A couple of days ago Judy and I took off on our daily walk. It had been some time since we had gone down box wash so that is what we did. It was sunny, quiet and so beautiful. After walking down the wash for some distance, we followed an ATV road that took us on top of the mesa.
Judy and I have an unspoken rule that whenever possible, we never take the same path back home. With that in mind, we maneuvered ourselves down the other side of the mesa following a mountain goat trail. I always figure if a mountain goat can make it, I can. I need to rethink that thinking in most cases. But it did lead us to another, beautiful, unexplored wash. This wash wound down between steep canyon walls (my very favorite scenery to walk in) which required sliding down huge smooth boulders. We were having not just our daily walk, but a fun adventure.
We had been gone longer than anticipated so when I saw the trees of Overton in the distance, I was a little relieved knowing we were heading in the right direction. We could hear distant gun shots but that was okay, they were far away and we were aware of the shooting range that was back where we started in box wash. I reasoned that we had crossed over the mesa and were far away from where we began. Just as we rounded a bend and walked out of the canyon into the open we heard close,loud gun shots that were coming right in our direction. Both Judy and I instinctively hit the ground and just stared at each other in fear and probably shock. I looked over to the left and there was a practice target just yards away from where we had been standing. We could see the man behind the gun aiming and firing. He obviously couldn't see us. We started screaming for him to cease fire. When that didn't happen, we figured he was probably wearing ear plugs. Just like in the movies we did the "rambo crawl" back behind our bunker and started to laugh. We laughed and laughed and laughed at the predicament that we had put ourselves in. That wonderful, peaceful, canyon-line wash lead us right behind the firing range.
I did have my cell with me and was grateful that I actually had service. I called Jared and told him someone was shooting at us. After explaing the situation, he hopped in the truck and headed to the wash while Judy and I stayed behind our bunker listening to the gunfire. Finally I received a call from Jared telling us that it was okay to come out. With our hands high in the air, we walked out into the open to a horrified elderly man who was obviously more shaken than us. Jared had told him that he had two women pinned behind the hill who were just out for their morning walk. Poor man. He just kept apologizing over and over.
I know there is an amazing lesson to be learned with this experience, but I am just going to chalk it up to another fun hike with Judy. It is a great way to start my day.