My dirty little secret

Yes, I love hiking. Yes, I know how to prepare for any given non-technical hike. Yes, I’ve been to the top of Maine, the top of New England, the top of Africa. But okay, okay. There was a time when I didn’t know what I was doing.

Just as Maine Warden Sgt. Rick Mills was calling off Friday’s second-day search for two lost hikers due to heavy rain and fog at 12:30 p.m., state police dispatchers honed in on a 911 cell phone call, pinpointing the young men’s location.

“They’re alive and well,” a relieved Mills said in the Appalachian Trail parking lot of Grafton Notch State Park on Route 26 in Grafton Township, shortly after a dispatcher radioed coordinates to him for the two inexperienced day-hikers, Ryan Weeks and Michael Hawkins.

There used to be far more stories available, including on the Globe’s site, but most of them have fallen into the abyss of the ancient Internet. This happens to be one I hadn’t read until recently.

I literally had to laugh out loud when I read that first paragraph. During the cited cell call I found out they had just called off the search, but it just seems so much more absurd in retrospect. The whole experience was so surreal; it seems all the more strange that people were done looking for us because of fog (…the heavy rain was over at that point, so someone either gave or interpreted some inaccurate information).

Anyway, I wrote all about this experience for a local weekly paper back in 2006. I can’t get that link anymore, but I will reprint the unedited piece in the comment section.