< Piro >
Thursday - July 19, 2001
[note - friday's comic is almost done. got about 2 hrs worth of work yet to do on it, which i will do when i get home tonight. I have one drawing yet to finish, and after that i just need to scan and put it together. - piro]
Boy, i was worried.
One of the things i took with me on our vacation was my bookbag (yes, it's the one that comic-piro's bookbag is based on) packed with my sketchbooks, notepads, Megatokyo reference notes, scripts, pencils, etc. During the entire trip I opened the bag once, and that was to get a pen for Seraphim.
Normally, i draw all the time. I am waiting for the office supply people to tell me i can't have any more post it pads because i doodle on them too much ^_^ I literally didn't draw at all for seven days. I didn't touch a computer for seven days. I didn't really *miss* it, nor was I specifically trying to NOT draw or use a computer - the opportunity just never really presented itself on the trip. :)
The trip pretty much went the way Seraphim described it. We crossed the Michigan/Ohio border early monday morning and drove most of the day till we reached Cave City, Kentucky. It was kind of hard to find a place to eat there - most food places seemed to feel this overwhelming desire to feed you copious amounts of dead cow. I suppose in retrospect i should have opted for the steaks, but hindsight is 20/20, they say.
The next day we headed off into Mammoth Cave National Park and took the Grand Avenue Tour, the longest tour offered by the park - a nice 4.5 hour walk thru the rather remarkable caves and underground caverns that make up the caves in that part of Kentucky. It was a lot of fun - the caves and caverns are amazing. You have to realize that the biggest rock you find up here in this part of Michigan is probably the big stone on the edge of the UofM campus that the college frats graffiti on a regular basis.
After the cave tour, Seraphim and I figured we would go for a hike in the park. The result of that hike, as you can see in today's comic, resulted in the need for us to be rescued by the park rangers. Yes, this really happened. We didn't get lost in the park, we just ended up on the wrong trail and figured that we would just walk the long way around - hah, did THAT turn out to be a bad decision.
Thanks to the map, and the few signs that we came across on the trail, we knew where we were - just not how far we had to go. The plan was to walk a small portion of the Good Springs Loop and visit the waterfall near the church. The problem was, we went north on the trail rather than west, and by the time we realized that we were no where near the falls, we had already reached the Collie Ridge Trail.
We should have turned back, but in our infinite wisdom, and the fact that we weren't tired at all, we said "hey, let's just take the loop around! Can't be that far!" -_-;;; Yea, little did we realize that the 8 mile trek was going to take us till almost 10:30 pm to finish.
By the time we reached the Bluffs i knew we had a problem. Luckily, i had my cell phone with me, so we decided to call 911 to at least let them know we were out here. Actually, getting caught out after dark wouldn't have been a big deal, we just didn't have a flashlight. -_-. One of the park rangers called me and asked if we could hear his air horn - we couldn't. He then sounded his sirens. Couldn't hear those either. He told me to keep walking and that he was going to head down the trail and meet us. About 15 minutes later, it was too dark to see the trail. We had no choice but to stop. Off in the distance we could hear this rather pathetic trickle. We figured that we had found the waterfall. Whee.
Well, it wasn't long before we heard some shouting, and saw a flashlight up in the hills. We were extremely grateful to see the park ranger who had hiked his way in to guide us out. We were about a mile from the trail head, and had two valleys to walk thru. It was so dark that we never realized that we were only 20 feet away from a bridge.
Now, one thing i didn't touch on in the comic was the fact that i was getting dehydrated. We had run out of water, and it was hot and humid. Another ranger was waiting at the trail head with some canteens full of water. I have never been so grateful to see a pair of headlights at the top of a hill in my life.
Both Seraphim and I would like to say thank you to the two Park Rangers who helped us that evening. They were very nice and didn't even scold us that much. ^_^ They even called ahead and had them hold the Green River Ferry so we didn't have to drive a whole 45 minutes around the park to get back to the hotel. Thanks guys, we didn't catch your names, but we are very grateful. And next time we'll bring more water and a flashlight. ^_^
I've been dealing a little with the 'back to work blahs' for the past few days, but I think i'm over them. Keeping to the MT schedule isn't an easy thing to get back into, but I've been making good progress.
Oh, and when i said i was afraid? I wasn't afraid at all during our little hiking adventure. What i was afraid of was that i might loose my ability to draw MT stuffs after being away from it for a whole week. i was glad to find that i don't suck any worse now than before we left on vacation.
As for the rest of the vacation, it was a lot of fun. We drove down to Atlanta and visited some friends (hi Jen, Chae, Laura ^_^), drove on down to Savannah and then to Tybee Island where we goofed off on the beach for a while and watched lightning fire off over the Atlantic Ocean. We then drove north to stay in Cherokee, North Carolina, so we could visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park the next day. We didn't even consider the fact that Cherokee had a Casino in town.
Out of pure curiosity we walked over to the Harrahs Casino to see what all the hoopla about casinos was. I got us a $10 roll of quarters, and Seraphim and I went to try these slot machine things. Maybe i was doing something wrong, but i have more fun putting quarters in a washing machine than those slot machine things. So, i THINK we won something like $2.50 or something like that, which we just used for more spins. When we ran out of quarters, we left. Ok, we can say we gambled. I also experienced my first police checkpoint in my life. Woo, that was fun. :) I guess Seraphim and I didn't look very threatening, they just let us drive on.
The Great Smoky Mountain National Park was a lot of fun. We drove the entire length of it, stopping now and again to look at some of the rather fantastic vistas that people who live in flat places don't get to see much. The part i was dreading was yet another hike to try and see yet another waterfall.
This one we managed to complete before dark. But the 2.5 mile trek to see Rainbow Falls was all uphill. About 1600 ft up, if i remember correctly. Very much worth the hike, but by the time we were done, i was ready to start heading back home.
Anyhoo, I should have a new comic up tomorrow - I *may* not finish it till friday night, but we'll see. ^_^ We put 2,234 miles on the car last week. It makes me wonder how many miles of pencil lead i've used up since MT started...