Lost in the Bells Part 4

“Alright 8034, I’ve got four, no five smoke plumes visible.  You got any special reason you’re asking?”

“I’m on a VIP guide trip.  Where abouts are those fires?”

“Three of them are to the south-west of Rice Mountain Lookout, one is to my north east, and another away almost directly east of me.  You’re not out here with President Obama again are you?”

“No, a different group from Chicago, but no, they’re in Hawaii I think.  It’s not like we see each other every day or anything.”

“Still the only person I know who sees a president on a regular basis man.”

“Yeah I can see that.  Of course, you’re in a lookout so it’s like you get out much.”

“true that.  I’m seeing a lot of smoke coming off that fire away to my east.  Where abouts are you?”

“Two ridges to your east.  Sounds like the fire is between our camp site and the trail out.  I need to take care of something, talk to you in a few minutes.”

“Alright, you make, and I’ll talk to you in a few.  Got a spade up there with you?”

“yeah, but that’s not what I need to take care of.”

“if you say so.  Rice mountain out”

“8034 out.”

Flipping the sat phone open he checked for signal and then hit send.  After a couple of chirps, he heard Gonzalez on the other end of the line.

“So, I take it you were trying to warn us about the giant cat?”

“yes, so I take it you saw it?”

“Just briefly before it faded back into the forest, how worried should we be?”

“A bit.  Just keep everyone inside the tent circle for the moment and it will likely leave you alone.  There are other options around from its point of view.

“Options for what exactly?”

“Options to eat.  It’s probably off looking for mule deer by now.  They will eat people but not that often.  Anyway we’ve another concern as well.  It looks like the storm overnight started a fire between us and the trail head. We may be stuck.  If people aren’t up yet get them up, feed them, pack everything but the tents for the moment I’m going to stay up here for one last satellite cycle, get a better feel for the fire, and then head back.  I should be there by 1030. “

“Should I tell the First Dude about the fire?  He already knows about the cougar.”

“Inform him and the other adults.  Don’t let the boys know yet, there’s no need to panic them.”

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This entry was posted in backpacking, camping, Colorado, fiction, hiking, short story, social commentary, Social Justice, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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