The Bushwhackers

When last we left our intrepid explorers, they were bedding down for the night, eagerly anticipating the next day's travels.

Morning came early and with it the gurgling of water boiling in IMUSA pots, the gentle whoosh of canister stoves, and the smell of coffee hanging in the air.

Soon, it was time to break down camp.

Then it was off down the trail

With Scout The Wonder Dog bravely taking the lead!

Uncle Mike, having previous family obligations, departed company at the trail intersection where the merry band was to turn East. A short jaunt down the trail, then a short stretch on a Forest Service Road brought them to a old road that was being used as access to an area of the forest being cleared of underbrush and dead trees.

In the meantime, Scout The Wonder Dog had discovered a myriad of interesting smells in the forest that demanded investigation and anointing with scent, so Eastex took the lead.

Soon, they left the area where the forest was being cleared, and they could see where it was thick with underbrush and a tangle of dead limbs and trees from the drought two years ago.

But nothing could diminish the lofty granduer of the majestic East Texas piney woods.

They began traversing an old road, long unused for its original purpose, and rarely used as a trail.

Evidence of previous human industry was discovered

Suddenly, a time of momentous decision was upon them! A long abandoned culvert lay exposed at an intersection of the track

Which way to go---straight ahead?

Or to the right?

A hasty conference was called, maps consulted and options wieghed. It appeared on the map that either route would take them to thier destination, and the right hand track was chosen.

Soon they came upon a sylvan forest meadow.

But its bucolic beauty was deceiving! The track melted into the middle of the meadow, leaving no apparent trace! They walked in the supposed correct direction and found themselves-------


The moment was dire, this was no time to panic! The GPS was consulted and the proper direction established and in no time Eastex had cut the track once again and they moved forward with renewed confidence and determination.

Then, just as all seemed to be going well

THE BRIDGE WAS OUT! A mighty tree had fallen across it, smashing it asunder and flood waters had carried the pieces down the creek.

What is next for our brave explorers? Will they never reach thier destination, or are they doomed to wander the woods of East Texas, desperately and vainly calling out "Cookie Cooooooon!!!! Cookie Coooooon!"?

Will Scout the Wonder Dog be able to save the day?

Stay tuned for Part 3!