I was somewhat apprehensive about this expedition from the very
start, way back in January when I received a phone call from David
Pardue asking me to assist in scouting for it. I wasn't sure what
would be involved. I knew I had several ideas, things that I wanted
to do to help organize it. Thank you Matt and Patty for allowing
me to be involved from the beginning. It turned out to be the best
one I have attended so far.
While scouting out [the South Power Lines area ] on Thursday night,
a small group of us had a few interesting things happen. Staci,
Patty, and myself were all looking down a powerline clearing. Patty
said that she saw something moving a good distance away. She just
started pointing and saying, "There it is! Do you see that?". Unfortunatly
my contacts were not the best, gunked up and dry, so I could not
really see anything at all. I don't have good night vision and not
the best hearing either, so I had to just go on what they were saying.
We were moving back and forth, talking softly with calm voices,
whistling, doing small double whoops and slowly approaching a power
pole. We suddenly got a very strong urine smell, an overpowering
ammonia smell like a horse or large animal had just pissed on the
trail. Staci and Patty were both asking me what would cause it,
and I explained that some flora blooming like hawthorne trees have
a similar smell, as well as horse.
The smell quickly dissipated and we then moved a little closer toward
where we thought it was coming from. As we were getting closer to
the pole, Patty started saying "We have to go..I'm getting zapped...go
go go !!!! " Patty kept saying over and over that she was tingly
all over and had a strong feeling that we should leave immediatley.
Of course Staci and I started moving quickly with her. I did not
have the tingly feeling although the hair on the back of my head
stood up and my heart started racing. I was walking and talking
saying things like " Ok, we're walking. We're going. Wer'e not going
to run. We're just moving out of here. We're going. We are leaving.
Everyone just stay calm." I felt at any instant we all could have
just sprinted back to where Chip and David were at the campfire.
After talking about it a bit, we decided to head back to base camp.
Chip wanted to stay behind on his own. We had returned to base camp
not more than 10 minutes when Chip came racing into the camp and
said, "A few minutes after everyone left they started throwing rocks
That was the first night. It was very cool. I'll let the others
say what happened after that.