I had a few days of vacation coming to me, so I decided to pack a pup tent and some food and water in my backpack and go for a multi-day hike in the desert.
There first part of the journey was breathtaking. I was looking at all the stunning desert life, the plants, birds, and rocks. There was so much sand and hills with rings, and the bluest, cloudless sky I’d ever seen.
It was very hot, hotter than I had expected. And very dry, too. After two days in the desert sun, my skin began to turn red and I knew I had to find some shade. I came across a river bed, but it was dry. It told the story of a river that flowed and it made me sad to think that this once living, flowing river was now dead.
On the third day I saw what appeared to be a lake. I had run out of water the night before, and I was parched from the desert sun. I hoped that it was an oasis and not a mirage. But by the time I got to where the lake should have been, I realized it was, indeed, a mirage.
By the fourth day in the desert I began to worry. I had no food or water left and there was no shade from the scorching sun. My skin was starting to blister and my tongue was beginning to swell. I didn’t even know what direction I had come from. I was lost and I thought this would be the end of me.
Then I heard the sound of motorized vehicles coming from over the ridge. I mustered all of the strength I had left to walk over to the ridge and as I got to the crest, I saw four guys on ATVs below me. I stood up and waved my arms and shouted.
One of them noticed me, pointing toward me. He rode his dune buggy to where I, close to losing consciousness, was waiting. He loaded me onto the back of his dune buggy and took me to a local hospital, where I was treated for exhaustion, dehydration, and severe sun poisoning.
I’m okay now, thanks to those guys on their ATVs. But I did learn a powerful lesson. The next time I have a few days of vacation to burn, I’m just going to Netflix and chill.
Written for Paula Light’s Thursday Inspiration prompt, where her theme is “desert.” My inspiration for this post came from Paula’s Happy Color image and from this song: