Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lost & Found - Never Give Up

Caught a nice bass yesterday at the Tidal Basin. The afternoon was going great. Catching fish with such a great background and scenery. Then I realize I lost my keys. I spent 5 hours looking for them in 100 degree heat. I walked the tidal basin 3 times looking for those keys. It was dark soon and I had to give up.

Ended up calling THW to bail me out. Not sure which was worse, loosing my keys and walking 5 hours or receiving her wrath. She only had to drive 10 miles, its not like I lost the keys out on Mossy Creek. I didn't give up hope. I posted on cragislist, asked tourists, asked park rangers, and the man. I got home and took a shower and hydrated with the alarm set for first light. I had not given up.

Several years ago I learned not to give up, there is always a chance. We were in Puerto Rico for my tropical ecology class. One our second or third to the last day (rum was cheap and I was 20 so I indulged just a bit and the days were hard to tell apart) we were visiting the world's second largest underground cave system. This was back in the days of film cameras and I carried a lot of rolls of film with me. I labeled each one with a Sharpee so I knew somewhat where and when the pics were taken. I got back to my hotel, cleared the iguanas out from under the sheets, and unloaded my bag. I was missing a roll of film. I had lost it while switching out rolls in the caves.

I had purchased a post card at the visitors center and used that address to send a letter to the park. I stated the date I was there, the tour time to the nearest couple of hours, film make and model etc. I sent the letter away in April. School was soon over for the year and I was off on Safari in Africa.

I returned from Africa in late July to my Fred Vegas apartment. I opened the door to my room and saw a roll of film sitting on my desk. The last thing I wanted to see was a roll of film. I had brought 75 rolls with me on Safari. Needless to say, someone had found that roll of film in the world's second largest underground cave system and turned it in. Someone else received my letter and the two were united.

This is one of the images from that roll, a faucet growing through a buttress root on a tree in the rainforest, one of my all time favorite images. At the time I wanted to graduate and become a wildlife/nature photographer and this one boosted my ego.

So I get up this morning and take the spare keys and head down to the Tidal Basin with my bike. I ride around the tidal basin, kick up the grass where I had put my bag down or spent time fishing. Kicked at the grass, rode my bike in a grid across fields and parking lots. There was a guy doing the same bike maneuvers over the grass. I asked if he was looking for my keys. He stated he was looking for his wallet. Hey, at least I wasn't the only one. We both looked like June Bugs hovering over a field.

Over and over again for 2 hours. I took a break at the Jefferson Memorial in the shade (it was 85 by 0800). I had one last spot to check and it was a freshly mowed field that I had cut across the night before. It was the last spot to look before I went home and hoped somoene found the keys and called the gym number on the Golds card or found my craigslist post.

I went up and down the field and mistook each piece of litter for my keys. Then I something reddish in the grass caught my eye. It was the carabiner I bought to hold my keys for that safari trip. I put the bike down and got excited. I took 3 steps closer to the basin and there they were, my keys. Sitting all neatly where they fell the night before. Seven hours of my time spent and I was rewarded.

Here is the bass that I caught. It now was worth it. Not really, my feet still hurt. And if you have not had a chance to read Deeter's blog about loosing keys, here it is.


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