I decided to get back on that horse this morning, I have to say I was a little bit fearful - I've never gotten lost hiking and last week I was ill prepared to be lost since I had only planned on going for an hour or so as a practice run. I had only brought one small container of water, no food for me and very little for Pearl The Wonder Dog. We left before dawn so only the path was visible, that was very stupid as Thunder Swamp is not a park, it's part of the Delaware National Forest so it's a bit on the Super Large Size and Fairly Woodsy Side. I planned on doing a couple of hours this morning and I packed our backpack much better - two containers of water (ice for Pearl's), protein bars for me and a large bag of snacks for Miss Pants and the requisite Poo Bags as someone insists on pooping right on the trail despite numerous instructions from the owner to go before we leave. I looked at the map and folded it so we could see the part of the trail we were using AND yesterday I stopped in at Verizon yesterday to have them download a GPS to my phone - more on that later. We left well after sunup and that made a world of difference - I was able to see the markings on the trees clearly and made sure to turn around occasionally so I could be sure the trail was visible and to landmark in my head things I would remember on the way back (a bent tree, an unusual stone).
It was a much better hike - we had time to look around and Pearl snuffled her heart out for all sorts of critters and got more than she bargained for - she got stung by a yellow jacket which was a bit upsetting, she has a little swelling on her butt where she got stung and we'll keep an eye on her this morning in case she has a reaction. The GPS was a toss up - I had used it yesterday in the car and it was fine. I did Find Location in the woods and it cheerfully announced I was in Central Park and even showed little me on a sidewalk. I called Verizon from the forest and I insisted if I was where my GPS said I was it was going to be a hell of a walk back to my car. The rep suggested some way to reset so I'll give it a go the next time we're out walking to see if it makes a difference, otherwise it will be ix-nayed pronto. I'm not paying extra for something that will GET me lost, I obviously am able to do that on my own. And do it very well, thank you. Going back was a little nerve wracking, I thought for a minute I had missed the path but then found the sign - that is where I got lost last week - I must've walked right past it without noticing and continued on the red trail instead of getting back on the orange trail. We made it back to the car in 2 1/2 hours, Miss Pants loves the car ride home as I put the window down half way. She hangs her head out in true hound dog fashion, her ears flying in the wind - some days are WAY better than others, aren't they?