If you have not read part 6 yet, you can check that out here

No Sleep, Just Hallucinations

I awoke thankfully before my alarm ever went off. I don’t think I was even really asleep at any point, rather just hallucinating all the while. I prepared my coffee in the rain; it refused to really get hot with the constant heavenly dilution. I drank it grudgingly. I reported for my marching orders and, in my own fine tradition, proceeded to get lost on my first leg. Why should today be any different than the rest? In the valley I had descended into, I had selected a fork in a creek as my reference point to set my short final approach to my first RV. The rain had rendered the valley floor a myriad of creeks, streams, and rivulets.

Still dark, the valley was alive with running water. I felt like I was wandering through a house of mirrors. I came face-to-face with my bro Mark “Cuz” C., a badass Ranger suffering my same fate. We exchanged words, none of which contained the slightest vestige of meaning, only serving to verify we were both equally lost.

Go Toward the Light

A faint light blinked for several seconds at a distance of several hundred meters. With no real explanation, it is possible that it was what we called a “white light AD,” or an accidental discharge of a flashlight that was not protected with an infrared cover. Whatever the reason, Cuz and I both saw it and headed toward it. Score! It was a military pickup truck, our first RV.

I had several RVs behind me now with no more lost time. At one particular RV, having just been cleared to depart, I topped off my canteens from a five-gallon water can near the truck. Then, I drank from a cup tied to the water can with a lanyard. As I drank, I noticed there was a rubber duck rifle lying propped on a large piece of deadfall. “Uh oh…that doesn’t look good at all,” I thought. Is it possible that someone ahead of me actually left his rifle behind? How could that even be possible? I clutched my rifle tightly.