A big scare in the wilderness …


It was a beautiful day. Sunny. Warm. And I was just a few hours away from the Canadian border; just another day of driving until I reached the cottage; my summer destination.

I was excited as I drove along the southern shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. It was mid-day. I was ready for a rest any something to eat. I noticed a pull off on my left adjacent to a magnificent, almost deserted, sand beach. It was remarkable. Fine sand. Little wind. And, clear blue water and sky.

I decided to walk the beach, stopping along the way to stretch and do a few exercises. Exercises to limber up and and relax my restless muscles. My body had been sitting, inactive for days. It’s exhilarating to stretch and exercise in the fresh air, particularly on a beach. I luxuriated in the sun for almost an hour anticipating the return to Canada, and the cottage. Planning the projects I have in mind. A new laundry room. A floating swim dock. And another bedroom.

I headed back to the car. I needed to get back on the road. I was warm from the exercise. I had a pair of sweat pants over shorts, so once I got back to the car I slipped the sweat pants off and threw them in the back of the car. Not wanting to leave, I walked back to the beach for one last look.

Absolutely beautiful!

When I returned to the car, I began to panic. Really panic. I couldn’t find my car key. I was in the middle of nowhere. Miles from the nearest town. And, there was little or no traffic on the highway. I scrambled back to the beach and retraced my steps. Not once. Not twice. Three times I walked back and forth along the beach, stopping where I exercised, climbing the large mound that provided an elevated view of the scene. I kicked up the loose sand. All to no avail. No key.

I didn’t know what to do. I looked for help. There was a young woman at the far end of the beach practicing yoga in the sun. Maybe she would have some ideas. Maybe she could help me look. A second pair of eyes might help. Maybe she could drive me somewhere to get help. A tow. Something.

I noticed she was packing up and heading my way. While I waited for her, I returned to the car. Maybe I put the key in my sweatpants pocket. No. It wasn’t in either pocket.

I began to sweat. Tremble even. What was I going to do. I began talking out loud. “Don’t panic. It’s here. Somewhere. Keep looking. You have overlooked something. Idiot!”

Chas: “What? Not only am I bound and blindfolded, now I’m going to be abandoned.”

As the young woman was returning to her car, I had one last thought. Maybe it fell on the floor. I pulled all of my clothing and camping gear out.

There it was. Lying on the floor under my sweatpants. It must have been in one of the pockets, and fallen out when I threw them in the back seat.

What a scare. I was relieved, and more than anxious to get back on the road.

Lou: “I don’t need a key. Just an adventurous spirit.”



5 thoughts on “A big scare in the wilderness …

    • It’s good to hear I am not the only one that has experienced this. I have misplaced keys before but never in the wilderness, without cell service, and hours from the nearest town 🙂

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