May 15, 2009
By Anthony Cecko BRONZE, Excelsior, Minnesota
Anthony Cecko BRONZE, Excelsior, Minnesota
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Day 1:
Dusk: The day started as a good day, sunny blue skies so I figured I could go back into the woods since I would have the sun to guide me. I was wrong. I wanted to go to a little section of woods in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area called Asgonia. I wanted to go to Asgonia for some alone time to write my thoughts and calm down from an argument I had with Sam. I came to Asgonia and found a fallen pine tree with the roots pulled from the ground. This made the perfect back rest as I wrote. I lost track while in my journal and I soon realized the was an overcast of clouds and decided to go back this was the first bad decision of many that almost killed me. After about an hour of hiking I realized that this was not the right way for camp should be close I should at least smell smoke or see the lake. There was nothing to be seen heard or smelled but the vast forest of pine trees the aroma of the sap in the air and a red squirrel chattering 20feet ahead of me. I decided to turn around and retrace my steps. I returned to the uprooted tree and found that I was lost. I know that the first rule of being lost is not to panic since that is when one makes a bad decision and dies. So I light up a cigarette and lean back into the pine. I watch as the smoke curls around the end of my cigarette as I inhale the cherry grows red. I sat there for 5 minutes almost in tears but holding them back because I know I need a level head at this time. As the overcast darkens I realize I am going to have to spend the night. I start a small fire to keep warm at the base of the uprooted tree since I have some cover from the roots just in case it starts to rain. I build a small lean too with fallen debris placing it over the tree making a small emergency shelter. I already know this is going to be a long night. As I lay here writing this I am thinking of all the things that can go wrong. I am trying to think whether or not anyone saw me leave I was so pissed at Sam that I just left and didn’t tell anyone where I was going. God I hope someone saw me…

Day 2:
Dusk; Today I woke up to the thunder so loud and so close I woke up thinking I was back in California and I was in the middle of an earthquake. This just made me think of food because whenever I think of California I think of In & Out Burger, God I’m Hungry I thought. I light a cigarette and as the smoke rolls off my upper lip I see the storm that the thunder came from. I study it for awhile hoping it isn’t moving towards me, it is. Great now I need to wait here hungry, and soon to be wet and cold. Well at least I will have water. I gathered as much wood as I could before the rain came and put pine boughs on my piece of s*** shelter that vaguely resembles a lean too. I remember looking at it and thinking that if Survivor man would have seen it he would have hit me. I spent all of today in my shelter writing I figured I would keep up with writing everyday and the day I don’t is the day I am rescued or the day that I die. I want people to see what I was doing and I want my family to know that I love them. Well I’m going to sleep now so goodnight.

Day 3:
Noon: I woke up today with a pain in my stomach that felt as if someone just stabbed me. I crawled out of my shelter and took a drink of water I am going to need food today I realized as I lit another cigarette I looked into my pack only 3 were left s*** they better find me soon. I had my mission to get some food at first I tried to get a bird but that wasn’t going to happen so I look around for some berries. I found some after about an hour of foraging but I didn’t know what kind they were so I cut into them and rubbed them on my skin. I know I’m hungry but if they are poisonous I will get a rash and I will know not to eat them. After about an hour I’m too hungry to wait and gorge my face full of them. I wish I could’ve seen myself, dirty, my clothes are s***, and now I had berry juice all over my face.
Dusk: Those berries didn’t fill me up, I don’t know what else to do but start digging.
-I found a few handfuls of worms they don’t taste like anything really but the problem is when chewed they leave your mouth feeling dirty. That’d be a great orbit commercial if I get out of here ill be sure to send that in.

Day 4:
Today was full of disappointments, I woke up early in the morning to my shelter burning I was lucky to wake when I did for that could have been the end of me. So I left Asgonia and decided to beeline it back to camp now that the overcast was gone I could negotiate east and west. I made it back to camp in about 2 hours no one was there. Nothing was there. I realized they must have left to go get help since I had been gone for 3 days I hope that’s what it was. But I know that the paddle out is two days, and the coals in the fire is still warm so they had to have left this morning. I yelled, yelled, yelled, and yelled. Then I started to cry. I cried for a long time I cried so long I had lost track of time. I had finally gotten back and by the time I got there the guys had left my friends just abandoned me I was hoping for a big meal instead I have fish remains that weren’t picked clean yet by the crayfish. Its now sunset and I feel a little sick after eating the meat off of fish carcasses but I know tonight I will feast on crayfish. Ill write once I have some. Its around midnight the moon is full and I am too. A fox came into camp and he looked hungry so I fed him what I had left over. No use in wasting food that can fill two stomachs. The full moon up here is amazing I can see right through the pine forest like its partly cloudy. I am relieved to finally get some food in me I was started to get dizzy when I walked just a short distance and every time I stood up my vision started to get black. Well I’m going to bed night.

