The great outdoorsman Daniel Boone once said "I have never been lost, but I will admit to being twisted up for three or four days."
To this I can relate.
Well, maybe not for three days - but definitely several hours, and I did spend the better part of one cold night a shade disoriented.
I say that like I wasn't huddled in the dark, hugging my knees to my chest and rocking like a small child who had just seen the boogie man.
'Cause I wasn't ...
Anyway, that lame story pales in comparison to the time I nearly spent a night in the forest just a few hundred feet from a fairly well traveled road.
Not one of my most shining moments, I have to admit, but a good story nonetheless.
Let me elaborate.
I had been hunting the backside of Poco notch when an unexpected afternoon storm settled in like the blizzard in that 1975 episode of Little House on the Prairie. You know, the one when Charles Ingles is saved from a certain frosty demise by that Sioux chief he later befriends.
Sure the snow on that California set looked a lot like little specks of styrofoam, but that didn't make the situation any less dire for Pa - or for me.
So ... with that episode of Little House fresh in my mind, I built a fire the size of Little Joe's inferiority complex and began feverishly piling wood beside it until the sweat from my brow stung my eyes.
In fact, so impeded was my sight that I feared I must be seeing double when two tiny lights appeared on the snowy horizon.
"Why, it's the drunk piano player. You're so drunk, you can't hit nothin'. In fact, you're probably seeing double."
[Billy Clanton draws a knife]
Doc Holliday: [takes out a second gun] "I have two guns, one for each of ya."
Sorry for the Tombstone reference, but I promised a buddy I'd work it into my column and this seemed like an opportune time.
Back to the lost-next-to-a-road story.
I stumbled through the trees toward the light as it grew brighter and brighter, then fell to the frozen earth, driving my handkerchief-wrapped face in the powder. (Are you picturing Pa on Little House, stumbling through that fake snow?)
"Not even the great woods-wise Sioux chief can save me now," I thought, as darkness closed in.
Just then, a county truck roared past, snapping me back to consciousness with the slushy spray from its wing plow.
"Ain't life a kick in the head," I said aloud, as I stepped on to the blacktop.
John Gereau is managing editor of Denton Publications and an avid outdoorsman. He can be reached at email@example.com.