MMT 100 Training Academy is sponsored by VHTRC and Mr. Tom Corris
Today was supposed to be a 25 mile jaunt from Camp Roosevelt to Woodstock Tower. Once again I managed to get insanely lost. I am truly an idiot. I brought no turn sheet, never checked the map, and ran the course like it was the Ring and not MMT. I have had it so ingrained in my head that I must always follow orange(the Massanutten Trail blaze) that I will follow no other color.
Today we were supposed to run the MMT and then turn off on a blue blaze at mile 3.5. Well goofy Mike missed the turn and continued another 13.5 miles in the wrong direction! I went up the extremely steep Waterfall Mountain, an inappropriately tough climb on any day, and then proceeded on to the next mountain(Kerns). I had remembered someone telling me that Waterfall Mountain is not part of the MMT course. That's when I knew I was nowhere near where I should be, and that I must have missed a turn way long ago in a galaxy far, far away. The big problem was that with all the back tracking and miscellaneous wandering, I had logged over 17 miles with no food or water. The closest aid, would have been another 11 miles away, and I had no idea how to get there.
So I am stuck on some mountain, now freezing my butt off, and I am very lost. I wander up and down the roads and trails and yell for assistance. I see no people, and see no cars. I was getting very worried that I would have to hike 20+ more miles to get back, and risk getting caught in a cold rain shower at night. After about a half hour two hunters drive by. My face is so numb that my words come out all gibberish. After some puzzled looks, I rub my face and get it warm enough to spout out at least one coherent sentence. The guys couldn't offer a ride, but suggested going to the "ranger" station down the road. 15 minutes later another car passes. It is a father and son. The dad seems very hesitant to let me in, but finally offers a ride down to the "ranger" office. The office is closed and I am left off route 211, and the father and son drive off. They were obviously a little out of their comfort zone giving me a lift, but I appreciated it. I knew nobody from the club was going to pass anytime in the next few weeks.
Not too long I managed to get a lift from a nice Latino fellow. His idea was to take me to the New Market police dept and have them gimme a lift back to Woodstock where my car was. The municipal building was closed, and on top of that the nice Latino guy was driving with a suspended license. And to think he was helping me find a police officer? Finally we find an officer parked outside a 7-Eleven(save the jokes for later). However the New Market police cannot offer a ride outside their Jurisdiction. I have no money,no cell phone, and have no phone numbers memorized. Dispatch informs that no one from the VHTRC has reported missing a long haired Asian dude roaming the mountains. Wow? Did they really think it took me over five hours to run 8 miles. I can tell I was really missed ;-)....At long last a Shenandoah County officer agrees to meet the New Market officer at a Sheetz in Mount Jackson. What's with the rendezvous at all the gas stations? Every now and then I would hear over the police radio " we have individual in transit, and we are en route to the transfer location". Man oh man. I felt like Americas most wanted, kinda like Bonnie and Clyde...just with no Bonnie..and no actual crimes. Several looong hours later I arrive at Woodstock tower in my police escort. God knows what a klutz people think I am.