will, “Do you see any way out?”
“Not really,” Will paused, “Wait there is a scree slope to your left that I could get up.” Then he adds, “But you guys should come down and check this out first.”
Nick glanced over the edge of the steep drop, then said, “I don't think that's the best idea, it’d be harder to get all three of us out than just one.”
“I'd like to go check it out, there seems to be a way out,” replied Miles
Before they can discuss it further, they heard rustling in the bushes and out popped Will.
He says, “Come on guys I found a sick spot.” Then turned around and was enveloped by the bushes again.
Miles and Nick pushed on after him, getting scratched by sharp branches. Once through the bushes, they arrived at the edge of the skree slope.
Will immediately slid down it on his feet, until the last ten feet, which he slid on his butt. Miles, having seen that it looked easy, followed suit. Nick hesitated and tried to go down carefully, calculating every foot placement, but halfway he decided to let loose and just slide down.
Will said, “Follow me.” Then directed them around the bend in the canyon.
Around the bend it opened up a little, with a flat area of good smelling grass and a couple trees.
“Let’s camp here” said Miles.
They all agreed and started to set up camp. Will filtered water from the clear, cold stream. Nick set the hammocks up in a ladder between two fir trees. Miles got out his stove and boiled some water for their fantastic dinner to come.