Lost in the Woods (Again)

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. OK, so nobody else has to say it.

I took off on my bike yesterday around three in the afternoon on a dark day with a storm hovering, for a mushroom hunt in the woods. About 3 miles from home, there’s a dark, deep section of conifer trees with paths going in all directions, sort of like tunnels. I, er, forgot to bring my phone or a compass (or a light or my lightweight machete). (The phone would’ve given me a compass, a light, and intermittent cell phone range.)

I parked my bike under a tree and started searching. I kept going, ever deeper, twisting and turning in different directions.  No mushrooms at all. I felt like I had a pretty good sense of direction, and could make my way back to the bike and my point of entry. Wrong! I got lost and pretty soon was following deer trails going in all directions. Mostly poison oak. I was getting scratched, tore a couple of holes in my sweatpants, ripped a hole in my down vest. and kept hitting dead ends on the trails. It was starting to get dark and I figured my only way out was to get to the cliffs above the beach.

Which I finally did, but the cliffs were too steep. I kept heading south, trotting from one Pampas grass clump to the next (they hold the soil). I finally got to a spot where I figured I might be able to get down to the beach and started sliding down the (loose) decomposed granite on my butt, trying to go at angles to reduce the steepness. Shit! The danger would be going head over heels down to the beach. Praise be to the Lords of Karma, who have been like benevolent aunts and uncles consistently bailing me out of dumbass predicaments all my life. I jumped out onto the sand. It was now dark.

Luckily the tide was low, and I know every twist and turn in the beach and made my way about 1½ miles and then up to the bluff. There was no moon but the storm held off and the glow from San Francisco across the ridge gave me barely enough light to bushwhack through the brush and finally get to the road. I walked a couple of more miles to get home, where thankfully there were no recriminations and a hot bath and a baked potato and 12 hours sleep and a big breakfast this morning and life is indeed rich.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

8 Responses to Lost in the Woods (Again)

  1. Lloyd, I am so thankful that you are okay! Please be sure to “think it through” in the future. I like having you around!

  2. Very glad you are o.k…..SHEESH Lloyd. Take some care.

    and as to the “no recriminations”…grin, was that because your significant other was not home? if she was home, and merely smiled and shook her head, GIVE that woman a hug. Several hugs. And please don’t do this to her again.

    don’t suppose you would consider routinely wearing a necklace pendant which you could push for emergency help ?

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