Day 5:
Noon: That’s right day 5 on my own I didn’t sleep at all last night. Just as I was trying to sleep I heard a noise and thought it was the fox again. I like up and a bear was standing 10 feet away from me it must have smelled my dinner and decided it was hungry. I’m not sure how big it was pretty big but it was a bear so, I ran, I know your not supposed to but I ran and ran and ran I didn’t stop I slowed down considerably sure but I never stopped. I ran towards where I need to go though I need to exit the Boundary Waters or I will die I decided that as I ran last night. I found another campsite warm coals someone was here last night I’m too tired to go on but once I rest I will I figure that I can make it out in 2 days if I hurry which means I’ll need to be well rested and fed, more fish carcasses yum.
Dusk: I need to keep going now, I should probably stay and fix my schedule so I travel in the day but the moon is just coming up and it is barely starting to wane if I stare hard enough I can see the black edge though. Well I’m off bye.
Day 6 Dawn: I traveled all night smoking one of my last 3 cigarettes it was cold and rather uneventful I stopped here at a creek crossing I want to do this in the day time when I can dry off in the sun.

Day 6:
Noon: I made it across the creek but I needed more food so I spent the day catching minnows in small pools off the side of the creek I caught a big one I was excited and I bit off the head luckily I decided to gut this one since it was so big and to my horror it had tape worm in it that’s why it was so fat. I puked everywhere I hope that was just disgust and not drinking the water straight from the lake catching up to me. I’m too sick to eat so I am just going to take a nap out in the warm sun.
Day 7:
Dawn: I woke up at sunrise I feel better still slightly sick I should be out of here in 3 hours though if I move now.

Dusk: still trapped in here. I didn’t make it its farther than I thought. I’m weak from lack of food. Today on my hike thought I did find a dead grouse it looked rather fresh so I took it with me I just need to start a fire and I should feast like a king. I will be fat and merry that should raise my spirits. As I sit here writing tears are staining the page for I am broken I truly am. I feel defeated today should have been my last day and I think I misjudged my speed I’m afraid I am going to be here for much longer.
Day 10: I haven’t been able to write for 3 days I am weak that grouse I ate or the water or the minnows it could have been anything really but I’m sick. I have bug bites all over me, and I’m scared. Scared never really thought I wasn’t going to make it out of here but now I am sure I won’t. Mom, Dad if you do find this I love you. Sam I’m sorry I said I think your girlfriend is dumb. To all of my friends I had fun while it lasted. God I’m coming see you soon.

Day 12:
I’m still hanging on to my life not really sure what I’m running on but I do feel a little better yesterday a fox visited me I’m not sure if it was real it seemed like something you’d see in a movie when a guy was on acid. It came to me sat in front of me and just stared at me. It reminded me of my dog. God I miss my dog. That fox gave me just a little more to live for reminded me of home and everything I would miss and all the people that would miss me. In a way me and that fox connected on a level I thought no human and animal could connect. I knew the fox and it knew me. Our whole stories brought to life. I heard a helicopter today sounded pretty far away though it started close and just moved farther and farther I wish I had the energy to make a fire maybe then they would find me. I decided that I am going to live though which encourages me to move forward. The fox is back right now I think I’ll name him Tod because he reminds me of the fox in The Fox and The Hound.

Day 13:
Tod is always here now he gives me the boost I need to continue my struggle, I’m still weak though but I’m not puking anymore.

Day 15:
Sick again don’t know if I am going to make it I cried most of the day soundless tearless sobs. Smoked my last two cigarettes too as a kind of goodbye to myself. I have never been this scared before, I rather face that bear again than be here. This is my goodbye to the world all I can think about is that I’m happy Tod is here so I don’t have to go out alone.

Day 17:
I’m Out! I’m in a hospital room and my family just left to give me time to rest. Which is exactly what I am going to do.

Day 18:
I feel better now good enough to write at least. Some forest rangers came in to interview me today. I asked them who had found me, they said they didn’t know the man and that he carried me to the entrance point where the search parties were organized from. They did tell me one thing about him though, he was wearing all red and he told them I had to quit smoking and that his name was Tod.

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