Sunday, June 17, 2012

Camera = Lost

So my friend Josh and I have been planning this backpacking trip along the Manistee River here in Michigan for quite a while now, and yesterday was the big day. The trip was a blast, minus an unplanned (and UNFORECASTED) torrential downpour from 11pm to somewhere around 4am. Normally, this is the point at which I would be sharing all of my awesome photos with you. Except, I can't.

They're intact, I'm sure. I even know right where they are. They're in my camera. My camera is in the camera bag that I carried attached to my backpack the whole trip. The problem, as you might have guessed, is that I lost the camera bag and everything in it. At least, I think I lost it... I know where it might be, but it might not be there anymore.

The back-story:

Once we finished hiking back on the trail, we had one last 0.8 mile push to get back to the car. I decided I would rather shirk the heavy pack and leave Naiya (my dog, who went on the hike with us) with Josh while I jogged back to get the car. After I returned with the car, I grabbed Naiya's leash to see if she needed to pee before loading up my gear. I noticed she was limping a bit, so I checked her paws. Both of them had at least one thick black pad dangling by a flap of skin, almost completely torn off. However this had happened, it was a very startling and distracting revelation. I immediately focused on taking care of her and getting her settled in the back of the car before tossing my pack in one of the passenger seats. We hopped in the car took off, never realizing I had left my Nikon D90 (and all the awesome shots from this trip...) beside the parking lot at the tree where Josh had waited for me earlier...

Not good. Even worse, I didn't realize this until over five hours later, after I had gotten home, unpacked, showered, and sat down to go over my photos on my laptop. Feel free to imagine the progress of my panic from, Huh, where did I put the camera? to It's not in the apartment. It's really not in the apartment... to calling Josh and having him frantically scour his car in the hopes that we simply missed it when he dropped me off at the apartment. No. Dice. Also, WIFE had taken the car to Grand Rapids to celebrate Father's Day with her pops, so I was powerless to drive myself the three hours back to the parking lot.

After an hour of trying to call rangers' offices late on a Sunday afternoon (and giving it up after realizing that apparently no rangers work on Sunday afternoons), calling my insurance provider to find out what the deductible would be if all really is lost, and finally talking to someone at the Manistee Police Station to find out if there was anyone else I could call, I remembered that my mom and stepdad had been on a week-long road trip up north with my aunt and uncle. Maybe they are miraculously just passing by there, on their way back! Oh Naive Hope, how kind you are in such fleeting breezes...

I dialed, but again no dice. They had gotten back two nights ago, and were an hour south of me at the moment. However, they OFFERED (and were incredibly gracious in the offering) to drive me three hours back up north to the tree beside the parking lot where I was 99% sure I left that little back of photographic gold. And that brings us to where I am right now - in their car on my way back to the middle of nowhere in the scrabbling-at-the-grass-on-the-cliff's-edge hope that in the past eight hours, nobody has seen that black camera bag sitting next to the tree. Or, if they have, that they left it alone, for in my lack of prescience (I NEVER lose stuff...) I neglected to put any contact information in the case. Aside from denying anyone a way to contact me if they find it, this gives the lucky finder an easy out to say, "Hey! I'd call this guy if he left any contact info, but since he didn't... MINE."

So pray, cross your fingers, wish me luck, wish upon a star - ANYTHING. I just hope I get my stuff back...

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