It was at 4:00pm in the forest of Mt. Waterman in mid-December, a hot day which only got worse the longer the heat of the sun’s rays beat down on my back. Water was quickly being sweat out the more I walked which in turn made my water bottles start to empty out. “Go down you big fireball.” I said this as if I was having a conversation with the big ball of gas in the sky. I had been out hiking by myself before I slipped off the hiking trail and plummeted down the steep hill, I was lucky enough to had been able to walk away from the fall without a scratch. I hadn’t told anyone where I was going and I only had enough provisions for the rest of the day which obviously wasn’t enough to survive out here for a few days until rescue comes, if they do. Later when I found a stream I followed it upstream to where I remember seeing it by a trail earlier when I started so I could get back home. As the time went by I had been going through my water much faster than I had hoped for which was starting to worry me as the day began to end.
On the way up the stream it began to become clearer, a man screaming at the top of his lungs for help which meant I wasn’t the only one to get lost in this mountain. The screaming got louder within minutes and with another 10 going by it stopped, I was worried so I began to shout, “Hey! Are you still alive?!” It was only a few seconds later when he responded back, “Yea! I’m stuck in a tree!” I rushed to his aid when I saw the tree and looked up at the man stuck sideways in a tree and tangled in a mess of paracords from his parachute. “Looks like you go yourself in a bind, no pun intended.” I spoke in a calm voice and with humor to make the situation a little calmer. “You should cut me down already, my leg is going numb.” With that said I reached into my backpack and took out my survival knife to cut him down, when I did so he immediately fell which caused him to scream in agony, his leg had been broken when he fell into the tree in the a few hours ago, a really bad thing to happen with the terrain we were in. “That doesn’t sound good at all, let’s get that leg elevated and looked at.”
It was getting darker by the minute, minutes felt like hours, hours felt like days. The cold breeze of the winter night chilled us to the bone while the supplies began to run low and the sounds of the our stomachs growling filled the air. “Okay obviously you should get more fluids for that leg break, I’ll use a little more food so I can go get some help, how’s that sound?” I looked into the eyes of the stranger I had been trapped here with. “I have a flare for this emergency but I lost it in the fall, it should be around here somewhere, it has a flare gun and three flares, I’m supposed to use it if I get lost and I hear a helicopter circling around.” The injured man explained to me in depth later about what the box looked like and how I would go about using it, how I would find it would be the troubling part of all of this. Until now I noticed we went this entire time without a proper introduction, “My name is Blaine.” With that I reached my hand out and waited, “My name is Kline, wish we could have met under better circumstances.”
It had been a cold night and the fire pit was full of ashes and was still emitting a little heat it had retained which meant that it had been on for quite some time, which explained the sweat dripping down my forehead. It was the middle of winter but the sun was beating down on us, making it seem as if it was in the middle of summer. “Wake up Kline! You can’t be losing fluids this easily.” I had managed to wake Kline up but he was colder than he should have been, maybe there was internal bleeding? Maybe his body was going into shock? I had to find the bright orange box he said contained a flare, I began to search around the surrounding area but only found tracks, then I saw it, there were pieces of bright orange plastic that seems to have been chewed on by something rather strong which was going to be a problem.
The trees that hid the resting place of whatever took the box made it easier to see brightly colored objects, just not what is holding them so I had ended up trying to rip the box away from a small bear cub which instantly sent a shock through my spine because that means that the mother was very nearby. Problems worsened when the bear cub latched onto my leg instead of the box that I then grabbed. I slowly walked with the 30 pound cub weighing my right leg down, my heart raced with fear as I waited to hear the roar of the mother bear that wanted her child back, the sweat began to pour down and pool in my shirt. “Oh no no no no no no.” In my moment of fear I had gone the wrong direction because I had ended up out of the dense tree area and nowhere near a stream. My heart calmed down a bit and I backed up with the cub still on me so I sat down and waited to see if I could maybe not get mauled by a momma bear.
An hour had gone by but the cub was still here and was trying to call for it’s mother but nothing happened. I began to think there was no mother coming so I let the little guy come along and stay with me to see if he could keep away any other predators. “Looks like you’re coming with me for now.” About an hour later I had made it back to Kline with the flare gun and a bear cub on my leg which was rather strange to see. “Now we wait for a helicopter.” Kline nodded with a smile before keeping an eye out in the sky, our only way out at this point.
Hours later a helicopter could be heard in the distance so I prepped the flare gun and fired directly upwards which sent a bright red flare out into the sky which was then seen by the helicopter, I dragged Kline into the clear field nearby and signalled the helicopter to come down to pick us up, the cub came with and was later released by into the wild after being raised to a mature age. Blaine went on to be an adrenaline junkie that did everything from skydiving to alligator wrestling and is doing fine in life. Kline went on to live a more peaceful life that still lead to the happiness he gained from his crazy stunts. The two still keep in contact and get together to go hiking every few months, now when they do go out they come extremely well prepared.